BIST’s BIAM and AGM recap

Happy July! Here at BIST we’re taking one last look back at a very successful Brain Injury BIAMAwareness Month with a report from our BIAM event and annual general meeting.

Wednesday June 12 was BIST’s BIAM event at Nathan Phillips Square, which promoted knowledge of brain injuries and their treatment. Over the lunch hour, crowds of passersby experienced “Brainstock 2013,” being entertained and educated about the reality of brain injuries. Pictures from the event can be seen on Flickr.

The free event was headlined by “Pop Idols in Concert”, a Rihanna and Beyonce tribute act. People also interacted with a variety of booths and displays to find out more about the subject and the reason for the event. This year the theme focused on the frequency of sports-related injuries and their effects on daily lives. There were interactive booths set up to let the user experience briefly what a disability might be like in daily interaction. For instance, people tried to play games with one hand behind their back, or while earing glasses that reduced their vision.

Special guest speakers at the event included Toronto Maple Leafs veterans Ron Ellis (16 seasons in the NHL) and Wayne Primeau (1st round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres, 774 games in the NHL), along with fellow NHL forward Cam Stewart (Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild).

The special guest was Paul Rosen, Canadian Sledge Hockey Paralympian and Gold Medalist, who lost his lower leg over a decade ago, at the age of 39. He continues today as an athlete and a motivational speaker.

Paul Gilkinson, the retiring VP Service Delivery at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (pictured above with BIST chair Judy Moir) and staff presented BIST with a cheque for $2,000 (

Two weeks later, on June 24, the AGM at Orchard View Public Library near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue was a chance to review BIST’s accomplishments in its fiscal year.

Some of the highlights, shared by BIST chair Judy Moir, included:

  • More than 70 events were held for BIST members.
  • BIST moved into its offices inside the Orchard View Public Library
  • BIST stepped up efforts to reach out to young people with ABIs
  • BIST hired Programs and Services Assistant Mary-Ellen Flynn, who joins director of operations Michelle McDonald, Program and Services Coordinator Kat Powell and psychotherapist/social worker Debra Fine.

Looking forward, BIST is working on a strategic plan to guide the organization for the next few years.

Three new members were also elected to the BIST Board of Directors. They are (see pictures clockwise from left): Kerry Foscia, a Service Coordinator at CHIRS, Colleen Worsley, Director of Clinical Services for Wright Rehab, Ryan Murray, a partner at Oatley, Vigmond Personal Injury Lawyers LLP and Michelle Diamond, who works at Functionability Rehabilitation Services as the Director of Case Management and Client Services.

KerryColleen Worsley PhotoBofDMIchelleDiamond

Following the AGM presentation, BIST members in attendance were surprised with a performance by the magician Baldini (pictured below) and a celebratory cake, sending BIST off to the start of an exciting new year.

By G. Ian Bowles and Matthew Chung, BIST Communications Committee members.

Photos courtesy of G. Ian Bowles.magic

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