The Brenda Strafford Foundation

we serve these populations

  • aging population
  • Disabilities
  • veterans

we need help with:

  • mental health
  • music
  • physical health
  • science and research
  • sports and recreation

Who We Are + Our Mission

The Brenda Strafford Foundation Ltd. was established on August 15, 1975, by Dr. Barrie I. Strafford to honour his late wife, Brenda Strafford, who tragically passed away in a car accident in 1974. The Foundation was created when Dr. Strafford converted his business, River View Nursing Home Ltd., in Medicine Hat, into a registered Canadian charitable organization. When River View Nursing Home was sold, Bow View Nursing Home (owned by Dr. Strafford since 1963) became The Foundation’s base in Calgary. The Brenda Strafford Foundation’s core business is seniors’ care, and The Foundation has grown to own and operate four Long Term Care and Assisted Living seniors’ care facilities in Calgary and Okotoks, Alberta, serving over 1000 seniors.

The Brenda Strafford Foundation has a promising future that will continue to build upon our past achievements through our current strategic plan. Throughout The Foundation’s proud history, a reputation and culture of excellence and leadership has been established. This legacy is honored, leveraged, and enhanced in the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan: ‘Pursuit 2025’ and positions The Foundation for continued growth and success, while staying true to our founding purpose.

The Preservation of Dignity and The Pursuit of Happiness
As a charitable organization we are an innovative force, providing high quality person-centered care and services to optimize well-being and enrich people’s lives.
Create a future where people can live life to the fullest, with dignity, hope and happiness — in caring and supportive communities.
We put PEOPLE at the center of everything we do
We boldly pursue QUALITY & INNOVATION with pride and enthusiasm
We believe in ENGAGEMENT with all stakeholders and respect every voice
We act with COMPASSION, empathy and understanding

The BSF Way  
The BSF Way is our foundational person-centered approach to care, services, and environments that are personalized, enabling, support positive interactions and relationships, and encourage a sense of belonging to optimize well-being and enrich people’s lives. This is woven into everything we do.

Current Areas of Need – Programming – 2024/25

The Brenda Strafford Foundation is passionate about providing programs and services that fulfill our guiding philosophy of The Preservation of Dignity and The Pursuit of Happiness. Currently, we are looking for community support to continue these initiatives:

Rhythms of Life – Community Drum Circles
Seeking $67,7600 in Support 

The Rhythms of Life Community Drum Circles are among the most popular offerings at the Brenda Strafford Foundation, allowing residents to connect with each other in a way that goes beyond verbal communication. They are a powerful option to help reduce stress and build a sense of community.

We are currently looking to expand this program by purchasing more drums and other instruments, training staff facilitators, and widening our Circles to include more family and community members.

“I can’t believe my dad participated in that so well! I’ve never seen him interact with an instrument like that, this was incredible.” – BSF Resident Family Member

Concert Series
Seeking $10,000 of Support 

The Sponsors Concert Series, originally introduced by a family member of one of our residents at Wentworth Manor, enriches the cultural and social life of residents and their families. Since our initial Christmas concert in December 2022, we have hosted several additional concerts from song and dance groups including Leap Studios, Prairie Mountain Fiddlers, MIP Irish Dancers, and Yalenka Ukrainian Dancers. Each concert includes refreshments, interactive components, and social time.

Currently, concerts are exclusively offered at Wentworth Manor and are generously supported for 2024 through the Calgary Foundation’s Neighbour Grant. We are seeking funding to continue this program for members of our Wentworth Manor community and looking for support to expand the program to our other four sites.

Current Areas of Need – Capital – 2024/25

With five Continuing Care Homes located in Calgary and Okotoks, we are always improving our buildings and grounds to increase the quality of life of residents. Currently, we are looking for community support to continue these initiatives:

New Beds and Mattresses at Bow View Manor and Clifton House 
Seeking $85,000 in Support 

Bow View Manor is The Brenda Strafford Foundation’s flagship location and has been serving the Calgary community since 1975. With 233 publicly funded Long Term Care beds (the most of any of our sites), there is always a need to replace vital pieces of equipment. In 2024/25, we are seeking to repair and replace 50 beds as some are over 15 years old. The purchase of these beds will ensure comfort for residents and staff alike, improving quality of life and bolstering safety.

