Our History & Mission

The Sunshine Foundation of Canada changes the lives of children and youth living with severe physical disabilities, across Canada. 

We serve children and youth ages 11-21, helping them build confidence, independence and optimism to boost their mental health and future goals. 

Our vision is that every Sunshine child lives their dream.

Sunshine's values: Employing integrity, compassion and respect in everything we do, and having the courage and commitment to achieve our goals.

The Beginning of a Dream

Sunshine was established in 1987 by a London, Ontario police officer as a legacy to his son who passed away from muscular dystrophy. He wanted children like his son to be able to live their dreams. In October of that year, the first Sunshine DreamLift flew 203 children from London to Walt Disney World® in Florida.

By 1990, Sunshine was truly national, fulfilling Sunshine Dreams and DreamLifts for kids across Canada in BC, Alberta, Yukon, Ontario, New Brunswick and PEI. Volunteers from Ontario and British Columbia founded eight local Sunshine Chapters.

Spreading the Sunshine

In 1994, our mascot, Sunshine Bear, trekked across the country on the “Sunshine Highway to Dreams.” The tour visited 33 communities and resulted in more new volunteer chapters. By December of 1994, Sunshine fulfilled 2,630 dreams.

The Sunshine Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary on Saturday, June 21st, 1997, with a Walk for Dreams held simultaneously in 31 communities. By 2000, we officially became known as “Sunshine Dreams For Kids.” Celebrities ranging from hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky to Barney the Dinosaur were helping us fulfill Sunshine Dreams, and Sunshine DreamLifts were winging kids away for day-long adventures out of cities across the country, including Edmonton, Sault Ste. Marie and Halifax.

Sunshine Today

Headquartered in London, ON, Sunshine is a national charity with programs that help kids and youth all across Canada. For over 35 years, Sunshine has changed the lives of more than 8,800 children across Canada and coordinated 64 Sunshine DreamLifts. 

Dreams to Come

Approximately 60,000 children across Canada medically qualify for a Sunshine Dream. Many of them have endured more than we can ever comprehend. We continue to grow and to raise awareness of Sunshine in communities throughout the country. Together, we can change the lives of even more kids across Canada.


Dream Programs Get Involved