A message from the Chair of the Board

February 13, 2024

I am thrilled to present the Annual Report (July 2022 – July 2023) for Special Olympics Canada.

We are proud to share the many successes and inspiring stories of the past year for our movement. You will see how Canadians embraced inclusion through awareness initiatives, how our National Team Program excelled on the world stage, how we improved the quality of our grassroot community programs and continued to deepen our commitment to Safe Sport - and so much more.

Thanks to the commitment of our partners, donors, staff and leadership across the country we are able to celebrate a year filled with triumphs, growth and the unwavering spirit of inclusivity that defines our movement.


Charles Bordeleau 
Chair, Special Olympics Canada
Board of Directors 

This year followed a path set by a one-year Strategic Plan developed in working with our National Partner Bain & Co, alongside our 12 Provincial/Territorial Chapters. The plan was built on common pillars for growth and sustainability while Chapters adjusted and aligned to regional trends ensuring our mission remained at the forefront of all initiatives. Adaptability has been the hallmark of our Chapters, showcasing innovative approaches to deliver our programs.

A strategic focus was to ensure the long-term financial health of Special Olympics across Canada and its ability to impact lives for years to come. Whether through the generous support of our individual donors, corporate partners, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the Government of Canada and major events across the country, we are committed to providing all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to find belonging, develop skills and experience transformative power of sport.

This was a year marked with resilience. While the postponed Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022 were ultimately cancelled due to the pandemic and geopolitical turmoil, we marked the longest serving Special Olympics Team Canada’s place in history with the release of the documentary, “Meet the Resilient.” At the end of their more than 2-year journey the team attended an in-person Training Camp, bringing together all 161 athletes, coaches and mission staff for the first time. While they may be the only Special Olympics Team Canada to never have their moment on the world stage – the documentary showed the world that resiliency is a muscle they’ve been training their whole lives.

In the same year, we saw another Special Olympics Team Canada start and finish their journey – this time with a return to the world stage. 89 athletes from across all 12 Provinces and Territories were named to Special Olympics Team Canada to compete at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin. They brought home 96 medals and helped re-ignited the movement across the country – symbolizing the end to the past few challenging years of suspended programs and rebuilding post-pandemic.

In closing, I extend my deepest gratitude to the Special Olympics community. Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones, and I am confident that our collective dedication will continue to propel us toward even greater heights.

Charles Bordeleau
Chair, Special Olympics Canada Board of Directors

Special Olympics Canada
Guiding Principles

Our Vision

Our vision is that sport will open hearts and minds towards people with intellectual disabilities and create inclusive communities all across Canada.

Our Mission

Special Olympics Canada is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with intellectual disabilities through sport.

View, Download or Print Year in Review in PDF

Program Statistics
in a Year of Rebuilding

Despite the full reopening of Special Olympics programs across Canada in the past year, the initial registration of active athletes and volunteers at the beginning of the season still reflected the lingering effects of the pandemic. Although slower to return to their programs, the pre-pandemic athlete and volunteer membership continued to stay close to the movement and take the steps to return to active programming, with registrations steadily climbing. Looking ahead, Special Olympics Canada anticipates surpassing pre-pandemic registration numbers for both athletes and volunteers in the 2023-2024 year.


Active Athletes Registered

Within a pre-pandemic membership of


Active Volunteers Registered

Within a pre-pandemic membership of

Safe Sport &
Special Olympics in Canada

Special Olympics Canada and its (12) Chapters have zero tolerance for misconduct or maltreatment of any individuals affiliated with the movement, and therefore take any situation involving misconduct, discrimination, or maltreatment very seriously.

Our policies are intended to promote a Safe Sport environment in a manner that allows for consistent, immediate, appropriate and meaningful action should any issues arise, and they are also intended to prevent issues from arising in the first place by communicating expected standards of behaviour.

This year Special Olympics Canada focused on the implementation of Safe Sport through the following;

Strengthening our governance and organizational structures and practices to align with Safe Sport principles and actions

Extending the reach of our education and training

Having in place independent, transparent and fair safety mechanisms for those that may need to access the complaint process

Elevating our minimum standards and continuing to learn, grow and adapt.

Coaching Education

Special Olympics Canada training programs are designed to ensure that coaches are able to meet the needs of any athlete involved in our organization with both confidence and skill. The National Coaching Certification Program Development underwent major revisions and then relaunched to our coaches.


