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because...1 in 88 individuals have autism, CAN is dedicated to providing programs for those living with autism throughout our province.

CONTENTS 06 08 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 25

Significant Achievements Message from the Founders Message from Manny Malhotra Mission, Vision and Values Statement Message from the Chief Executive Officer Family Adventure Series I CAN Play Series I CAN Get Fit Program Camp Programs Social Programs Programs for Improving Employment iRelated Skills

26 28 29 30 32 33 34 36

We CAN Be Friends Program Provincial Resource Centre Volunteer Programs Community Events & CAN Van 29 Interactive Autism Exhibit Fundraising Year in Review Donors & Sponsors Testimonials



FOUNDERS Paolo & Clara Aquilini

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Clara Aquilini Charmaine Crooks James Gallagher Katy Harandi Robert Standerwick Julia Ward Marie Westby Mark Zastre

Board Member Board Member Board Member Chair, President Board Member Board Member Board Member Treasurer



HR COMMITTEE Charmaine Crooks Paolo Aquilini Robert Standerwick


RISK MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE James Gallagher Robert Standerwick



Chan & Co.

Dot Clouston Norah Flaherty Jenny Gorton Katy Harandi Tina Linton Laura Patrick Marie Westby Julia Ward

SOCIETY MEMBERS Yvonne Coelho Jim Crescenzo Lillian Giusti Michael Guenter Lawrence Ho Kevin Hussey Michelle Kambolis Glenn Laufer Graham Matthews Steve Michoulas Sean Mitchell Saeedeh Salem Carolyn Scholtz Dorothy Wong Wes Wong

STAFF Katy Harandi Deborah Louvier

Chief Executive Officer Chief Operating Officer

Noah Morantz Stephanie Jull Natalie Hagarty Megan Hussey Isabel Angeles

Director of Development Director of Sports & Recreation/Autism Consultant Program Manager Volunteer & Resource Manager Accountant

Ryan Yao Ali Gorsak Emily Stuible Marco Palmeri Samantha Jenkins Lindsay Moore Amy Turcotte

Sports & Recreation Coordinator Sports & Recreation Coordinator Community Programs Coordinator Family Adventures Coordinator We CAN Be Friends Program Coordinator Marketing Coordinator Program Services Coordinator

T: 604-685-4049 F: 604-685-4018 203 West 6th Avenue Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 1K7


WE WANT TO THANK YOU because‌ your support helps demystify autism Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of disorders, more generally referred to as ‘autism.’ ASDs are diagnosed based on difficulties with social interaction, communication and behaviour, but there is significant variability amongst individuals who share the diagnosis. ASDs occur in all racial, ethnic and social groups, but are almost five times more likely to occur in boys than girls.

because...your support helps enrich lives Support from our donors, board members, volunteers, employees, service providers, committee members, and the community at large, enables us to continue enrich the lives of individuals and families living with autism in British Columbia. For only $25 per year, families living with autism can access sports, recreational, social and employment related programs as well as a multitude of autism- related resources. The annual membership charge of $25 is an eligible expense through the Autism Funding Unit.



SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS Below is an overview of this year’s accomplishments made possible because of supporters like you.

