George Karlis
George Karlis
Full Professor

1993, Ph.D., Society and Leisure, Michigan State University
1987, M.Rec., Recreation Management, Acadia University
1985, B.Soc. Sc., Leisure Studies, University of Ottawa

MNT 343
613-562-5800 ext. 2452


George Karlis has been a full-time professor at the University of Ottawa since 1992. He is a native of Ottawa. He is globally recognized for his work on ethnicity, culture, society and leisure. The third edition of Dr. Karlis’ textbook Leisure and Recreation in Canadian Society: An Introduction (Thompson Educational Publishers) was published in 2016. This text is one of the most comprehensive works in the field and is required reading in universities and colleges throughout Canada. Dr. Karlis has published over 80 articles (over 60 peer reviewed) throughout the world in journals such as the Journal of Business and SocietySociety and LeisureEconomics and AthleticsJournal of Applied Recreation ResearchWorld Leisure and Recreation JournalNative Studies ReviewJournal of LeisurabilityCanadian Ethnic StudiesLeisure Information QuarterlyNew Education JournalVisions in Leisure and BusinessParks and Recreation Canada, and Society and Leisure.  He has delivered his research at over 100 international, national and local conferences, symposiums and workshops. Over the 1990s, Dr. Karlis was the most published author in one of Canada's premier peer-review leisure studies journals, the Journal of Applied Recreation Research, with six articles, three book reviews and an editorial introduction. Dr. Karlis has been an invited speaker at the National Hellenic Student Association Conference (Montreal, Quebec), Acadia Recreation Conference (Wolfville, Nova Scotia), European Association for Sport Management Congress (Nicosia, Cyprus), the Valencia Summit on New Trends in Management of Sport Events (Valencia, Spain) and the International Conference on the Olympic Dream (St Louis, U.S.). Internationally, Dr. Karlis is a visiting professor at the International Olympic Academy (Ancient Olympia, Greece), and has conducted research on sport and recreation services in Greece and Cyprus.

Research interests

  • Leisure in Canadian society
  • Ethnicity, cultural-specific recreation and cultural identity
  • Community development and recreation
  • Sport tourism, volunteerism and international sport events
  • Administration of sport and leisure services
  • Spirituality and leisure

Ongoing research

Dr. Karlis’s ongoing research centres primarily on leisure and recreation trends in Canadian society, more specifically, the evolution of leisure and recreation as an activity and service in Canada; the current state of condition of the leisure and recreation participation patterns and services in Canada; and an analysis of future directions in leisure and recreation in Canada. Dr. Karlis’ ongoing research has also focused on community change and improvement, particularly from a leisure, recreation and sport perspective, as well as the conceptualization of sport volunteer tourism and volunteerism at mega sport events.

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a wide range of synthetic chemicals that have an intrinsic resistance to natural degradation. A large fraction of these environmental contaminants accumulate for years in adipose tissue, the most important lipid-storage site of the human body. We study the effect of POPs exposure on adipose tissue functions to better understand the established link between POP exposure and the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans.


