The World Leisure International Innovation Prize seeks to recognize organisations that have implemented creative solutions that foster local, national or international leisure opportunities for the benefit and development of individuals and communities. Leisure is considered in its broadest sense including play, recreation, the arts and culture, sports, festivals and celebrations, health and fitness, or travel and tourism. It encompasses indoor or outdoor programs, services and amenities.

What makes this prize unique?

The major feature that distinguishes the World Leisure International Innovation Prize from other awards is that it focuses on the social and cultural aspects of leisure as an aspect of the lived experience for individuals in a community and for visitors to the community. This Prize represents the use of leisure as a creative solution to enhancing collectively the social, cultural, environmental, and economic quality of life in an area.

What is meant by Innovation?

Originality, creativity, and innovation should be demonstrated related to process (vision, management, and communications), resources (financial viability and human such as volunteers), partnerships and community involvement, outputs (program, events, and amenities) and outcomes. Further, the project should be “inspirational” or demonstrate a “feel good” factor. Innovation may mean a new idea or it may mean finding creative solutions through leisure to existing problems and issues. Innovations must demonstrate more than a quality program. In addition, applicants must demonstrate that their project does not exist elsewhere but it could be potentially adapted to other situations.


2016 Innovation Prize Winner

Diplôme d’Aptitude aux Fonctions d’Animateur (DAFA) or Group Facilitation Skills Certificate

The Canadian recreation training Programme Diplôme d’Aptitude aux Fonctions d’Animateur (DAFA) or Group Facilitation Skills Certificate..

The Programme was established in 2009 by seven recreation organisations and is now recognised by all of Quebec’s recreation organisations. The programme is managed by the Quebec Leisure Council/ Conseil québécois du loisir.

Over 22,000 young people have already registered, and nearly 400 municipalities and local organisations work with 800 instructors to deliver DAFA courses.

The training standard is operational in every region of the Quebec province as a way of ensuring quality and safety in group activities.

The DAFA Programme is the result of an unprecedented cooperative effort on the part of Quebec’s recreation organisations, working together to manage the Programme’s development.

The DAFA Programme meets expected standards for quality and safety in the facilitation of group recreation, validates the work of the facilitators, promotes recruitment and retention, and encourages discussion between networks through recognition of the Programme across Quebec and beyond.

Thanks to its decentralised structure and the flexibility, it provides to organisations, training can be adapted to any community’s needs. It was chosen by TIESS as one of a number of innovative experiences that connect municipalities and the social economy.

2016 Highly Commended projects

The Peace Village Hostel, Flanders, Belgium

Contact: Matti Vandemaele

For the past ten years, the Peace Village Hostel has specialised in welcoming young people from across the world. Visitors enjoy a personal and tailored visit to the former World War One frontline from the hostel. In 2015, some 20.000 youngsters from the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and New Zealand stayed at the Peace Village.

The Peace Village Hostel provides more than just a bed and board, the educational department focusses on the former battlefields of the Great War. The landscape, the final eye witness of the conflict, is still scattered with relics of the distant past. Hundreds of cemeteries have become the final resting place for soldiers from both sides with monuments, mine craters and memorials which remind us of the horror of the Great War. The Peace Village wants to assist (young) visitors in their discovery of the local area and in an interactive way transfer that experience into a lesson for life which resonates today.