2076 members attended the Family Adventure events

141 family members

45 children were

attended the weekend family camp

sent to weeklong day camp


young adults attended the I CAN Get Fit program


132 children

35 children

attended the I CAN Skate program

attended the weekend kids camp

56 children

10 young adults

participated in the I CAN Bike program

participated in the Soup from the Soul program

104 elementary

775 resources were

schools across BC participated in the We CAN Be Friends program

loaned to families, teachers and service providers throughout BC

506 children participated in the soccer program


young adults participated in the pilot of The Hotel Prep program


km travelled, attendance at 18 events , and visits to 15 communities

202 children participated in the I CAN Swim program

187 individuals participated in the Sociables program for teens and young adults

5359 hours generously donated by volunteers



MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDERS OF THE CANUCKS AUTISM NETWORK Our focus this past year, as always, has been on improving the quality of life for families living with autism, and we are once again proud of the year’s accomplishments. In addition, we are thrilled to have recently celebrated five years of empowering individuals with autism. However, there is still much work to be done. We recognize the rising need for our programs, as well as the rising need for your support. With 1 in 88 individuals now being diagnosed, we continue to see the demand for our programs increase, with hundreds of new families looking to CAN for support. Having raised a son on the spectrum, we understand that most families living with autism are financially burdened, and some also geographically isolated, which is why CAN strives to offer accessible programs throughout BC. Your generosity allows us to offer our transformational programs year-round, at little to no cost. You have helped lay the ground for confidence - building, inclusion, skills development and friendship. However, we aspire not only to be the leader in programming, but to lead the way to more accepting and inclusive communities, through initiatives such as the CAN Van Interactive Autism Exhibit. Our vision for CAN is limitless due to the relentless dedication and incredible generosity of all of our supporters. We especially want to extend our thanks to the Canucks for Kids Fund, the Fishing for Kids West Coast Fishing Club Tournament, Finning Canada, North Growth Foundation and Macquarie for their inspirational generosity. Thanks to your support, we look to the future with renewed energy and excitement as we endeavor to reach every household affected by autism in our province. We are truly grateful to you- our donors, partners, volunteers, staff and members-for your unending commitment to families affected by autism in our province. We are honoured and excited to be on this journey together and we look forward to many more future successes as CAN continues to grow and evolve.

Paolo and Clara Aquilini


A MESSAGE FROM THE CANUCKS AUTISM NETWORK SPOKESPERSON, MANNY MALHOTRA, OF THE VANCOUVER CANUCKS Hi, I’m Manny Malhotra and I hope you’ll join me in my quest to learn more about autism. Through my involvement with the Canucks Autism Network, I have learned that each individual affected by autism is unique and inspiring in their own way. I have also learned that autism does not only affect the individual who is diagnosed, but the family as a whole. Thanks to the sports, recreational, social and employment related programs offered by the Canucks Autism Network, these families and individuals can feel supported, included and a part of their community. I truly hope you will take a few minutes to learn about the organization and ways that you can help support us in our efforts to enrich the lives of families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder in BC. Together we can help spread awareness and acceptance.



CORE VALUES FAMILY we value experiences that are designed for the entire family enabling them to spend quality time as a unit

PROGRAM QUALITY we value high quality programs that are safe, supportive, supervised, inclusive, accepting and embracing

CONTINUOUS LEARNING we value continuous learning and are committed to using ongoing research to continually deliver innovative, effective and quality programming

COLLABORATION we value building networks with organizations that share the same values and goals

COMMUNITY we value active participation in the community and support local community initiatives in order to build capacity

ACCESSIBILITY we value the provision of programs for all families living with autism eliminating financial barriers

BUILDING CONFIDENCE we value the provision of programs which build self confidence, self esteem, self care and sense of purpose in work, play and life


VISION STATEMENT To be a leader in enhancing the quality of life for families living with autism in British Columbia.

MISSION STATEMENT To provide year round, innovative, high quality sports, recreational, social and vocational programs for individuals and families living with autism and to build awareness and capacity though community networks across British Columbia.



We are proudly celebrating the fifth year of operations of the Canucks Autism Network. It is with great pleasure to state that today, CAN is BC’s leading provider of sports, social and work related programs for individuals with ASD and their families. CAN is driven by its visionary founders, dedicated board of directors, enthusiastic staff and caring volunteers. We are all committed to providing the best opportunities to enrich the lives of those challenged daily with the heartbreaking obstacles of community inclusion, integration and acceptance. CAN is not only about providing programs, but raising awareness, educating the community and building a network of resources to benefit all stakeholders in this autism puzzle. Our work is having an impact throughout the province. We are delighted to have completed our exciting and bold strategic plan, which is a roadmap for our organization, allowing us to deliver into the future on our vision. It is through our strategic plan that we aim to touch every family in British Columbia affected by ASD, build capacity and maintain financial sustainability. With passionate and dedicated staff, coupled with unparalleled community support, CAN is building on the inspiration of the children and young adults we serve. I encourage you to take the time to browse through our website to learn more about the Canucks Autism Network and how you can help us on this journey.

