The 2019 Calgary Play Summit

Posted on November 20

Play is … “an activity controlled and structured by the child. It involves the exercise of autonomy, and has the potential to take infinite forms. Play is fun, uncertain, challenging, and flexible. Play is fundamental to life, and an essential component of developing physically, socially, cognitively, and emotionally”   - Calgary Plays (2017)

In celebration of the National Child Day, the Calgary Zoo, in partnership with the City of Calgary and YYC Plays, is hosting the Second Annual Calgary Play Summit today. The Calgary Play Summit brings together 100 professionals who support children to play and learn together at Canada’s leading charitable conservation organization, the Calgary Zoo.

The Calgary Play Summit supports Article 31 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that: the child has a right to leisure, play, and participation in cultural and artistic activities

Play is the earliest means for learning and is of lifelong importance. Along with the physical health benefits, play is also a vehicle to support children’s fundamental social and cognitive skill development. Children face challenges such as sedentary behaviours, over-planned schedules and parental concerns over safety that many believe are reducing their chances of enjoying healthy and active lives.

This year’s event includes presentations focusing on transforming Calgary into a “city of play” by looking at what it means to play at the edges, implementation of the Calgary Play Charter, nature and outdoor play, getting comfortable with risk and inclusive play spaces.

“The City of Calgary is pleased to be a partner in the Calgary Play Summit”, said AJ Matsune Calgary Recreation Program Coordinator.  “As Calgary continues to transform into a city of play, opportunities to learn together and play together help us in working towards a healthy and active city.”

“The Calgary Zoo welcomes over 470,000 children from around the world to our living classroom each year,” said Dr. Clement Lanthier Calgary Zoo President & CEO.  “Both the children who visit us and the animals we love and care for at our facilities, learn through play.  We consider play opportunities to be of the utmost importance in our work as a charitable conservation organization that inspires children to protect wildlife and wild places.”