The Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management is designed to take advantage of the experience and knowledge of both VIU faculty and that of WLO Members and other Visiting Scholars. As the program grows we will continue to add information about our Visiting Scholars and the growing network of professionals that will help to make your educational experience beyond compare.

Who are you looking for? Department Administrators: Research & Innovation Chairs: Full-Time Instructors

Recreation & Tourism Program Administration Team

Faculty Member
Administrative Roles
Kelly April
Office: B250 R354
Phone: 250-740.6396 Ext. 6396
Fax: 250-740-6551
Email: Kelly.April@viu.ca

Program Assistant

Dr. Amanda Johnson
Office: B250/R374
Phone: 250-740.6548 Ext. 6548
Fax: 250-740-6488
Email: Amanda.Johnson@viu.ca

Department Chair

Joanne Schroeder
Office: B250 R336
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2832
Fax: 250-740-6488
Email: Joanne Schroeder@viu.ca

Graduate Program Chair

Rob Ferguson
Office: B250 R356
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2835
Fax: 250-740-6488
Email: Rob.Ferguson@viu.ca

Undergraduate Program Advisor

Recreation & Tourism's Innovation and Research Chairs

Scholarly Interests

Dr. Patrick Brouder

British Columbia Regional Innovation Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development

 Office: B250 R320B
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2772
Fax: 250-740-6488
Email: Patrick.Brouder@viu.ca 

Patrick holds the British Columbia Regional Innovation Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development at Vancouver Island University. His research focuses on three interrelated areas of innovation in tourism across the province - Indigenous tourism (as a form of endogenous economic development and environmental stewardship in a unique institutional setting), creative tourism (in ‘creative outposts’, where arts, culture, and creative activities increase local social innovation), and tourism evolution (the long-term economic processes of change as tourism continues to develop across BC).


Patrick serves as Chair of the Economic Geography Group of the Canadian Association of Geographers and on the Steering Committee of the International Polar Tourism Research Network (IPTRN). He is a resource editor for Tourism Geographies and an editorial board member of Polar Geography. He is also a research associate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as an affiliated researcher at the Arctic Research Centre, Umeå University, Sweden. His main research interests are: Economic Geography, Tourism Studies, and Rural Development.

Recreation & Tourism's Full-Time Teaching Faculty

Faculty Member
Scholarly Interests

Aggie Weighill, PhD (Alberta), MA Leisure Studies (Waterloo), B. Recreation Management with Honours (Acadia), Diploma Recreation Administration - Cooperative Education (Malaspina University-College).

Office: B250 R362
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2416
Fax: 250-740-6488
Email: Aggie.Weighill@viu.ca
Blog: Various Travel Blogs 

African Research & Study Tour Website

2012 Ghana Research & Study Tour Blog

Grounded in the context of leisure, and in particular, women's leisure behaviors and motivations, Aggie's Master's and PhD work explored community development, gender, and participatory sport tourism.

Since completing her PhD, Aggie's research focus has expanded to include the gendered nature of daily life, community-based tourism development and community-based conservation in Ghana, West Africa. She leads an annual undergraduate research tour to Ghana's rural north where she works with community partners in exploring the benefits and costs associated with community-based conservation and tourism as well as issues related to tourism development as a source of sustainable livelihoods.

Full Bio

Tom Delamere, PhD (Alberta), Masters of Recreation (Acadia), BA Recreation Administration (Alberta), BA Economics (Wilfrid Laurier),

Office: B250 R332
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2187
Fax: 250-740-6488

Tom's research has focused on understanding the impacts of festivals and special events on communities, leisure theory, leisure behavior, criticism of performance in the creative arts (Jazz Music), mentoring and mentorship.

Joanne Schroeder, MA Leisure Services Administration (Victoria) BA Leisure Service Administration (Alberta), Diploma in Recreation Administration (Red Deer College).

Office: B250 R336
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2832
Fax: 250-740-6488
Email: Joanne.Schroeder@viu.ca

Having been involved in public and non profit Recreation Services for 25 plus years, Joanne enjoyed a variety of leisure delivery experiences.  She has been involved in both large and small scale event planning, program planning for all ages, conference and leadership development, facility design, marketing design and promotional strategies.

