The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) is the only national charitable foundation that raises awareness to generate funds for research into all aspects of HIV infection and AIDS.
1987: CANFAR’s Inception.
In 1987, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) was incorporated, in an effort to support HIV and AIDS research that would lead to a cure. To this day, CANFAR is Canada’s only national charitable foundation that raises awareness to generate funds for research into all aspects of HIV infection and AIDS.
1988: The first World AIDS Day.
In 1988, the very first World AIDS Day was held. To this day, World AIDS Day marks an annual day of solidarity and recognition of the global impact of HIV and AIDS.
1989: Bluma Appel elected CANFAR Chair and the Scientific Advisory Committee launches.
In 1989, Bluma Appel was elected as CANFAR’s Chair of the Board, and the Scientific Advisory Committee was launched. With the launch of the Scientific Advisory Committee, CANFAR began awarding grants to support HIV and AIDS research projects across Canada.
1996: The first Issue of the CATALYST Newsletter.
In 1996, CANFAR published its first Catalyst newsletter. It celebrated that in this year, HIV and AIDS research to date had doubled the life expectancy of HIV-infected people.
1996: Breakthrough research findings through CANFAR funding.
In 1996, CANFAR-funded research contributed to the development of 3TC, a drug being used to treat HIV.
1996: CANFAR launches Have a Heart campaign.
In 1996, CANFAR launched the Have a Heart campaign, which became a national awareness program that reached millions of youth across Canada and ran for 16 years. Eventually transitioning to Kisses 4 CANFAR; today, CANFAR awareness programs are known as One and All.
1996: CANFAR’s first AIDSbeat event.
In 1996, the first AIDSbeat battle-of-the-bands fundraiser was launched. Founded by CANFAR Vice Chair of the Board and Secretary, Patricia Olasker (Partner at Davies Ward Phillip & Vineberg LLP), this unique event was notable for bringing together Toronto’s legal community to raise money for HIV and AIDS research. For its inaugural year, AIDSbeat managed to raise $20,000.
1998: Volunteer Awards commence.
In 1998, CANFAR held its first Volunteer Recognition Awards.
2002: A milestone year for awarding research grants.
In 2002, CANFAR funded a record high of $2.1 million in research grants. This marked a major milestone for the Foundation.
2006: Bloor Street Entertains celebrates a triumphant fundraising year.
In 2006, Bloor Street Entertains became the biggest and most successful to date. Over 25 chefs prepared culinary creations for over 860 dinner guests, with an additional 1,000 guests welcomed for the After Party. More than $500,000 was raised that year.
2006: CANFAR co-hosted the opening of the International AIDS Conference in Toronto.
In 2006, CANFAR co-hosted the opening of the International AIDS Conference in Toronto. Scientific Advisory Co-chair, Dr. Mark Wainberg, made headlines for admonishing Prime Minister Stephen Harper for not attending the conference.
2010: CANFAR-funded researcher, Dr. Kelly MacDonald, unveils new vaccine to help prevent HIV progression.
In 2010, CANFAR-funded researcher Dr. Kelly MacDonald unveiled a new vaccine candidate that could reduce and prevent the progression of HIV. CANFAR awarded an $80,000 research grant to Dr. MacDonald and her team, to continue their work.
2011: Bloor Street Entertains celebrates 15th anniversary.
In 2011, Bloor Street Entertains celebrated its 15th anniversary, proving to be the most successful year to date, by raising over $600,000 for HIV and AIDS research.
2011: CANFAR established the Legacy Fund.
In 2011, CANFAR established the Legacy Fund, dedicated to funding HIV research, awareness, and social programming for young gay men in Canada.
2016: Transformational Gift Received
In 2016, a transformational gift of $1 million was generously donated to CANFAR by the Slaight Family Foundation.
2017: CANFAR founded the National Working Group on HIV and AIDS research.
In 2017, CANFAR founded the National Working Group on HIV and AIDS research. The group is inclusive of leading HIV researchers and community leaders from across Canada.