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 will be honored, leveraged, and enhanced in the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan: ‘Pursuit 2025’ will position The Foundation for continued growth and success, while staying true to our founding purpose. This is reflected in our steadfast commitment to the Philosophy: The preservation of dignity and the pursuit of happiness; continuing the legacy that Dr. Strafford dedicated his life to over The Foundation’s first 40 years.


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.


Organizational Priorities


The Foundation owns and operates four Continuing Care Facilities in Alberta with more than 850 long-term care, supportive living, respite, and private care beds and 1000 employees.

Adult Day Programs:

Support serving 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 and social activities. Seniors can look forward to weekly offerings through programs like Rec@Home, our community virtual recreation program offers daily seated & Range of Motion exercises with staff, weekly live virtual therapeutic music sessions, various cognitive games, social groups, coffee chats and more! Other offerings include but are not limited to: MUSIC & MEMORY®, Rhythms of Life Drumming Program, Concert Series and Opening Minds Through Art.

Individual interests can be followed through Pursuit of a Lifetime, a program designed fulfill the lifelong dreams of seniors. Some past wishes include meeting the Calgary Flames, swimming with dolphins, or a trip to visit loved ones.

Dementia Friendly Communities:

To mobilize the community to recognize the needs of those affected by dementia, and to build and improve support for a Dementia Friendly Community, to ultimately improve 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 of 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 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 2023 Areas of Need (listed below) and make a direct and lasting impact on Alberta seniors.

Do you have other ideas for fundraising? We would love to hear from you! Email our Resource Development Manager at [email protected]

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


Current Areas of Need – 2023

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

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


Rec@Home is a community virtual recreation program for seniors living in the community, offering daily seated & range of motion exercises, weekly live virtual therapeutic music sessions, various cognitive games, social groups/coffee chats, and more!

Rec@Home Session Demo – The Brenda Strafford Foundation 

In its current form, Rec@Home provides about 80 activities per month (4 activities per weekday). We hope to maintain this level of programming while increasing the number of participants and community partners involved. The overarching goal of this program is improving older adults’ physical, mental, emotional, and social wellbeing as well as providing respite and resources to caregivers.

This is just a note to let you know what a wonderful program you are running! I live alone and can get caught up in that sometimes, but your program allows me to interact with a host of new friends. I love to see them each day, it’s so pleasant to see all those smiling faces! Thank you so much for such a positive experience!” – Rec@Home Client

Concert Series

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 only consistently offered at Wentworth Manor. We seek funding to compensate performers for their time and provide refreshments and space for guests. We hope to spread the joy to our other locations soon!

Are you a Calgary Foundation Fundholder?

Contact Info

Derek Bechthold

Resource Development Manager



More Info

Charity Number: #105198873RR0001

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