Our History

Best Buddies was founded in the United States by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, nephew of the late 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. There are Best Buddies international chapters operating in 50 different countries including Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Equador, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, and Tanzania.

Best Buddies Canada was established in 1993 by Daniel Greenglass and Penny Shore and was incorporated as a registered Canadian charity in 1995. Our school programs help to create lasting friendships between people with and without an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). The ultimate goal is to make every school and community across Canada more inclusive and accepting of people with an IDD.

Best Buddies does not receive any direct government funding. Our major source of funding is through our annual Gala, hosted during the Toronto International Film Festival. Over the years, the Gala has raised over $13.5 million. These funds are funneled directly into our program. In 2009, Best Buddies launched a $10 million endowment campaign. Our first lead gift was made by a good friend of Best Buddies and philanthropist, Mr. Raymond Cowling.

Best Buddies has developed strong corporate partnerships with Audi Canada, Fabricland, Cineplex Entertainment, Chapters Indigo, and the MLSE Team-Up Foundation, to name a few.


Who We Serve

Our programs are geared towards people who have an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities.

Start a Chapter

To start a Best Buddies chapter at your school please fill in the information below.

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