Brain Injury Canada (formerly The Brain Injury Association of Canada) was formed in 2004 after a groundswell of advocacy and national activity by local brain injury associations, survivors and caregivers across the country. Everyone agreed that Canadians living with the effects of acquired brain injury, their families and caregivers, required national representation to connect and advocate for needs and services.
- Mission, Vision & Values
Advance awareness, education, opportunities, and support by:
- Advocating at a national level on issues important to the brain injury community
- Establishing meaningful connections and collaborations with stakeholders
- Educating and empowering people living with acquired brain injury, families/caregivers, healthcare workers, researchers, and the general public
A better quality of life for all people affected by acquired brain injury in Canada.
At Brain Injury Canada, we firmly stand behind our values.
- Board of Directors
- Brain Injury Canada’s Board of Directors are committed to the mission and values of our organization and are accountable for competent, conscientious and effective management of the organization, as well as responsible for governing the affairs of the organization within relevant legislation and regulations.
Our current Board of Directors includes:
- Xavier Linker – Co-Chair
- Graham Todd – Co-Chair
- Hafeeza Bassirullah
- Tanya DiPenta
- Tamiko (Tami) Hynes
- Sonali Kohli
- John McGowan – Non-voting
- Kai Olson
- Paul Rogers
- Annette Simms
- Michelle McDonald
Chief Executive OfficerMichelle is an accomplished non-profit professional with over two decades of experience working in the sector in both Toronto and Ottawa. She brings a wealth of knowledge to any role she undertakes and has a proven record of growth in both revenue and reach for small organizations. As Chief Executive Officer of Brain Injury Canada, she has led the organization in a new strategic direction, securing a federal grant to enable BIC to better meet the needs of individuals, families and health care/service providers across the country looking for information and education related to acquired brain injury. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, she also oversees the development of all Brain Injury Canada’s education and awareness programs, as well as advocacy initiatives. Her demonstrated focus on collaboration and partnerships gives her the ability to look at the big picture, but also all the moving parts and how they fit together effectively and efficiently.She currently sits on the Executive Committee for the Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium, the Accessibility Advisory Committee for the Canadian Transportation Safety Agency, the Integrated Knowledge Translation Committee for the Canadian Concussion Network and is Chair of the Governing Council for Neurological Health Charities Canada. Past roles include Executive Director at the Brain Injury Society of Toronto and in Health Promotion at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Past committee involvement includes Toronto ABI Network Planning Advisory Committee, Toronto ABI Network Concussion Task Force and Ontario Advisory Council (OAC) for the Ontario Acquired Brain Injury Community Associations.
Manager, Education & Engagement
Rachel joined Brain Injury Canada in 2019 as the content writer for our knowledge base resource website, and now manages the organization’s educational and engagement initiatives. This includes the planning and execution of programs such as the Foundations of Brain Injury e-course, website expansion, and Brain Injury Awareness Month campaigns. Rachel holds an honours degree from Bishop’s University in culture/media studies and journalism, and has several years of experience writing a variety of long and short-form content, as well as managing projects at all stages, using creative problem-solving to deliver informative, quality programs.
“I have family members with brain injury, and I grew up seeing how it impacts not just the individual, but the people around them. My goal is that everything we do provides more education and more awareness about brain injury, and fuels advocacy efforts of our organization, other organizations, and individuals in this space.”
As a writer, Matías supports Brain Injury Canada’s project team through the creation of content for resources such as e-courses, the resource website, and our newsletters. Drawing upon over a decade of writing experience, he specializes in addressing audiences from various walks of life and provides vital information about brain injuries to people who don’t necessarily have a background in science. Matías graduated with honours from Western University, where he completed master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Political Science. He also spent time running a music publication and has amassed a vinyl record collection that is getting too big for the space available in his living room.
“Having sustained an acquired brain injury in adulthood, I know first-hand how challenging it can be. That’s why I’m proud to work at Brain Injury Canada–an organization that is committed to empowering survivors and caregivers on a national level.”
Business Development Manager
Colt brings 23+ years of non-profit fundraising and leadership experience, including roles with the Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation, BCCDC Foundation, Banff Centre, MacEwan University, and the University of Alberta to Brain Injury Canada. Colt is passionate about making a difference wherever he has lived, volunteering with The Salvation Army, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and many other non-profit organizations.
