Words from Shelagh Barry of the Osler Foundation

Barenaked Ladies performed at the Rose Theatre in Brampton last night (26th November) in support of the Osler Foundation. 


Great fun last night with the #BarenakedLadies…. #ColinJames sitting in for a tune…. #cancon #bnl #colinjamesband

A photo posted by Steve Pelletier (@steve_pelletier) on

Get Barenaked caught up with Shelagh Barry, Director of Community Giving at William Osler Health System Foundation.

Hi Shelagh, great to meet you. What a wonderful cause – can you tell us more about the work of the Osler Foundation?

William Osler Health System Foundation’s (Osler Foundation) sole purpose is to raise donations to support 100% of the costs of equipment, including things like diagnostic equipment, stretchers, vital signs monitors, surgical suites and more, as well as 10% of the funds needed to support redevelopment, like building the new Peel Memorial, the new wing at Etobicoke General, and redeveloping space to expand or add new services and programs at Brampton Civic.

Together, our three hospitals provide health care for over 1.3 million people in one of the most culturally-rich, ethnically diverse and fastest growing areas in Canada.

What impact do the hospitals have in the local area? What feedback have you had about the work and care provided?

More than 80% of the health care people need will be provided by their community hospital. The services provided by our three hospitals affect every person in our community. From prenatal care to urgent and emergency care; new knees, hips, shoulders; cancer care, surgery, cardiac care and extensive mental health and addictions services; broken bones to chronic disease management to end of life care. We do it all. But we can’t do it with words and promises. We must raise urgently needed funds to fully equip Peel Memorial, which fully opens in early 2017. That’s more than 10,000 pieces of equipment. Plus we need hundreds of new vital signs monitors across the system. And the new wing at Etobicoke General needs $25 million to ensure it opens in late 2018, equipped to care.

Pic: William Osler Health System Foundation Facebook

Pic: William Osler Health System Foundation Facebook

We can’t do it without the support of our generous community. Grateful patients are a significant group of funders, as they know first-hand, that having a well-equipped hospital lets our skilled physicians and nurses provide the best possible care.

The benefit gala sounds like a lot of fun! Who have been your musical guests on previous galas and what’s the vibe on the night? 

It is a great night! We have had Sarah McLaughlin, Burton Cummings, Blue Rodeo and Jann Arden to name a few.

You had a stellar line-up of entertainment booked this year too with Barenaked Ladies and Colin James providing the music. How did that collaboration come about?

Each year, our volunteer gala committee comes together to select outstanding Canadian artists. The Barenaked Ladies and Colin James are multi-Juno award winners, so it was an easy decision.

Pic: William Osler Health System Foundation Facebook

Pic: William Osler Health System Foundation Facebook

Without support from our community, we would not be able to equip our hospitals.  We can all be the catalyst for change – every dollar counts and we hope to inspire all our guests to make a difference for their community hospital.

Have to ask you – what’s your favourite BNL song? 

Wow – there are so many!  I guess I am dating myself if I say something from Gordon – “What a Good Boy” is definitely in my top 10!

How can BNL fans become involved with the Osler Foundation in the future? If they weren’t at the gala in person, do you have a message to relay?

Please come and support our community hospital and enjoy an exclusive evening of music and food with friends and neighbours. Your thoughtful online donation would be most appreciated. And don’t forget to follow us online on Twitter @OslerFoundation and Facebook: William Osler Health System Foundation.

Thank you Shelagh!

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