Special Olympics Canada launched the NextGen Coaching Apprentice Program to develop younger coaches and prepare them for coaching opportunities at future National and World Games. By providing each Chapter with 2 quota spots on their Provincial/Territorial Teams set to attend the upcoming National Games in Calgary, we are nurturing our next generation of leaders.

Healthy Athletes

Special Olympics Healthy Athletes initiative is a cornerstone program of our movement, offering health services and education for all Special Olympics athletes. Aiming to revolutionize the way health systems engage with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).


Through a combination of free health screenings, training for healthcare professionals and evaluation of the health status of people with an IDD, this program has been making a significant impact in communities across Canada. Within 2023, 850 Healthy Athletes screenings were performed nationwide.

Athlete Leadership Training


Special Olympics Canada recognized the opportunity for athletes to be better placed in positions of leadership. Therefore, steps were made to have Special Olympics athlete representation in a variety of functions in their communities.

This year, hundreds of individuals participated in Athlete Leadership programming across the country. Notably, 5 athletes were trained as ambassadors and were named to the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary. This group of athletes continue to successfully engage the community as they attend and speak at awareness events, interview their peer athletes, and enhance partnerships leading up to the Games.

Volunteer Development


Volunteers serve as the backbone of the Special Olympics movement, ensuring the continuous operation of our activities throughout the year. Recognizing their significance, Special Olympics Canada prioritizes volunteer training to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge.

This commitment led to the recent launch of an updated version of the Special Olympics Canada Volunteer Orientation eLearning program. As part of this initiative, a comprehensive Marketing Toolkit was developed for utilization by all Chapters in the promotion and roll-out of the revamped program.

Special Olympics Canada
Winter Games Calgary 2024


Special Olympics Canada Winter Games are scheduled to unfold in Calgary, Alberta, from February 27th to March 2nd, 2024. A Games Organizing Committee has been selected and are well under way overseeing all aspects of the event including selection of suitable venues for the 8 sporting competitions set to take place. Additionally, our 12 Provincial/Territorial Chapters have selected their teams and are preparing them to represent their respective regions with pride on the National Stage.

Special Olympics
Team Canada 2023

Watch & relive Special Olympics Team Canada's journey to the 2023 World Games!

Team Canada Medal Count




Special Olympics World Games are the largest global inclusive multi-sport event. The event took place June 17-25, 2023in Berlin marking Special Olympics Team Canada’s triumphant return to the World Games, having last competed on the world stage in 2019.

Special Olympics athletes from across all 12 Provincial/Territorial Chapters represented Canada in 9 sports: athletics, men’s and women’s basketball, bocce, bowling, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer and swimming.



SOTC Honourary Coach - Stephanie Labbé


First-ever Women’s Soccer team! History-making team won bronze


Powerlifting 11 gold medals in 2 days!


Rhythmic Gymnastics athlete Patricia Colgan & Swimming coach Jackie Powell selected to carry in Canada’s sign at Closing Ceremony.


Basketball dominance! Women’s silver, Men’s gold

View, Download or Print Year in Review in PDF

National Awards Night 2022

Watch the Show

Watch the replay of the 2022 National Awards

Since 1989, Special Olympics Canada has honoured athletes and volunteers for remarkable achievements that contribute to and strengthen the Special Olympics movement across the country. Each year, achievements are recognized through a National Awards program that includes several distinct categories – athletes, teams, coaches, as well as operational and fundraising volunteers that contribute at both the local and national levels.

For the third year in a row, the Awards Night celebration took place virtually and was co-hosted by TSN's Vic Rauter and Special Olympics New Brunswick athlete, JoJo Landry!

Award Winners

Athlete of the Year


Francis Stanley

Frank Selke Jr. Award


Elliot Kohn

Athlete of the Year


Lisa Butler

Rob Plunkett — LETR Award


Amanda Trenchard

Coach of the Year


Betty Ann Daury

The Harry "Red" Foster Award


Blake Murphy

Coach of the Year


Sandra McDougall

Jim Thompson Award


Darlene Broome

Dr. Frank Hayden Award


Malcolm Goebel

Rising Star Coach of the Year


Morghan Manuel

Team of the Year


St. Thomas Swish

LIMITLESS: The Special Olympics Gala

Over 750 Special Olympics Canada supporters gathered at the Fairmont Royal York on to celebrate the transformative power of sport and raise critical funds for the movement. Co-presenting sponsors Deloitte and Empire Company Limited continued their generous support of the event. Together, we celebrated the return of in-person programming and competition and heard from Special Olympics athletes and Champions Network members, including keynote speakers, Special Olympics athlete and mother, Francis and Annabel Stanley. The Stanleys shared their personal story of resilience and the impact of Special Olympics on their lives, received with a standing ovation. Thanks to generous supporters, the LIMITLESS Gala raised over $1,450,000 for Special Olympics Canada and athletes across the country. A special thank you to members of the LIMITLESS volunteer committee, for their tireless efforts this year.


