Annual Report

Canuck Place is here for the journey

We are grateful for the Canuck Place team who enabled us to care for Cameron at home, to spend time loving him and every moment we had with him.

Sharon Bulger

Canuck Place Mom

Canuck Places gives you back the time you feel you’re losing with your child. It’s a unique place where you’re learning to live through the most difficult time in your life.

Sharon Bulger

Canuck Place Mom

Thanks from our Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer

You help brave and vulnerable hearts at Canuck Place.

We would like to begin by acknowledging that this past year has been challenging for the children and families we care for, our staff, volunteers, and the community who supports the complex care we provide.

We could not have anticipated the dire consequences of COVID-19, the duration, and the devastating impact on how we live. Families around the province faced more than the pandemic. Extraordinary events, including wildfires, floods, and economic challenges brought more stress. We are grateful for the Canuck Place
community that was resolute in their strength and resilience, standing by to ensure children and families received care.

We thank you! With your investment this last year:

  • Canuck Place increased patient bed days by 10% to 2,263 patient bed days
  • Canuck Place increased medical respite care by 24% ensuring families needing care during tumultuous times were given rest and renewal with 1,917 family members receiving overnight respite at our hospices
  • These increases were achieved with pandemic measures supporting a safe environment for our patients and staff

Every dollar that is donated helps Canuck Place care for terminally ill children, as well as supporting their families through the toughest of times. It also helps us plan and ensure Canuck Place care is here for years to come. Over the past year, through a combination of substantial and vital government pandemic support, our
team’s prudent cost control, and the generosity of our donors, Canuck Place has closed the financial year in a relatively stable position.

Caring for children and their families will always be at the heart of the mission of Canuck Place. The needs of patients and families are evolving as they face magnified uncertainty. Your support will continue to bring more in-home care, more virtual health supports, patient and family engagement, and expanded provincial care.

We are grateful that you are a champion for care of children and families and supporting their brave, vulnerable hearts

Gratitude from our Medical Director and Clinical Program Director

At Canuck Place, our goal is to optimize living and reduce suffering for infants, children, and youth aged 0–19 years and their families. Last year we had a 33% increase in inpatient admissions for children and families requiring Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) and a 27% increase in counselling sessions, supporting families through incredibly difficult times.

Canuck Place engages in an interdisciplinary approach to meet families where they are even as they face unimaginable circumstances. Our team is here to support them in discerning what matters most. A child with a life-threatening illness is on our program for an average of seven years.

The mission at Canuck Place is that these children receive holistic care that celebrates their values, and their lives—whether those lives are measured in days, weeks, or years.

We are partners, with you, in making the most of the time that is left for a child. Together, we empower children and families to make important choices:

  •  A choice for care focused on comfort, the relief of suffering and symptoms, and quality of life
  •  A choice for the place of end-of-life
  • And a choice for emotional, social, spiritual, and bereavement support

Our team continued to adapt and respond to public health measures, fluctuations in staff availability, and the evolving service needs of patients and families. Your support helped the Canuck Place clinical team meet care needs when families needed us most. This past year alone, the team supported an increase in in-person consults with children in-home or in-hospital by 36% and ensured 100% of urgent hospice admissions were met within 24 hours.

At Canuck Place, we are in the service of human beings. We value relationships with our patients and families and we view this relationship as a powerful instrument of healing in the face of suffering and uncertainty.

Thank you for your support as we strive to reach every family caring for a child with a life-threatening illness who needs help—so no one walks this journey alone.

A message from our Family Advisory Council Chair

Patients and families, our partners in care

The Canuck Place Family Advisory Council (FAC) supports Canuck Place in delivering the best care to children and families across BC and the Yukon. The FAC offers the perspective of families towards improving the quality, safety and care, the development of new policies and services, and enhancing the experiences of all families at Canuck Place.

In partnership with FAC, Canuck Place is investing in developing a comprehensive Family Engagement Model to improve patient and family care. Canuck Place supports the commitment to person-centred care by providing opportunities for meaningful collaboration and partnership with families to improve care and services.

We value the perspectives of patients and families to improve experiences and the quality of care Canuck Place provides. At Canuck Place we know the process of partnering with patients and families and acknowledging their living experience is a vital and valuable component to improving healthcare services.

As part of building a new model of partnership, Canuck Place has launched a Patient Family Engagement Coalition. The coalition will support best practice and create a structure to support family engagement opportunities to inform the
program development of pediatric palliative care.

Canuck Place family in family suite at Canuck Place Children's Hospice reading together

The Sui Family

one in a million

In August 2016, Jessica and Chris Sui were expecting their second child—their one in a million. At the routine 20-week ultrasound, they discovered their daughter, Charlotte, had several abnormalities, the most severe being a heart defect—a gene defect so rare that only one other family in the world was medically documented. The end was already known, but Charlotte’s journey had yet to be written.

The introduction to Canuck Place is never easy—and the Suis were resistant. “No parent wants to believe and accept that their child will die,” said Jessica. “But Canuck Place kindly supported our resistance, already walking us through uncertainty during those early days.”

“Part of the pain in losing a child is the loneliness of holding such an experience by ourselves,” said Jessica.

“Canuck Place reminded us that we were not alone, that others walk similar journeys, and that our hurt, doubts, questions, and even guilt were validated.”

canuck place family

The Wilms Family

where curiosity and wonder thrive 

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Source of funding

How can you help?

There are so many ways to give. You can support complex care for children with life-threatening illnesses and families in BC and the Yukon. With your help, Canuck Place will support them in living the end of life as fully as the beginning.


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