A KINDD Neighbourhood is a special program within a continuing care facility providing a home, specialized care, programs, and peace of mind to aging adults who are living with a developmental disability. Residents of this specialized program live in a secure location, with their own private room, a common area for socializing, enhanced recreation programs plus social worker and physician support. Care plans and activities are designed to meet each individual’s needs. The Brenda Strafford Foundation offers a 10-bed publicly funded KINDD Neighbourhood at Clifton House and is seeking support to purchase new mattresses for this group, along with other publicly funded Long Term Care residents, ensuring they can enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.

New Washing Machine at Wentworth Manor 
Seeking $35,000 in Support 

Wentworth Manor, located in SW Calgary, is a seniors’ living facility that is home to up to 214 senior residents. Wentworth Manor is dedicated to helping seniors age in place to the greatest extent possible by offering a range of levels of private choice and funded care options that cater to various needs.

Sanitation and cleanliness are a top priority for The Brenda Strafford Foundation, and with additional high-volume usage over the pandemic, the main washing machine for the manor has become ineffective and will need to be replaced. For this reason, we are seeking $35,000 to support the purchase of a new machine. This vital upgrade will create efficiency for the laundry department and will ensure there are contingencies in place in case of future mechanical deficiencies.

ABOUT US – Organizational Priorities  

The Foundation owns and operates five Continuing Care Facilities in Calgary and the surrounding region with more than 850 long-term care, supportive living, respite, and private care beds and 1000 employees. Some of our programming includes:

Adult Day Programs:  
This program supports 500 Calgarian clients in wellness and dementia programs.  Adult Day Programs are designed for adults over 18 who may have physical and/or memory challenges or are living with a chronic illness. Individuals living in the community have access to our Adult Day Programs, designed to alleviate loneliness and isolation while promoting a healthy active lifestyle. They play a key role in allowing people to remain living in the community as long as possible by optimizing their level of physical, spiritual, social, and emotional function. Adult Day Programs also provide respite and education for caregivers.

Recreation + Social Programs:  
The Foundation focuses on improving and/or maintaining older adults’ physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing using various therapeutic recreation tools and social activities. Seniors can look forward to weekly offerings through programs like  MUSIC & MEMORY®, Rhythms of Life Drumming Circles, monthly Concert Series in collaboration with local performing artists and collectives, and Opening Minds Through Art designed to help older adults with dementia experience intergenerational connection with high school volunteers via “fail-free” art.

Dementia Friendly Communities:  
We aim to mobilize the community to recognize the needs of those affected by dementia, and to build and improve support for a Dementia Friendly Community, ultimately improving the lives of individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. We are proud to be leaders in the preservation of dignity for adults and seniors with dementia and were collaborators on the Government of Alberta’s Dementia Friendly Communities Guide.

The Foundation continues to actively support research endeavors at the University of Calgary including The Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging which has a mandate to enhance the health and wellness of seniors and better inform public policy regarding seniors’ issues through coordinated research, teaching and learning, and community outreach efforts.

The Brenda Strafford Foundation supports the following charitable programs and services in the Calgary area:
The Brenda Strafford Foundation’s Heart Home Network provides 31 second stage shelter and 51 progressive housing units to women and children fleeing domestic violence. Heart Home Network has established a new standard of services and programs in the domestic violence sector.

Brenda’s House, in partnership with the Children’s Cottage Society and the Calgary Homeless Foundation, provides 14 units of transitional housing for homeless families in Calgary.
Gateway Place is a residential home modified to provide services and support to non-criminally responsible mental health clients.  The service is operated by mental health professionals from Alberta Health Services.

What You Can Do To Support

1. Check out our various social media channels to see what we are up to! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

2. Consider donating your time to the BSF! Volunteers are extraordinarily important. Check out our volunteer page for current openings or email us at [email protected].

3. Attend or Sponsor our events and fundraisers! Keep an eye out on our website for impactful events like our Annual Golf Classic. See updates on our social media or on our Golf Classic page.

4. Support our 2024/25 Areas of Need (listed above) and make a direct and lasting impact on Alberta seniors.

5.  Donate today to support seniors’ health and wellness.

Do you have other ideas for fundraising? We would love to hear from you! Email our Chief Social Impact Officer at [email protected]

Thank you for helping us work towards a community where Alberta seniors thrive in both body and spirit.


Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Kevin Melanson

Chief Social Impact Officer



More Info

Charity Number: #105198873RR0001

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