Financial Audited Statement


$ 8,802,191


In-kind donations

Fundraising events



Total revenue:


Program & Chapter Support

Public Education



Total expenses:

View, Download or Print Year in Review in PDF

Thank you to our National Partners

Our National Partners provide us with the resources to change the lives of thousands of Special Olympics athletes, not only by providing critical funding, but by using their reach and influence to help us raise awareness, promote inclusion and share the transformative power of sport among Canadians with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their financial and in-kind contributions provide essential support that helps us to deliver grassroots sports programs to communities large and small across the country. To all our partners – thank you for your ongoing support, we could not do it without you.

Partnership Spotlight


Wolseley Canada is the leading wholesale distributor to plumbing, HVAC/R, waterworks and industrial markets in the country. Wolseley has been a partner of Special Olympics Canada since 2004, providing financial support and is a sponsor of the Draft an Athlete program, supporting athletes on their journey to the Special Olympics World Games. In addition, and through other fundraising opportunities, Wolseley branches and regions across the country provide additional funding for Chapters through fundraising events such as golf events and dinners.


motionball for Special Olympics is a national non-profit that empowers young Canadians to be leaders in their communities, raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics through integrated social and sporting events. motionball believes that the next generation of Canadians, today’s students and young professionals, are the future of the Special Olympics movement. Through motionball’s signature events including its galas, motionballU and the Marathon of Sport (where young professionals spend a day playing sports on integrated teams with Special Olympics athletes from their communities), motionball has donated over $17,000,000 net to the movement across Canada since its inception in 2002.


The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics globally. What started in 1981 as a flicker of hope has become a roaring flame of stability for Special Olympics athletes worldwide, raising over one billion dollars and changing millions of attitudes along the way. In Canada alone, the Law Enforcement Torch Run millions for Special Olympics athletes this year – and opened countless more hearts and minds to the power of inclusion.


Community Champions

Bronze & Friends

View, Download or Print Year in Review in PDF

Board of Directors

Officers Chief

Charles Bordeleau

Niyousha Zarinpour
Vice Chair 
Managing Director, Banking, Capital Markets & Advisory, Citi 

Stewart Johnston
Past Chair 
Senior Vice President, Bell Media Sales & Sports 

Pamela Lilley
Partner, MNP Colin Ground Secretary Partner, Cassels Brock Directors 


Andrew Vettese
Boston Consulting Group 

Dion Phaneuf
NHL Hockey Player 

Georgina Black
Managing Partner Government, Public Services & Health, Deloitte Canada 

Jennifer Jones
Olympic Curler 

John Scullion
Chair, Special Olympics Canada Foundation 

Lara Zink
CEO Women in Capital Markets, MBA, ICD.D Hon. 

Leona Aglukkaq
Canadian Politician & Government Administrator 

Sandra Sanderson
SVP, Marketing, Sobeys Inc. 

Suzana Lobo
Partner at Bennett Jones LLP. 

Susan Wang
Athlete Representative, Special Olympics British Columbia 

Dr. Yona Lunsky
Director, Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre 

Athlete Leadership

Matthew Fields
NALC Representative

Susan Wang
CALC Chair

Floressa Harris
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics Newfoundland & Labrador 

Declan Fawcett
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics Alberta 

Susan Wang
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics British Columbia 

Adam Lloyd
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics Manitoba 

Lennie Porter
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics New Brunswick 

Erin MaGee
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics Nova Scotia 

Erica Machtinger
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics Ontario 

Ellen MacNearney
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics Prince Edward Island 

Tyler Servant
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics Saskatchewan 

Mike Sumner
Athlete Representative
Special Olympics Yukon 

Serge Michaud
Special Olympics Yukon 

Rachel Coutts
Special Olympics Canada 

View, Download or Print Year in Review in PDF

Year in Review

July 1, 2022 to June 30th, 2023


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