World Leisure Centre of Excellence Hosts Three Outstanding Scholars

Dr. Sarah Giles (left) and her sister Dr. Audrey Giles with their dogs, Tilly and Tundra. The two are coming to VIU as part of the World Leisure Centre of Excellence's Visiting Scholars program

January 30, 2018 - 4:15pm

Rare opportunity for public to hear from leading experts in leisure industry

NANAIMO, BC: Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Department of Recreation and Tourism will host three distinguished visiting scholars through the University’s World Leisure Centre of Excellence. This series supports the work the department does to provide access to exceptional experts for students as well as the broader local community, who are actively encouraged to attend.  

The first scholar is Dr. Charlene Shannon-McCallum, a professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick, who teaches within the Recreation and Sport Studies degree program. She has conducted extensive research throughout her career, which has focused on understanding the interactions between leisure and health, leisure and youth development, and leisure and gender.

Shannon-McCallum’s work has had significant social impact, specifically regarding a study that investigated how children who are overweight or obese experience activity, and how to influence their parents in supporting healthy choices. Her talk, Leisure Education’s Role in Supporting Social Sustainability, explores how leisure education, when aimed at policy- and decision-makers as well as citizens, can contribute to social sustainability. It will be on Wednesday, January 31 from 11:30 am – 1 pm in Building 180, Room 134.

The second two scholars are visiting at the same time, and happen to be twin sisters. Dr. Audrey Giles is a professor at the University of Ottawa and her sister, Dr. Sarah Giles, is a Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontier) volunteer, as well as a locum doctor in the Northwest Territories. Audrey will teach in the Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management program while she is here, and will also conduct two public lectures. Sarah will present a public lecture on her experiences as a MSF volunteer.

Audrey’s first public lecture, The Extractives Industry’s Role in Sport for Development in Indigenous Communities in the Canadian North, explores how sports programs have been used for domestic development in marginalized communities in Canada and Australia. It draws on interviews Audrey conducted with Indigenous community members who explain how government and private-sector programs in this area simultaneously threaten and reaffirm Indigenous self-determination.  The talk will be held Thursday, February 22, from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm in building 200, room 203.  

The second talk, Community-based Injury Prevention with Indigenous Northerners: Why Culture, Gender, and Place Matter in Reducing Boating-Related Injuries and Fatalities, takes attendees to the Northwest Territories, which has a drowning rate 6-16 times higher than the Canadian yearly average. Although Indigenous men are overrepresented in northern boating fatalities, programs brought from southern Canada tend to focus on children. Audrey will discuss the results of community-based research in the Northwest Territories, which revealed the importance of culture, gender and place in injury prevention. The date and location for this talk will be announced soon.

Sarah will present on Medecins Sans Frontieres, and what it is like to be a doctor in some of the most challenging circumstances on the globe. She will describe working in active conflict zones. Her goal is to share her experiences in a way that provides people with a sense of what they can do to improve the world we all live in. The talk will take place on Tuesday, February 20 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm in building 200, room 203. 

The public is invited and encouraged to attend all public lectures.

Learn more about VIU’s Tourism, Recreation & Hospitality programs here.






Aly Winks, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6529 | C: 250.618.7930 | E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: World Centre of Leisure Excellence | Teaching and Learning

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