Katy Harandi



FAMILY ADVENTURE SERIES because...parents of children with autism are hesitant to attend public events

Many families affected by autism find it challenging to participate in activities in the community. They can be hesitant due to a fear of being stared at, disturbing others, confronting long line-ups, or having their child throw a tantrum or bolt The CAN Family Adventure Series has been designed to help minimize these barriers and offer access to activities that are fun for the whole family. CAN offers various Family Adventures throughout the year, including the Ghost Train at Stanley Park, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens’ Festival of Lights, movie nights, our annual Party in the Park, and the Rogers Arena Family Skate.




I CAN PLAY SERIES because...children with autism participate in fewer sports activities

The I CAN Play Soccer program has been specifically designed to promote the physical and social development of children with autism by providing an environment and pace of instruction that is modified to meet their needs. Siblings are also welcome to participate in this program. The specific soccer skills the program focuses on are dribbling, passing, and shooting. Each activity is done as a group to build the team atmosphere and a sense of community. The focus of these activities is on team bonding, listening skills, leadership skills, following directions, and taking turns.

The I CAN Skate program is an adapted skating program for children with autism, designed to teach basic skating skills. The goal of the program is to increase the participants’ ability to skate, enabling them to engage in skating opportunities in their community. The pace of the class is adjusted for the various skill levels of the participants involved. Having a skilled instructor and strong volunteer support allows the participants to have a positive skating experience.


I CAN PLAY SERIES because...children with autism are 5 times more likely to drown

The I CAN Swim program can accommodate a maximum of five participants (diagnosed with autism) per class with the goal of teaching basic swimming skills and introducing water safety.

The I CAN Bike program has been specifically designed to promote the physical and social development of children with autism by providing an environment and pace of instruction that is modified to meet their needs.

Each half hour lesson covers basic swim skills, however, levels are modified to accommodate the varying abilities of the participants. The instructor, coaches and volunteers support participants to ensure that each child is challenged appropriately based on their ability.

The specific bike skills the program focuses on are safety skills, pedaling, steering, turning, stopping, gliding and balancing. The focus of these activities is on developing listening skills, cooperative play, and confidence, as well as handling noise, following directions and taking turns..

Source: Myers, S. (2012) “Review of Mortality in Autism Drowning.� The Association for Science in Autism Treatment.



I CAN GET FIT because...individuals with autism are 40% more likely to be overweight

The I CAN Get Fit program has been specifically designed to promote physical activity and confidence in youth and young adults with ASD by providing an environment and pace of instruction that meets their unique learning needs. The goal of the program is to provide individuals with ASD the opportunity to access a fitness facility while learning the etiquette, techniques, safety and social factors associated with exercising independently. The program focuses on specific training components: warm-up/aerobic, core stability, strength training, agility/coordination/balance, stretching, warming up and cooling down. The focus of these activities is on cultivating independence, confidence, social skills, fitness etiquette and friendships, as well as following directions and taking turns.

Curtin C, Anderson SE, Must A, Bandini L: The prevalence of obesity in children with autism: a secondary data analysis using nationally representative data from the National Survey of Children’s Health. BMC Pediatrics 2010, 10 (11):1-5.


OVERNIGHT CAMPS because...parents of children with autism find it difficult to send their kids to camp

I CAN Go To Camp is a weekend opportunity for children with autism and their siblings to get away and enjoy a weekend in the great outdoors. Participants get to enjoy a variety of typical camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, rock climbing, campfires, arts and crafts and much more! There is also a high ratio of volunteers to ensure a successful camp experience for all participants.

The We CAN Go To Camp program is a weekend opportunity for the whole family to enjoy an outdoor experience in an organized group setting. This program is designed to encourage interactions between family members and provide opportunities for networking between families. Participants get to enjoy a range of indoor and outdoor activities, as well as have some free time to enjoy the beautiful camp settings.



Summer in the City and Jump into Spring are weeklong day camps that enable participants to take part in a different adventure each day, from visits to the Vancouver Aquarium to trips to Splashdown Park and Playland. Both daytime camps have been designed to encourage social interaction and cooperation among participants, and teach important life skills, including preparing meals and navigating the transit system.


