Darla Fortune, PhD

Associate Professor, Applied Human Sciences

Darla Fortune, PhD
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2261
Email: darla.fortune@concordia.ca

The inclusion of marginalized individuals, particularly within community leisure spaces and practices, is a central theme in my research. My interest in inclusion was shaped by work on SSHRC-funded research which sought to discover ways women returning to community from federal prison could be supported and recognized as valued and contributing citizens. Building on this work, I then engaged women entering community from federal prison in a participatory action research project aimed at critically exploring possibilities for social inclusion.

Themes of inclusion and social justice were carried into my postdoctoral work with the Partnerships in Dementia Care (PiDC Alliance). The PiDC Alliance strives to counter the objectifying and dehumanising care practices in cultures dominated by medical and institutional models of care. Our work strives to guide a cultural shift in dementia care that embraces relational approaches supporting inclusion.

I continue to conduct research examining experiences of inclusion with a focus on belonging for marginalized individuals. Recent work has involved individuals living with mental illness and older adults who experience isolation. My overall goal is to develop broader perspectives of inclusion and work toward enhancing experiences of belonging. 

Courses Taught

Courses taught at Concordia University:

AHSC 444: The Older Adult and Leisure
AHSC 323: Gender and Leisure
AHSC 432: Seminar in Therapeutic Recreation
AHSC 384: Therapeutic Recreation: Cognitive Disabilities and Illnesses
AHSC 383: Therapeutic Recreation and Physical Disabilities
AHSC 381: Concepts in Therapeutic Recreation Programming

Courses previously taught at the University of Waterloo:

REC 640: Community Development, Capacity Building and Leisure
REC 356: Recreation and Community Development
REC 203/SOC 210: Sociology of Sport
REC 420: Program Evaluation in Leisure Services


Fortune, D., Aubin, G., Timm-Bottos, J.& Hebblethwaite, S. (2021). The art hive as a “frame of belonging” forolder adults. Leisure/Loisir, DOI:10.1080/14927713.2021.1886867.

Fortune, D., Whyte, C., & Genoe, R.(2020). The interplay between leisure, friendship, and dementia. Dementia, DOI: 1471301220980898.

Fortune, D. (2020). Envisioning Museums as Welcoming Spaces for Belonging. In T. Glover & E. Sharpe (Eds.).Leisure and its communities: Rethinking mutuality,collective expression and belonging in the new century. New York: Routledge.

Fortune, D., Arai, S. M., & Lyons, K. J. (2020). Relational possibilities for women leaving prison: renewed hope for inclusion and belonging. Contemporary Justice Review, 23(1), 3-21.

Yuen, F.C., & Fortune, D. (2019). Leisure, art, and advocacy: Opportunities for contentious dialogue and action. Leisure Sciences. DOI:10.1080/01490400.2019.1604276

de Witt, L., & Fortune, D.(2019).Relationship-centered dementia care: Insights from a community-based culture change coalition. Dementia, 18(3), 1146-1165. 

Pedlar, A., Arai, S., Yuen, F., & Fortune, D. (2018). Community Re-entry: Uncertain Futures for Women Leaving Prison. Routledge.

Fortune, D., & Dupuis, S.L.(2018). The potential for leisure to be a key contributor to long-term care culture change.Leisure/Loisir 42(3), 323-345.

Whyte, C., & Fortune, D.(2017). Natural leisure spaces in long-term care homes: Challenging assumptions about successful aging through meaningful living. Annals of Leisure Research, 20(1), 7-22. 

Fortune. D. (2016). Marginalization, inclusion and community development: What this means for women who have spent time in prison. In E. Sharpe, H. Mair, & F. Yuen (Eds.). Community development:Applications for leisure, sport, and tourism (pp. 211-221). State College,PA: Venture Publishing.

Dupuis, S.L., McKeown, J.K.L., & Fortune, D. (2016).Possibilities in the study of aging and leisure in late late life. In D. Kleiber, & F.McGuire (Eds.). Leisure and human development (pp. 319-346). Urbana, IL:Sagamore Publishing.

Dupuis, S., McAiney, C. A., Fortune,D., Ploeg, J., & Witt, L.D. (2016). Theoretical foundations guiding culture change: The work of the Partnerships in Dementia Care Alliance. Dementia, 15(1),85-105.

Fortune, D., & McKeown, J.K.L. (2016). Sharing the journey: Exploring a social leisure program for persons with dementia and their spouses. Leisure Sciences,38(4), 373- 387.

McKeown, J. K., Fortune, D.,& Dupuis, S. L. (2016). “It is like stepping into another world”: Exploring the possibilities of using appreciative participatory action research to guide culture change work in community and long-term care. Action Research, 14(3),318-334.

Potwarka, L., Tepylo, H., Fortune.D., & Mair, H. (2016). Launching off but falling fast: Experiences of becoming more physically active in response to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Event Management, 20(3), 297-312.

Fortune, D., & Yuen, F. (2015). Transitions in identity, belonging, and citizenship and the possibilities of inclusion for women leaving prison: Implications for therapeutic recreation. Leisure/Loisir,39(2),253-276.

Fortune, D., McKeown, J., Dupuis, S.L., & de Witt, L. (2015). “It was like reading a detective novel”: Using PAR to work together for culture change. Journal of Aging Studies,34, 38-47.

Fortune, D., & Arai, S.M. (2014). Rethinking community within the context of social inclusion as social justice: Implications for women after federal incarceration. Studies in Social Justice, 8(1), 79-107.

Yuen, F., Arai, S.M., & Fortune,D. (2012). Community (dis)connection through leisure for women in prison. Leisure Sciences, 34(4), 281-297. 

Fortune, D., & Whyte, C. (2011). Re-imagininginstitutional spaces: The role of leisure in negotiating social change. Leisure/Loisir,35(1),19-35.

Fortune, D., & Mair, H. (2011). Notes from the sports club: Confessional tales of two researchers. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 40(4), 457-484.

Fortune, D., Pedlar, A., & Yuen, F.(2010). Leisure and social development in the context of women who offend. In H. Mair, S.M. Arai, & D.G. Reid (Eds.). Decentring work: Critical perspectives on leisure, development, and social change (pp.175-202).Calgary, AB: University of Calgary Press.

Fortune, D., Thompson, J., Pedlar, A., &Yuen, F. (2010). Social justice and women leaving prison: Beyond punishment and exclusion. Contemporary Justice Review, 13(1), 19-33.


Pedlar, A.,Yuen, F.C., & Fortune, D. (2008). Incarcerated women and leisure:The making of “good girls” out of “bad girls”? Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 42(1), 24-36.


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