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'For everyone with a brain' campaign launches in support of Sunnybrook's new Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre

February 7, 2022

Sunnybrook Foundation announced today the launch of the “For Everyone with a Brain” campaign to drive the final push of a multi-year fundraising effort for Sunnybrook’s new Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre. Once complete, the Centre will be a state-of-the-art facility for patient care and interdisciplinary research across mental health and brain sciences – the first of its kind in Canada.

Brain and mental health disorders are among the leading causes of death and disability worldwide[1],[2]. In Canada, one in three people will experience a brain disorder in their lifetime[3], and one in five will experience a mental illness or addiction concern[4].

Sunnybrook’s Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program is a leader in addressing these major health challenges. The program includes specialists across a range of brain and mental health disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, stroke, ALS, mood and anxiety disorders, and others.

To date, fundraising for the new Centre has been a collective effort across Sunnybrook, the Government of Ontario and donors. Catalyzed by the vision of founding donor Garry Hurvitz, a groundswell of philanthropic support followed the Garry Hurvitz Foundation’s lead gift of $20 million in 2014. Since then, the generosity of donors has garnered more than $70 million, matched with a contribution of up to $60 million by the Government of Ontario in 2019.

With the new Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre, Sunnybrook will bring together these experts under one roof. The unified space will increase collaboration and discovery across disciplines, improve integration of mental and physical health, and streamline care for patients with complex conditions.

Construction of the new Centre is currently underway. Projected to be complete in late 2023, the Centre will be a three-storey facility and include 121,000 square feet with capacity to expand. Among several leading-edge clinics and research facilities, the Centre will be home to the Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation, a world-first program offering a comprehensive range of neuromodulation strategies for investigating and treating the most common and challenging brain disorders using advanced technology, and the Murphy Family Centre for Mental Health, an inpatient treatment centre for youth and adults.

“Brain health – mental health – has always been important to me,” explains Garry Hurvitz. “As we have begun to uncover more about the inner workings of the brain, it is critical that we continue to advance the world’s understanding and treatment of the brain. The new Centre will be at the forefront of this important work by uniting research with care, and will achieve impact beyond Sunnybrook’s walls.”

“Sunnybrook cannot invent the future of health care without the remarkable generosity of our community,” says Kelly Cole, President and CEO of the Sunnybrook Foundation. “Thanks to the leadership of Garry Hurvitz, and the dedication of many other donors to transform brain and mental health care, we are approaching our fundraising goal required to complete the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre.”

To help support the successful completion of fundraising, Sunnybrook Foundation has partnered with the agency No Fixed Address Inc. to launch a campaign designed to inspire Canadians about the shared human experience of brain and mental health and to galvanize them to support the new Centre.

The campaign’s focus on “Everyone with a Brain” provokes an emotional response to the range of brain and mental health disorders that will be investigated and treated at the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre. It will span several platforms, including social media, out-of-home and print ads, in addition to leveraging public attention on brain health during Brain Awareness Week in March 2022. The integrated campaign’s strategy, creative and ads were developed by No Fixed Address Inc., with support from Data Sciences Inc., who developed and implemented the paid digital advertising strategy.

“The motivation for this campaign was to demonstrate the sheer scale of Sunnybrook’s ambition with this new Centre. It isn’t being built to focus only on special cases, but to help everyone,” says Trent Thompson, VP, Creative Director at No Fixed Address Inc. “We wanted to hone in on the all-encompassing accessibility of this campaign by the sheer volume of people the Centre will help.”

With the launch of this campaign, Sunnybrook Foundation is calling on Canadians to help realize its ambitious vision to complete the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre and offer hope to patients and families who face brain and mental health disorders.

To learn more or make a donation, please visit sunnybrook.ca/brain.

[1] Stroke and dementia, leading causes of neurological disability and death, potential for prevention

[2] WHO/news room/mental disorders

[3] Neuroscience Canada- One in three Canadians will be affected by a brain disease, disorder or injury_pdf

[4] CAMH- Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics

Media contact:

Jennifer Palisoc, Communications Advisor
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
jennifer.palisoc@sunnybrook.ca