SOCIAL PROGRAMS because...teens with autism want to fit in with their peer group

The Sociables is a once-a-month social group for teens, ages 13-17, and young adults, ages 18-26, that allows the participants to practice social skills while engaging in typical and age-appropriate activities. CAN staff and volunteers model positive behaviours and encourage the participants to explore a social life together outside of structured programs.


PROGRAMS FOR IMPROVING EMPLOYMENT RELATED SKILLS because...only 20% of adults with autism are employed in their community

Soup from the Soul is an employment related program that teaches young adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder basic culinary skills. Under the direction of a professional and experienced chef instructor, participants learn the expectations of a commercial kitchen while preparing soup for a local charity.

The Hotel Prep program provides support for young adults living with autism who are improving their skills to obtain future employment. The hotel environment provides a variety of skill training opportunities in housekeeping, hospitality and bell-hop. In addition, CAN staff work with the participants to help train them for the social demands of the job.

Kessler Foundation (2010); Taylor & Selzer. (2011). Employment and post-secondary educational activities for young adults with autism spectrum mental Disorders, 41, 566-74.

disorders during the transition to adulthood. Journal of Autism and Develop-


WE CAN BE FRIENDS because... students with autism are misunderstood and excluded

We CAN Be Friends is a curriculum-based elementary school program that teaches all learners the values of friendship, empathy and inclusion by using grade appropriate lesson plans, autism specific resources and awareness raising activities for the entire school.

Goals of the program are:  Teach all students about understanding differences  Educate students about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)  Encourage friendship, empathy, and inclusion among children with ASD and their peers  Promote autism awareness


In the 2011/12 school year, 30,479 students in 104 schools across British Columbia participated in the We CAN Be Friends program Ten-Broeck Chaffey-Burke Kitchener Elementary Montecito Elementary Nelson Elementary Second Street Community School East Chilliwack Yarrow Elementary Citadel Middle School Ecole Glen Nestor Our Lady of Fatima Gray Elementary Hawthorne Immaculate Conception School Sacred Heart Alex Hope Topham Elementary Albion Alexander Robinson Kanaka Creek Albert McMahon West Heights Norgate Community School Edith McDermott Richmond Christian School St. Joseph the Worker Tomsett Elementary Squamish Elementary School Betty Huff Chantrell Creek Green Timbers Elementary George Greenaway MB Sanford Star of the Sea Charles Dickens Elementary Elsie Roy Emily Carr False Creek Elementary Henry Hudson Laurier Annex Lord Nelson Lord Roberts Mount Pleasant Nightingale Our Lady of Perpetual Help Our Lady of Sorrows St. Augustine St. Francis of Assisi Irwin Park Bert Edward Science and Technology School

Ocean Grove Westcot Elementary Georgia Park Elementary Ladysmith Intermediate Georgia Avenue Community School Eagle View Elementary Cheslakees/Sunset Elementary Assumption School Henderson Elementary Kelset Elementary Fulford Community Elementary Happy Valley Cordova Bay School Lochside School View Royal Twin Rivers Elementary Pinewood Elementary Adam Robertson David Thompson Elementary Kay Bingham Elementary Skelep Westmount Elementary Arrow Heights Elementary Columbia Park Elemetnary Frank J Mitchell Elementary Carlin Elementary Harwood Elementary Tremblay Elementary GW Carlson CM Finch Twain Sullivan Elementary Roy Wilcox Morfee Elementary Tahayghen Malaspina Elementary Pineview Elementary Ron Brent Elementary Westwood Elementary Barlow Creek Elementary Dragon Lake Elementary Walnut Park Elementary School Thornhill Uplands Elementary Tumbler Ridge Elementary Mountview Elementary Nesika St. Francis Xavier School St. Joseph's Elementary St. Jude School St. Mary's Elementary St.Patrick's School Trafalgar Elementary Van Horne Elementary Vancouver Hebrew Academy


PROVINCIAL RESOURCE CENTRE because...families spend thousands of dollars navigating the therapy puzzle

The CAN Provincial Resource Centre (PRC) is a lending library which houses over 600 autism related books, DVDs, and games for children, parents, teachers and caregivers. The resources are available at no charge to CAN members (families, service providers, and We CAN Be Friends schools). Resources are also shipped free of charge with return shipping included.


VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS because... we need volunteers to run well supported programs

Volunteers who generously contribute their time and energy are the backbone of our organization. Not only do they enable the delivery of our programs and events, they ensure the success of our offerings by selflessly contributing their time, positivity and encouragement. The generosity of these individuals is exhibited in the sheer volume of hours that they have contributed, totaling close to 5400 hours over the past year! Our volunteers are made up of an incredible and diverse group of people, with ranging abilities and experience. Whether they are high school students, retirees, service providers, parents, siblings of those with ASD, or other giving individuals, every volunteer makes a difference. By becoming a CAN volunteer, individuals are given the opportunity to gain valuable experience working with children, teens and young adults with autism, and our hope is that these individuals will share their knowledge to create more inclusive and accepting communities.



AWARENESS EVENTS/ CAN VAN INTERACTIVE AUTISM EXHIBIT because...there is a lack of understanding, acceptance and awareness of autism in the community at large

An important part of our mission at the Canucks Autism Network is to build awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder in communities throughout British Columbia in order to help develop more support and understanding for those affected by autism. CAN organizes and participates in a number of activities and events each year, including World Autism Awareness Day, the Canucks Community Corner, and various community events and fairs.

The CAN Van is an interactive, mobile display that travels to communities throughout British Columbia with the goal of educating the public about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The CAN Van also provides information on the programs, activities and events offered by CAN.

FUNDRAISING because... we need your support now more than ever

The demand for CAN programs continues to increase and so does the funding we receive from our wonderful donors, sponsors and partners. We are so incredibly grateful to all of the many individuals, corporations and foundations that have supported CAN over the past year. We especially want to extend our thanks to the Canucks for Kids Fund, the Fishing for Kids West Coast Fishing Club Tournament, Finning Canada, North Growth Foundation and Macquarie for their inspirational generosity.



YEAR IN REVIEW because... financial sustainability and accountability is an essential component of our strategic plan USES OF FUNDS





Programs, Future Expansions & Internally Restricted Funds


Fundraising & Development


Administrative Expenses


Designated & Undesignated Donations


Community Events & Sponsorship


Membership & Interest Revenue

A very special thanks to our core beneficiary, the Canucks for Kids Fund, who generously provides CAN with essential funds, and our families with experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.



Providing quality programs and events that enhance the lives of individuals and families living with autism is only possible because of the vital support of our donors. We would like to recognize all supporters who have contributed to the advancement of our mission with cumulative gifts greater than $1000.

Professional League $1 Million + Canucks for Kids Fund Fishing for Kids West Coast Fishing Club Tournament Sponsors & Donors

Major Junior League ($100,000-$999,999) Brian Jessel Cabriolet Gala Finning Canada Macquarie and Macquarie Foundation North Growth Foundation

Junior League ($50,000-$99,000) BMO Bank of Montreal Macquarie Hawksworth Dinner Donors & Sponsors

Bantam League ($10,000-$49,000) Best Quality Roofing Tee Up Fore Autism Bieksa’s Buddies Charity Hockey Game Face the World Foundation Home Restaurants Meadow Gardens Golf Tournament Michael BublÊ Red Card Sports Bar Scotiabank Charity Challenge Steve Nash Foundation TELUS Vancouver Foundation

Atom League ($1,000-$9,999) BC Challenger Baseball Little League Golf Classic Best Buy Canada Brian Grange Burberry Bruce Knight Caleb Wacholtz Carina Bittel Clark Wilson Corix Golf for Kids Event David McBeath David Sidoo Elena Sapienza Elsie Roy Elementary School F.E. Russell Hamber Foundation Industrial Investments Ltd. Isabella Palmeri Jaimie Rosenwirth Jesse Norsworthy Julie Catling Katie Gove Kinetic Security Inc. Lovera Capital Corp.

