6 million Canadians have arthritis. Without action, 9 million will have arthritis by 2040.

The Arthritis Society’s bold five-year strategic plan, Accelerating Impact, will help us reach more people, fund more research, innovate and change the conversation to make a tangible impact on arthritis.

We are fighting the fire of arthritis with the fire of research, advocacy, innovation, information and support.


Fueling better treatments on the road to a cure

As Canada’s largest charitable funder of arthritis research, the Arthritis Society plays a vital role in improving treatments and health outcomes for people living with arthritis, while leading the way to a cure. This year, in addition to awarding 24 new grants through our research competitions, we commissioned a study to shed light on the impact of osteoarthritis in Canada, particularly on young adults. And in February, our 3rd annual Canadian Arthritis Research Conference brought together 180 scientific and consumer experts from across the globe to inspire new avenues of investigation.

2021-2022 Highlights:

Graph - 98 active research projects underway
Graph - 48 operating grants, 34 training awards, 14 career development awards, 2 team grants
Graph - 47% increase in direct research investment
Graph - 249 researchers supported at 30 research institutes across Canada
Graph - 5 research priorities - Pain, Osteoarthritis, Inflammatory arthritis, Childhood arthritis, Work


Fueling public policies that empower people with arthritis

The Arthritis Society is committed to elevating awareness of arthritis as a serious disease and ensuring patients across the country have equitable, affordable and timely access to effective care and treatments. Inspired by our volunteer Advocacy Committee and working in collaboration with partners, we are a leading voice on key issues of concern to people with arthritis. While the ongoing pandemic hindered our efforts to have as many engagements with policy makers as planned, the year was highlighted by significant advocacy progress.

2021-2022 Highlights:

Graph - 33 engagements with policy makers and advocates
Graph - 41 public policy decisions influenced throughout Canada
Graph - Canadians’ 6th top health concern

Read The Wait: Addressing Canada’s Critical Backlog of Hip and Knee Replacement Surgeries [PDF], our June 2021 call-to-action report which offers solutions to address both the pandemic-related backlog and pre-existing challenges.

Judy Dickson

“Being part of the Advocacy Committee has been a tremendous opportunity for me to learn, and to also give back, by advocating for our elected officials to make arthritis a priority and ensure Canadians have access to appropriate arthritis treatment and care.
~ Judy Dickson, 15+ year volunteer in Nova Scotia


Fueling solutions to the fire of arthritis through transformational change

Because arthritis desperately needs innovative solutions, the Arthritis Society is investing in high-risk, high-reward research, collaborating on social impact projects and uncovering and tapping into bright and emerging entrepreneurial talent to accelerate their success at getting their ideas to the people who need them most.

2021-2022 Highlights:

Graph - 12 inaugural Ignite Research grants awarded for high-risk, high-reward ideas
Graph - 1 Social Impact initiative launched

Our first Social Impact project will implement an innovative screening method using ultrasound and artificial intelligence to identify hip dysplasia in infants. Our vision is to prevent osteoarthritis in later life that is caused by hip dysplasia by screening every newborn in Canada with this new, evidence-based intervention.

4 inaugural Arthritis Ideator Awards granted.
Images of judges. L to R: Michelle Laflamme and Alex Fuentes, KneeKG; Matthew Rosato, PROVA Innovations; Lianna Genovese, Guided Hands; Dr. Linda Li, OPERAS

Information and Support

Fueling resilient lives through the power of information and support

Through our support programs, we are helping people with arthritis to be more resilient. As we continue to evolve and develop new evidence-based resources on disease and lifestyle management, we are empowering them to thrive.

2021-2022 Highlights:

Graph - 65,731 Canadians received direct or one-on-one support through our education and information programs
Graph - 61% arthritis talks, 31.8% AREP, 7.2% arthritis line and other
21 new digital resources introduced, including translations in Simplified and Traditional Chinese
108,000 flourish newsletter subscriber
121,000+ followers on social media
337 families thrived through our virtual and in-person child and parent programs

Last year, 2,540 people reached out to our Arthritis Line, a toll-free telephone and email information support service run by trained volunteers.
“So many people call in because they are lost and don’t know where to turn for information. Volunteering for the Arthritis Line is a wonderful way for me to make a difference and help others. I get to be on the frontlines and see the impact.” ~ Oneida Baxhia, Arthritis Line volunteer

The Chang Family

“Arthritis is a disease that can manifest in people of all ages – young and old. At the age of four, my daughter was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). We have been working with an exceptional team of healthcare providers to successfully manage her JIA for the past 9 years. When we learned that research in juvenile arthritis was limited, our family foundation was inspired to support the Arthritis Society and the extraordinary researchers who are diligently working to eradicate the disease."
~ Brigette Chang-Addorisio
President, Raymond Chang Foundation