  • Karlis, G., and  E. Webb. Canadian Government Acts and Policies for Sport and Recreation: Past, Present, and Future. The International Journal of Sport and Society: Annual Review, 6: 25-36, 2016.
  • Karadakis, K., K. Kaplanidou, and G. Karlis. Host and Non-Host Resident Awareness and Perception of Legacies for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Society and Leisure, 2016.
  • Kartakoullis, N., Webb, E., Karlis, G., S. Poulakos, and C. Loizou. Leisure sport participation in Cyprus. International Journal of Sport and Recreation Management, 20(c): 40-57, 2015.
  • Locke, M.C., and G. Karlis. Canadian Women’s Hockey: Concerns and Challenges. The Sport Journal,  2015.
  • Gravelle., F., G. Karlis, J-M. Adjizian, and D. Auger. A Model for a Community Initiative Analysis. Society and Leisure, 38(2):184-194, 2015.
  • Karlis, G., Sport and Community Building: The Case of an Ethnic Community Organization. Society and Leisure, 38(2): 239-248, 2015.
  • Kartakoullis, N., G. Karlis, T. Walker, and M.C. Locke. Good Governance and Management Practices: The Perspectives of Cyprus National Sport Federations Administrators, International Journal of Sport Management, Recreation and Tourism, 19(d): 62-74, 2015.
  • Gravelle., F., G. Karlis, and E. Rothschild-Checroune.  The “Football Family” as a Supportive Academic Environment: A Study of Varsity Athletes. The Sport Journal, 2014.
  • Karlis, G. Aged Immigrants: Still Forgotten Clients in the Provision of Recreation? The Canadian Journal for Social Research, 3(1): 24-34, 2013.
  • Karlis, G., The Olympic Volunteer and Olympic Education: Suggestions for Administrators of Olympic Games, Voluntaris, 2: 116-126., 2013.
  • Rothschild-Chechrone, E., F. Gravelle, D. Dawson, and G. Karlis, Balancing Academic and Athletic Time Management: A Qualitative Exploration of First Year Student Athletes' University Football Experiences, Society and Leisure, 35(2): 243-261, 2012.
  • Karadakis, K., K. Kaplanidou, and G. Karlis. Event Leveraging of Mega Sport Events: A SWOT Analysis, International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 1(3):170-185, 2010.
  • Donohoe, H., and G. Karlis. Tourism, Transformation, and Environmental Sustainability: A Geographical Perspective. Society and Leisure, 32(2): 261-298, 2009.
  • Kartakoullis, N., G. Karlis, T. Kriemadis, S. Pouloukas and C. Loizou, Sport tourism in Cyprus: A study of international visitors. The Sport Journal, 2009.
  • Kartakoullis, N., G. Karlis, M. Loizou, and A. Lyras, Utilizing Sport to Build Trust: The Case of Cyprus, European Journal of Sport and Society, 6 (1): 71-84, 2009.
  • Dawson, D., F. Gravelle, G. Karlis, and K. Kilrea, Interest and Participation of University Students in Arts and Cultural Leisure: A Canadian Case, LARnet-The Cyber Journal of Applied Leisure and Recreation Research, 1-19, 2008.
  • Kartakoullis, N., G. Karlis, T. Kriemadis, S. Pouloukas, and C. Loizou, The Potential of Cyprus as a Sport Tourism Market: Viewpoints of Municipal Administrators, e-Review of Tourism Research,, 6(4), 79-89, 2008.

  • Kartakoullis, N., & Karlis, G. Developing Cyprus as a Sport Tourism Destination: The Results of a SWOT Analysis. Sport Tourism Journal, 7(4),  pp. 1-16, 2002.
  • Karlis, G., Grafanaki, S., & Abbas, J. Leisure and Spirituality: A Theoretical Model. Society and Leisure, 25(1): pp. 205-214, 2002.
  • Shaw, S., & Karlis, G. Sister-City Partnerships and Cultural Recreation: The Case of Scarborough, Canada and Sagamihara, Japan. World Leisure and Recreation Journal, 44(4): pp. 44-50, 2002

Conferences and presentations

  • Language and Cultural Maintenance in Canada: The Case of an Ethnic Language School. The Association for Canadian Studies/Canadian Ethnic Studies Association 5th Annual Conference, Gatineau, Quebec, October 24. (Co-Presenter: S. Zoupa).
  • Canadian Government Acts and Policies for Sport and Recreation: Past, Present and Future. The 5th International Conference on Sport and Society, Toronto, Ontario, July 31. (Co-Presenter: E. Webb).
  • Leisure, Recreation and Tourism: The Crisis in Greece. NHSA Conference, Montreal, Quebec, October 26, 2013.
  • Preserving Canada’s National Sport: Sociocultural and Demographic Challenges. ATINER’s 13th Annual International Conference on Sports: Economic, Management, Marketing and Social Aspects, Athens, Greece, July 9, 2013.
  • Sport and Community Building: The Case of an Ethnic Community Organization, Sport and Society Conference, Cambridge, UK, July 25, 2012
  • Is Leisure a Relevant Concept in 2012, Acadia Recreation Conference, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, May 23, 2012.
  • Leisure and Cultural Identity. Paper presented at the Cycle of Cultural Activities on the World Cup of Soccer 2010 Conference, UNAM Canada, Gatineau, Quebec, June 9, 2010.
  • Arts and Cultural Identity: The Perspectives of Artists at the Greek Festival of Ottawa, Canada. Paper presented at the 4th International Conference on Arts and Society, Venice, Italy, July 30, 2009.
  • Recreation and Christian Youth Ministries: The Ottawa Chapter of the Greek Orthodox Youth of America. Paper presented at the CSKLS conference, Ottawa,Ontario, June 11, 2009.
  • The Sport Voluntourism Experience:  Case Studies of Volunteers at the Olympics. Paper presented at the Great Western Travel and Tourism Recreation Association (GWTTRA) 2009 Symposium-The Voluntourism Effect: Case Studies and Investigations, San Diego, California, March 19, 2009.