M.Ranallo Mitchell Freedland North Vancouver Community Foundation Nadine Landa Nevin Chernick North Coast Nightmares Roller Derby Team Price Waterhouse Coopers Raise-It-4-Ryp Rennie Marketing Systems Saccomaniacs Golf Tournament Samuel Keribo Shelley Hilliard Sinneave Family Foundation Skima Holdings Ltd. TELUS Employee Fund Tides Canada Toscan Foundation Vancouver Talmud Torah Wayne Deans West Vancouver Community Foundation Wolrige Foundation Young Foundation Anonymous


We graciously acknowledge our partners and supporters who have welcomed us into their facilities, provided in-kind resources and services and have assisted us with the delivery of our programs.

A&B Party Rentals Aquilini Investment Group Autism Community Training (ACT) Basketball BC / Steve Nash Basketball Bean Around the World Britannia Community Centre Burnaby 2nd Street Elementary School Canucks Sports and Entertainment CBC Chilliwack Corn Maze City of Surrey Coast Hotel Colorific Digital Printing Solutions Culinary Capers Delta Land Development Doug Perks, Team Aquatic Supplies Dueck GM Eaglequest Golf Club Easter Seals Camp Shawnigan Fitness 2000 Full Moon Rentals Gallery 221A Goodbye Graffiti Grouse Mountain Hawksworth Restaurant Holiday Inn Express Hastings Street Hollywood 3 Cinemas La Stella Winery La Vieux Pin Winery


Langara Family YMCA Ledcor Left Field Cider Company More Sports Odin Books Pacific Newspaper Group Pedalheads Pop Chips RayCam Community Centre Recreation Excellence Rogers Arena Rosewood Hotel Georgia Saanich Historical Artifact Society Salmon’s Rentals Sand Hill Elementary School School District of New Westminster Stillwood Camp and Conference Centre The Tea House at Stanley Park The Tenors Tong Louis YMCA University of British Columbia Upright Décor Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club Vancouver Community College, Culinary Department Vancouver Convention Centre Vancouver Parks Board VanDusen Botanical Garden Vera’s Burger Shack West Coast Fishing Club

Price Waterhouse Cooper

The Tong Louie YMCA

Rogers Arena

Vancouver Canucks

Squoia Group of Restaurants

The Globe and Mail

Aquilini Investment Group

Brian Grange, The West Coast Fishing Club

Fitness 2000


Allegra Print & Imaging False Creek

New Life Mission

Shelley Hilliard Design

The Holiday Inn Express Hastings Street


Chef David Hawksworth

The University of British Columbia

Drumkeeran House

The Langara YMCA

Van Dusen Botanical Garden

UBC Botanical Garden

Slainte by the Pier

Red Card

Pacific Angler

Goodbye Graffiti


TESTIMONIALS setting offered “The program and portunity to my daughter an op g skills, gain actual cookin lary and increase her vocabu , meet new knowledge of food me experience friends and gain so on public transit.”

ial “It was a very spec be moment for us to ng able to do somethi like that. We rarely get a chance to do things as a family e given our hectic lif ce and it was really ni like to attend an event that. Thank you to everyone at CAN.”

“Students are more accepting of student differences. For example, barely an eye is turned onto the child who wears headphones during noisy assemblies. Kids are aware of what autism is and many misconceptions have been corrected.”

“I have worked with her for 6 years and I have never seen her so happy, content and in her element! To see her smiling and enjoying her days with peers , who did not notice her unique needs and deficits, was an amazing experience for her and for me. I cried with joy and pride as she tried new things at ease with her environment!”

“Thank you so much for the wonderful opportunity you have provided my son this summer, to connect with others and develop his work-related skills. Your support is very much appreciated by everyone in our family!”

”What CAN emphasizes is the social-connection element that is essential to any successful programming. One youth I support is normally aggravated and put-off by any social activity. I remember picking up this individual from the CAN program in a state of laughter and telling jokes, even singing! ““

Special thanks to the following donors who have made a significant contribution to the Canucks Autism Network over the past year.

Canucks Autism Network Annual General Report 2013  
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