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Recreation & Tourism Program Administration Team

Faculty Member

Administrative Roles

Phoebe Hua
Office: B250 R358
Phone: 250.740.6396, Local 6396
Fax: 250.740.6488
Email: rectourhosp.programs@viu.ca

Kelly April
Office: B250 R358
Phone: 250.740.6396, Local 6396
Fax: 250.740.6488
Email: Kelly.April@viu.ca

Program Assistant

Joanne Schroeder
Office: B250 R336
Phone: 250.753.3245, Local 2832
Fax: 250.740.6488
Email: joanne.schroeder@viu.ca

Department Chair

Dr. Janet McKeown
Office: B250 R376
Phone: 250.753.3245 Ext: 2491
Email: Janet.McKeown@viu.ca


Recreation & Tourism's Innovation and Research Chairs


Scholarly Interests

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

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.

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.

Full Bio

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, PhD, MA, PGCHE, (University of Gloucestershire), BTM (Malaspina University-College), FHEA

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.

 Full Bio

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: AmandaJohnson@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.

Farhad Moghimehfar, PhD
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. 

Janet McKeown, PhD
Office: B250 R376
Phone: 250.753.3245 Ext: 2491
Email: Janet.McKeown@viu.ca

Bio will be added shortly!

Nicole Vaugeois, PhD
Associate Vice President, Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity
Office:  B300 R456
Email: Nicole.Vaugeois@viu.ca

Dr. Nicole Vaugeois is interested in research topics including sustainability, rural resilience, place and amenity based development, agriculture and agri-tourism, community arts, trails, and tourism labour markets. She has extensive experience supporting local, regional, provincial and federal government policy analysis in tourism development through her research. She has published numerous papers, technical reports and policy briefs and shares her research with academic and non-academic audiences. She is a visual artist and maintains active status with the Canadian Federation of Artists. She currently serves VIU as the Associate Vice President, Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity and holds an appointment on the Destination BC Corp Board of Directors as well as the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance. She held the BC Regional Innovation Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development from 2008-2017 and served as the Co-Director of the World Leisure Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation.

Academic Emeritus

Faculty Member

Scholarly Interests

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.

Dr. Ken Hammer
Professor Emeritus


As an Academic Practitioner Ken has a broad range of academic and practical interests. He has taught, studied, and practiced in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership, community engagement and international partnerships.

Recent presentations include Rotary Leadership, Withstanding the Test of Time; Creating Sustainable Rotary Partnerships; My Rotary Leadership Journey; Identity Based Leadership; Leadership as a Journey; and The Gift of Self.

He continues to work with a variety of community organizations (Nanaimo Child Development Centre, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary, Nanaimo Association of Community Living, Multicultural and Immigrant Services Association of North Vancouver Island, Leadership Vancouver Island, Nanaimo Community Hospice Society), in a variety of roles. These roles include facilitator of strategic planning sessions, Vice President on two boards, presenter, facilitator of professional development activities and Assistant Governor. One of his favorite community engagement activities is the “reading circle.”

He is currently a Realtor with the Scott Parker Real Estate Team under RE/MAX of Nanaimo where he enjoys collaborating with people to sell or find their home. Ken also enjoys mentoring new Realtors and facilitating learning experiences for all Realtors.