As a consulting entrepreneur, Joanne was able to work with public and private organizations to design marketing plans and marketing education.  Teaching focus is in the area of program planning, marketing, event management, families, seniors and youth services. Her personal interest is experiencing leisure in the great outdoors, all forms included.


Rob Ferguson, ABD (Gloucestershire), MA Tourism and Urban Culture (Gloucestershire), PGCHE, (Gloucestershire) Bachelor of Tourism Management (Malaspina University-College), Diploma in Recreation Administration - Cooperative Ed. (Malaspina University-College)

Office: B250 R356
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2835
Fax: 250-740-6488
Email: Rob.Ferguson@viu.ca

Rob's principal interests relate to exploring the human experience resulting from leisure interactions. Prior to his appointment as a faculty member at Vancouver Island University, Rob was a Senior Lecturer in Leisure Management at the University of Gloucestershire, U.K. Rob's background is rooted in the direct delivery of leisure experiences and can trace his passion for the recreation and tourism field to being a participant in public recreation programming as a child; and as a wide eyed tourist in his youth. He currently serves on a number of advisory boards within the community and his PhD research focuses on the role of Aboriginal tourism in fostering cultural resilience among selected coastal communities in B.C. This research is framed within the lens of Indigenous based tourism development and explores to what extent the touristic space can become an arena for the discursive negotiation of contested meanings, identities and histories for both host and guest. With a young and growing family he spends most of his current leisure time exploring the various recreation experiences that coastal British Columbia has to offer.

Suzanne de la Barre, PhD (Alberta), MES Environmental Studies (York), BA Human Geography (Ottawa).

Office: B250 R372
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2833
Fax: 250-740-6488
Email: Suzanne.delaBarre@viu.ca

Website: S de la Barre

Suzanne has worked as a community and economic development practitioner and educator in Canada and internationally for over 25 years. She received her degrees in Human Geography (BA, University of Ottawa) and Environmental Studies (MES, York University), and completed a PhD that focused on sense of place, place identity, and sustainable tourism in the Yukon Territory (University of Alberta), and she is certified in Community Economic Development (ICA, 2009; PAED/CANDO, 2009), group facilitation (ICA, 2009, 2010), and heritage interpretation (Interpretation Canada, 2007). Suzanne teaches in both the undergraduate and SLM graduate programs. Her research interests include the creative and cultural sectors, cultural planning, tourism and community economic development, community-based tourism, gender in leisure and tourism, Indigenous leisure and tourism, culinary tourism, social innovation and social entrepreneurship, experiential education. Suzanne’s work and interests often incorporate social justice perspectives and goals, and can include a geographic focus on rural, remote, northern and Arctic regions.

John Predyk, MBA  (University of Calgary), BSc (University of Calgary)

Office: B250 R330
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2732
Email: John.Predyk@viu.ca

John has served in management and executive positions in the public, non-profit and private sectors for the last 20 years, most recently as Special Advisor to the President at Vancouver Island University after several years as Vice-President of Sprott Shaw College. He has previously taught at the University of Calgary, Red Deer College, Mount Royal University, and Chemainus Native College. In 2015 he returned to his roots in the classroom and teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at VIU.  He was also Director of the World Leisure Centre of Excellence at VIU, Chair of the Vancouver Island University Business Plan Competition Committee, and regularly coaches Recreation & Tourism students in various competitions.

John’s academic interests lie primarily in Entrepreneurship (including Social Enterprise), Human Resources Management, Strategic Leadership & Planning, and Teaching & Learning.  His main research interests and experience in Rec/Tour sector are the artisan economy, golf, recreational fishing and agri-tourism industries.

An entrepreneur since the age of twelve, John has owned/operated numerous business ventures which currently includes consulting, sustainable farming, property management, and Agri-tourism. 

As staff member, committee and board member at Community Futures Development Corporation, John has helped train potential entrepreneurs, assist with business plan preparation, and adjudicate financing applications for dozens of recreation and tourism business start-ups in central Vancouver Island over the last 19 years. 


