Vancouver’s Canuck Place is getting a $5-million annual commitment from the BC government.
In a press release this morning, BC Finance Minister Mike de Jong and Health Minister Terry Long announced that, beginning in 2018, the province will provide $5-million per year in funding for the hospice. It also said a one-time, $4-million funding round will be provided immediately.
“Canuck Place Children’s Hospice provides comprehensive pediatric palliative care services and supports to B.C. children and their families and helps those dealing with end-of-life care maintain a sense of normalcy,” said de Jong. “Implementing a sustainable funding model will provide the hospice with the consistency needed to plan stable services and supports for families that are experiencing incredibly difficult and emotional times in their lives.”
According to its most recent annual report, the hospice had revenue of $12.43-million in the year ended March, 2016. Just over $5-million came from the province, and $6.49-million was raised through donations. Interest and the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice Foundation accounted for the remaining $917,131. The society had expenses of $11.17-million, the bulk of which was staffing costs.
Major donors to Canuck Place include The Ledcor Group of Companies, the Canucks for Kids Fund, The Bank of Montreal, and the Blackham Family Foundation. Each year, the Vancouver Canucks host the Canucks for Kids Fund Telethon, and for two decades Canuck players have been mainstays at the West Side facility.
“I can’t tell you how much strength and and inspiration I’ve taken from families and children and how they react and act in difficult situations, said former Canucks captain and current team president Trevor Linden in a 2006 interview. “The inspiration that you can get from these children is amazing, just being able to get to know them is pretty inspiring. When you go to the house, it’s a real magical place. Even adults who go there become children because there is so much fun and love and it’s a great atmosphere there. There’s a lot of activities that even with kids in wheelchairs that you can still do and enjoy.”
Founded in 1995, Canuck Place is located in a 16,000 square foot mansion that was built in 1910 by a Scottish lumber baron named William Tait. The house was ultimately gifted to the City of Vancouver, which now leases the property to Canuck Place for a dollar a year. The organization says it reaches just 20 to 25 per cent of BC children and families in need of pediatric palliative care, and it recently opened a second location, in Abbotsford, a nearby suburb of Vancouver.
“It’s never easy facing end-of-life care, much less when it is a child,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “Families with children needing pediatric palliative care look to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice for services and supports. This funding will provide Canuck Place the means to continue helping families and their children work through terminal illness.”
Information about donating to Canuck Place can be found here.
Below: Trevor Linden on Canuck Place