Colt spends his spare time exploring Vancouver Island, where he resides, going on hikes, camping, kayaking, doing yoga, playing sports, hanging out with the resident cats, and woodworking and restoring furniture.
He has lived experience with brain injury, having sustained a severe concussion from a serious car accident in January of 2016, and through other concussions in his adult years, and childhood. Colt is both honoured and excited to be part of the Brain Injury Canada family.
Victoria joined the team in 2023 as a content writer for our e-courses.
She has worked as a freelance writer and social media specialist in the pet, tech, and food industries, and has experience working at non-profit organizations VOICE and the Canadian Gap Year Association as a content creator and podcast editor.
She graduated from Carleton University’s journalism program, where she discovered her passion for creating content that makes a meaningful impact.
“Knowledge is power! Since I started, I’ve learned so much about what it’s like to live with a brain injury and how to support those individuals better. I’m excited to push that change in institutions and the public with our e-courses to help the brain injury community receive the help and accommodations they deserve!”
- Brain Injury Canada’s team is growing. We’re looking for people dedicated to our mission of building advocacy, awareness, and education for and on behalf of the brain injury community. Currently we work as a remote organization, with team members across Canada working together to make a difference.
- Annual Reports
- Honourary Patron
- Dan Andreae is an award winning professor, executive director, community leader and advocate, volunteer and citizen. He has been recognized in Canada and Marquis Whos Who has named him as Whos Who in the World.
Dan has a compelling interest in the brain and as the first Executive Director of the Alzheimer Society and later Chair of it’s Patrons Council he has played a key role in building up the society’s profile and by instituting innovative programs. For his many contributions he was awarded the Trailblazer Award by the Alzheimer Society and recognized with a special award by the International Alzheimer Society presented by Chair Princess Yasmin Khan.
He has had the honour of having a neuroscience laboratory named in his honour at the Weizmann Institute of Science, one of the world’s top research and educational institutions. Dr. Andreae represents Canada on the Weizmann International Board and in 2018 was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award by Weizmann Canada. He is proud to be Honourary Patron of Brain Injury Canada and one 2016 was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Brain Injury Canada.
For Dan life long learning is a passion and he had taught forty five subjects at university and college. He has been the recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Waterloo, made a Fellow of Renison University College at the university and has been Faculty of the Year twice at the University of Guelph Humber as well as being chosen for the Faculty Mentoring Award. In 2018 he was selected as Professor of the Decade by the International Association of Top Professionals and in 2020 was named Intellectual of the Year by the Top 100 Registry in New York City. Dan was awarded with an Honourary Doctorate of Laws for contributions to health care in 2008 from Assumption University in Windsor and in 2020 from Laurentian University in Sudbury.
Dr. Andreae has received the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award and the Ontario Medal of Citizenship by the Lieutenant Governor. His other community involvements include serving on the Board of Governors of the Michener Institute, University Health Network, Health Advisor to the Psychology Foundation of Canada and Advisor to the Weizmann Institute as well as the National Eating Disorder Information Centre at Toronto General Hospital where he is Past Chair of their Advisory Committee as well as Past Chairs of the Canadian Abilities Foundation and Neuchâtel Junior College Advisory Committee, a Canadian school in Switzerland.
Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC)
Brain Injury Canada is a proud member of NHCC. Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC) is a coalition of organizations that represent people with brain diseases, disorders and injuries in Canada. We work collaboratively to increase awareness, education and research and improve diagnosis, treatment and supports to benefit people affected by brain conditions. Michelle McDonald, ED of Brain Injury Canada is the new Chair of the Governing Council.
Every Canadian Counts (ECC)
Brain Injury Canada is a partner with Every Canadian Counts, a coalition committed to improving services for the over 1.9 million Canadians living with long-term, chronic disabilities. ECC recognizes the urgent need to provide for these Canadians, and their families, as many do not have access to even the most basic supports and services.
Disability Tax Fairness Alliance
The purpose of this alliance is to obtain change by raising awareness among elected officials and policy-makers of the urgent need to ensure that the administration of the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) and other disability/infirmity measures reflects the intent of Parliament, the interpretation of the Income Tax Act by the Tax Court of Canada and the values of our society.