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Stephen Braithwaite, Strathcona's Folly, Ottawa, 1992. Photo: Alex Smith 

Donna Hiebert, The Wave, Halifax 1988. Photo: Alex Smith

Where do the Children Play?  

Join play expert, Alex Smith, as he takes us on a curated tour of Canadian play spaces, past and present, with a smattering of contrasting international examples. Photos and video illustrate different approaches and design elements that keep kids coming back for more. Whether it’s public art, minimalist landscapes, child-led temporary creations, or vernacular builds, each space offers seemingly endless moments of joy through the simple medium of play.  

Alex Smith is the founder/editor of the award-winning blog, PlayGroundology. For nearly 15 years he has been publishing stories for international audiences featuring play theorists and practitioners, designers, artists, academics and kids from Canada and countries around the world.  Alex’s rediscovery of play was inspired by his three youngest children’s very active pursuit of fun and adventure. Together, they gamboled through playgrounds in Halifax, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and points between. The backyard of their Nova Scotia home became an ever-changing neighbourhood play zone. 

In the process, Alex became an advocate for children’s right to play, organizing a variety of public events, appearing in regional and national media, and volunteering with the Canadian chapter of the International Play Association (IPA). The father of five and grandfather of two, he is a firm believer in the transformative power of play.

Lecture sponsored in part by: 

The Canadian Society of Decorative Arts/ Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs was formed, with the generous support
of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, to provide a forum for all those interested in the decorative arts.
© 1981 - 2023 Canadian Society of Decorative Arts / Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs