On April 22, 2006, the winners of the 2006 World Leisure Innovation Prize received their awards as part of the day-long festivities marking the official opening of World Leisure EXPO. Each received a specially designed statuette of Chinese marble and a framed Certificate. The awards were presented by the Vice Mayor of Hangzhou City, Xiang Qin, and the Chair of the Innovation Prize Project, Dr. Karla Henderson.

Committee and Prize Recipients
Back Row: Ian Cooper (UK), Patrick Nanty (Seychelles), Pierre Morin (Canada), Henny Oldenhove (Australia)
Front Row: Karla Henderson (United States) Chair, Gaohai Zhang (China), Narelle Mackaway (Australia), Lindsey Keith (New Zealand), and Gary Debney (Canada)

For the six-month duration of EXPO, a multimedia presentation of each of the winning projects will be on display in the World@Leisure Pavilion in the World Leisure EXPO Garden.

The International Adjudication Panel of the First World Leisure Innovation Prize met in Hangzhou, China in late February to make their final selection. They are:
  • City of Christchurch, New Zealand for the “Southern Centre Multi Sensory Facility”
  • Emmanuel Foundation, Calgary, Canada for “Playgrounds in Contexts of Extreme Need”
  • City of Townsville, Queensland, Australia for “The Strand ... a People’s Place”
  • Zhejiang Province, China, Tourism Science Research Institute for “Tourism Planning for Hangzhou Xixi Wetland Comprehensive Conservation Area”
In addition, The Panel designated three entries as “Highly Commendable:”
  • City of Brisbane, Australia for “Active and Healthy Lifestyle Program”
  • Wuhan Sante Cableway Group Co., Wuhan, China for “The Old Villas of Lushan Mountain”
  • Wuzhen Touring Development Co., Wuzhen, China for “Wuzhen: Creating Leisure Tourism in Chinese Original Ecological Ancient Town”
Dr. Karla Henderson, Chair of the Panel and Project Director was impressed with the variety of entries and the emphasis that applicants placed on building sustainable social and environmental communities through leisure. She noted that the “The significance of leisure in sustainable community development is alive and well.”

Representatives of the winners have been invited to Hangzhou to be presented with their awards as part of the gala Opening Ceremony of the World Leisure EXPO on April 22. In the meantime, project details are available on the World Leisure website.

Hangzhou Vice Mayor Xiang Qin, Karla Henderson, and Lindsey Keith
Founded in 1952, the World Leisure Organization is a world-wide, non-governmental association of persons and organizations dedicated to discovering and fostering those conditions best permitting leisure to serve as a force for human growth, development and well-being. World Leisure pursues these goals through education, research and informed advocacy.

The mission of the World Leisure is to promote leisure as integral to social, cultural and economic development. To advance this cause, the organization awards prizes that recognize extraordinary exemplars of innovative and sustainable efforts to achieve these ends. The Innovation Prize is one of several activities undertaken by World Leisure in conjunction with the World Leisure EXPO, including the 9th World Leisure Congress, expected to attract 3,000 delegates from October 15 to 20th, 2006.


World Leisure Innovation Prize:

City of Townsville: Narelle Mackaway - | +61 7 4772 5851

City of Christchurch: Lindsey Keith: | +64 03 941 7119

Emmanuel Foundation: Gary Debney: | +1 403 279 6003

Zhejiang Tourism Science Research Institute: Lina Sui: | +80 13516810504