Amanda Johnson, PhD University of Waterloo – Recreation and Leisure Studies, MSc Clemson University – Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, BA University of Waterloo – Recreation and Leisure Studies

Office: B250 R374
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 6548
Email: amanda.johnson@viu.ca

The primary focus of Amanda’s research is on community-based meanings of public leisure spaces. Amanda typically examines landscapes of everyday life and how these spaces and places are managed to ensure preservation and sustainability while allowing for everyday and practical use by a diversity of individuals and communities. Amanda’s past research projects have examined farmers’ markets as everyday places for local residents and visitors, the community impacts of forced displacement from homes and recreation spaces, and everyday interpretations of public leisure spaces.

Sharon Kelly, MA Leisure Studies (Alberta), BA. Recreation Administration, PCC Institute for Life Coach Training, Wellness Coaching Specialty (Institute for Life Coach Training)

Office: B250 R372
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2682

Sharon’s industry experience has largely been in the field of community recreation delivery. Her MA research focussed on Leisure for Alcoholics and her subsequent experience focused on leisure education and provision of leisure experiences to disadvantaged youth. She has travelled widely and her past field school involvement focussed on Tourism in Belize.

Prior to beginning her teaching career at VIU, Sharon was an instructor at Red Deer College. Since joining the faculty at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University), Sharon has played a variety of roles in both the Recreation and Tourism Department and Student Affairs including Department Chair, Degree Advisor, Educational Counsellor and Success Coach. Sharon has a split appointment between Student Affairs and the Faculty of Management.

Sharon is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and enjoys partnering with students in support of their quest to achieve academic goals while creating a life that balances personal and professional growth.

Farhad Moghimehfar, Ph.D
Office: B250/R358
Phone: 250-753-3245, Ext. 2259
Email: Farhad.Moghimehfar@viu.ca 

Farhad’s teaching and research interests are framed within the context of sustainable tourism and recreation, community tourism, outdoor recreation, and environmental psychology. By integrating quantitative and qualitative methods, his aim is to extend the scope of sustainable tourism planning techniques that successfully improve communities’ resilience through addressing the needs of individuals, communities, and local tourism businesses. Farhad also conducts behaviour research to understand people’s motivations to participate in sustainable outdoor recreation and tourism activities and social psychological predictors of their behaviours. Prior to his appointment as a faculty member at Vancouver Island University, he served as an instructor and post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alberta and as an assistant professor at University of Northern BC. He has also worked as a community development practitioner and nature-based tourism planner in Canada and internationally. 

Garrett Stone, Ph.D
Office: B250/R364
Phone: 250-753-3245 Ext. 2413
Email: Garrett.Stone@viu.ca

Garrett’s research focuses on the transformative potential of travel and tourism experiences. In other words, Garrett explores how travel and tourism influence and are influenced by individuals, communities, economies, and the environment. More recently his research has been directed toward making educational tourism experiences more accessible (via internationalization at home) and toward understanding how these experiences impact identity development, religiosity, critical thinking, and other similar domains. Additionally, Garrett is interested in what happens AFTER someone returns from a transformative travel experience (i.e., how they re-adjust to their 'home' communities) and how the process of reentry affects the aforementioned domains.

Garrett also actively participates in the scholarship of teaching and learning and has published work on critical thinking, collaborative online international learning, and study abroad. 

Academic Emeritus

Dr. Rick Rollins

Professor Emeritus


My field is nature tourism and recreation. Nature tourism occurs mainly in natural settings, rather than in the built environment, and is a major industry in Canada and internationally, as exemplified by whale watching in BC, trekking in Nepal, wildlife viewing in Tanzania, bird watching in the Amazon, ski touring in Scandanavia, cycling in France, ocean kayaking in New Zealand, scuba diving in Thailand, sailing in the Carribean, or just relaxing on a beach in Mexico.

Nature tourism shares some characteristics with other forms of tourism in that nature tourism strives to provide opportunities to visit places that contrast with the familiar, often providing transformative life changing experiences that serve to broaden our understanding and appreciation of the diversity of landscapes and cultures found throughout the world.

However, the tourism industry has been criticized for negative impacts sometimes created on tourism destinations, including impacts on environments, on local communities and cultures. This concern for negative tourism impacts has led to thinking about how tourism can be managed in more sustainable ways.

My research and teaching has followed this thread, examining the conditions under which nature tourism can contribute to sustainability. Specifically, I am interested in determining the approaches and conditions under which tourism impacts can be minimized, or even contribute positively to conservation and to local communities, cultures, and economies, as well as providing meaningful experiences for tourists.