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Arthritis Society Canada empowers seven community projects across Canada

Community Action Grants, launched in 2022, fund projects that address the needs of people living with arthritis in underserved communities.  

Seven projects across Canada bringing community and support to people living with arthritis were awarded Arthritis Society Canada’s Community Action Grants.  The program funds locally informed solutions that foster a sense of belonging and share opportunities for people to connect and learn from one another.  Projects will take place between September 2023 and August 2024. 

“Community Action Grants were launched because everyone living with arthritis, no matter where they live, deserves access to care, resources and community support,” says Trish Barbato, president and CEO at Arthritis Society Canada. “This year, we have a selection of exciting new projects addressing critical needs in underserved communities, and we look forward to seeing their impact.”  

Projects supported by Community Action Grants like Thriving with Arthritis run by Flourish 55+ Healthy Activity Society in Nova Scotia are bringing health education to areas that have gaps in access to arthritis care and supports. Program leader, Lisa LeBlanc, says, “Living with arthritis is an isolating experience – accessing care and finding support can be challenging. The funding from Arthritis Society Canada will help people navigate their symptoms in a supportive environment.” 

Arthritis is a misunderstood disease that affects 1 in 5 Canadians. The impact of this disease goes well beyond the physical – it slowly destroys a person’s mental, emotional and financial health and increases risk factors for many other diseases. Therapeutic exercise, education and peer support can help people manage their arthritis.

All seven Community Action Grants were made possible by generous donations.  Project details can be found below: 

Living With And Managing Arthritis (LWAMA) Program, Kamloops, British Columbia 
The Heffley Creek Community Recreation Association is hosting bi-weekly sessions over 12 months featuring topics on arthritis education and awareness, including exercise, nutrition, and self-care practices through the LWAMA program.  The communities of Kamloops, Rayleigh, Westsyde, Heffley Creek, McClure, Vinsulla, Knouff Lake, Heffley Lake, Whitecroft, Barriere, and Sun Peaks in British Columbia are served through this program. $5,000 grant. 

The Arthritis Social Hour, Vancouver, British Columbia 
Building on its success from last year, The Arthritis Social Hour is open to young and middle-aged adults  living with arthritis, sharing an opportunity to connect monthly for social and recreational activities in Vancouver, B.C. Each session will feature an educational discussion or panel about navigating life with arthritis combined with recreational or art-based activities. $5,000 grant. 

Kitchi ahk Pii mo seh wahk, Elders Are Walking, Eabametoong First Nation, Ontario 
This program, created by Eabametoong First Nation Home & Community Care, will promote arthritis health and wellness.  Residents of Eabametoong First Nation will be supported through arthritis education and a walking group. $4,997 grant. 

Thriving with Arthritis, Bridgewater and Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia 
Flourish 55+ Healthy Activity Society will host arthritis education sessions in Bridgewater and Lunenburg County through its Thriving with Arthritis program. Discussions led by healthcare professionals will feature topics related to the different forms of arthritis. They will address questions on how to relieve physical symptoms of arthritis through self-management techniques, medication, and diet and nutrition. $4,928 grant. 

Arthritis Empowerment: Unlocking the Path to Living Well, Stony Plain, Alberta 
Throughout September and October 2023, The Good Samaritan Society (GSS) is hosting sessions dedicated to arthritis education and healthy living. The GSS will also pilot a gardening program paired with information about food and nutrition.  Sessions will include exercise programs and education about pain management, diet and nutrition. $3,435 grant. 

Wellness for Arthritis, Brampton, Ontario 
Family Life Youth & Multicultural Centre created Wellness for Arthritis to target people over the age of 30 living with or affected by arthritis. The program will run educational sessions on arthritis management and provide opportunities for community members to build social connections and take part in physical activity. The program will also host a seminar on food and nutrition in April 2024, featuring a guest speaker who works in the field of gut health and holistic nutrition. $4,995 grant. 

BC Northern Interior Arthritis Support Group, Prince George, British Columbia 
The Community Action Grant will help Live Well Prince George restart the BC Northern Interior Arthritis Society Support Group, paused due to operational challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will also run additional in-person support group meetings in the communities of Vanderhoof, Mackenzie, and Quesnel throughout the year on a rotational schedule. $5,000 grant. 

About Arthritis 

Arthritis affects 1 in 5 Canadians (1:4 women and 1:6 men) and is a leading cause of disability. Most people, however, underestimate its seriousness. Arthritis causes excruciating pain, restricts mobility and diminishes quality of life. It impacts people of all ages, including children and more than half of people living with the disease are under age 65.  

About Arthritis Society Canada   

Fueled by the trust and support of our donors and volunteers, Arthritis Society Canada is Canada’s national health charity fighting arthritis with research, advocacy, innovation, information and support. We represent the six million Canadians living with arthritis today, and the millions more who are impacted or at risk. Without action now, the number of Canadians living with arthritis will grow to nine million by 2040. Arthritis Society Canada is accredited under Imagine Canada's Standards Program. For more information, visit   

For more information or to arrange interviews: 
Zehra Goawala 
Arthritis Society Canada 

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