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Donwload our monthly calendar to find out what's on in June at VBIS!  Download Download calendar_june_2017.pdf (540.04 KB)

Annual General Meeting Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 5:00pm at the Victoria Brain Injury Society

~  Come and hear a presentation by Dr Mohamed Gheis ~

~  Snacks and refreshments will be available  ~


We’ll hear from our Board of Directors and the Executive Director about how Victoria Brain Injury Society has been supporting brain injury survivors and their families over the last year.


Have input into your Society!

Is your VBIS Membership current? Would you like to become a new Member of the Society?

Members in good standing will be able to elect Board members and vote on special...

Check out our calendar of activities for May! Download Download calendar_may_2017.pdf (543.1 KB)

Thank you to Victoria Foundation for supporting our workshops.

Come along on Thursday May 11th to an information session on resources to help you navigate BC Transit, handyDART and Taxi Saver.

Space is limited so please RSVP at VBIS reception call 250 598 9339 or admn@vbis.ca to book your spot.

Thank you to BC Transit and Victoria Foundation for supporting this workshop.

Check out our February calendar of events.  Download Download calendar_february_2017.pdf (619.91 KB)

Check out our January schedule of activities at VBIS!  Download Download calendar_january_2017.pdf (551.09 KB)

Check out our December calendar of activities. Download your copy here  Download Download calendar_december_2016.pdf (557.64 KB)

Download calendar_december_2016.pdf (557.64 KB)

Download our calendar of activities for November. Download Download calendar_november_2016.pdf (538.66 KB)

Download our calendar to find out what's on in October at VBIS!  Download Download calendar_october_2016.pdf (717.39 KB)

Download our calendar for June and check out all the fun events we have happening!

Check out our calendar to see what's happening in May at VBIS.

Check out our calendar to see what's happing in April at VBIS.

Don't miss out on Brain Injury Canada's semi-annual conference hosted on April 5, 6 2016 at the Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina, BC. There's a great line up of speakers including Dr Catherine Mateer, Trevor Greene, Janelle Breese Biagioni, Naznin Virji-Babul and many more. Check out http://braininjurycanada.ca/2015/12/20/semi-annual-conference-2016-april-victoria/ for the full speaker list and to register.


Yoga is a great way to relieve stress, build strength and increase flexibility for participants of all shapes, sizes and strengths. VBIS holds yoga classes for brain injury survivors and their families on Thursday evenings from 6-7pm. Classes are led by Helena Mitchell. Helena is a 200 hour registered yoga teacher and has been practicing yoga for over ten years. Her approach is open, playful and lighthearted. She invites participants to explore each pose in their own body from a fundamental, universal and safe place. No experience is necessary, Helena will customize the session to meet your...

The battle begins! For the first time ever Victoria Brain Injury Society is participating in in the annual Loonie Wars against Campbell River Head Injury Support Society, Powell River Brain Injury Society and Comox Valley Head Injury Society.

This is a fun way to raise community awareness about brain injuries as well as provide funds to support local brain injury survivors. From Friday, February 19th till the 29th we will compete to see who can collect the most loonies to provide vital support to brain injury survivors. Help Victoria Brain Injury Society win the prestigious Loonie War Trophy...

All of us at VBIS are really sad to say good bye to not one but two wonderful team members – Kathy Smith and Vance Borbandy. Kathy has been working with VBIS for nearly three years. We’ve been really lucky to blessed by her compassion and wit. Kathy has been a key part of the team; steering us through a time of transition and supporting the team and clients in this process. Kathy is going to be following her passion teaching in higher education and we wish her the best of luck on this next phase of her journey!


Vance has only been with us a short time as our Intake Coordinator but he’s made a...

The VBIS office will be closed from 24th of December until 4th January.

If you need help over the holidays you can contact the organizations below.



If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the 24 hr Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888

or the Province-wide BC Line: 1-800-SUICIDE

8-1-1 is a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line available in British Columbia. 

Or call emergency services 9-1-1.



Rainbow Kitchen

Noon seating: further seatings as needed. 500 Admirals Road

12 Steps Recovery Community

noon-2pm Kirk Hall...

Join us in our Open House crafting event!
Monday, Tuesday AND Wednesday December 21-23 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Victoria Brain Injury Society.
We will have craft supplies on hand to create a small ornament for you to take home or give as a gift.
We have two styles to chose from … or maybe you have your own ornament ideas.
The VBIS elves will be here to assist you in all your crafting desires!

Come along to VBIS Caregivers Workshop to learn how to manage stress and cope during the holidays. Presentations from Barbara Erickson and a representative from the  Family Caregivers of BC.

Light refreshments and child supervision provided.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Please let the VBIS receptionist know by Monday, December 7 if you like to attend.


This weekend I completed a 34.5 km, 10.3 hr hike as a physical metaphor for the exhaustion that so often follows after a brain injury. And I have to say by the end of the hike I was so exhausted that I was struggling to form sentences and certainly struggling to communicate effectively what I was thinking. Whatever I chose to communicate at that point, had to be important enough to muster up the energy to make myself understood. I can see why families and couples living with brain injury often find communication an issue, especially in the evening.


Along the journey we talked of many metaphors...

Check us out on the Brittany King's Weekend Wellness show. You can listen at https://soundcloud.com/saturday-programming-cfax/june-6-weekend-wellness

We're really excited to announce a fantastic fundraiser:  League and Williams are supporting "Yoga in the Park - with Helena", a series of Yoga classes on Tuesday afternoons from noon to 1 pm starting June 2, 2015 and continuing through August 25, 2015 (weather permitting) in Victoria West Park.  The classes are led by Lambert and Williams legal assistant and trained yoga instructor, Helena Mitchell.  Participation is by donation with the proceeds of the events going to the Victoria Brain Injury Society.

Yoga is a great way to relieve stress, build strength, and increase flexibility for...

My name is Barbara Erickson and I’d like to share a story with you.


My story: I have worked in the field of brain injury for nearly a decade. Currently I am a counsellor working with the Island Family Counselling Centre. A major focus of my practice is to work with brain injury survivors and their families. My first introduction to brain injury was when I was hired to provide support and leadership at the Victoria Brain Injury Society. As a service provider, I became very aware of all the challenges relating to a brain injury and the potential for recovery with sufficient supports. As a leader...

We all have such a blast, with donated coffee, tea and donuts from Tim Hortons to help us along before and during the parade, and then assorted large pizzas and water donated by Boston Pizza to round off for lunch after the parade.
If you like to take part of the parade this year on Monday, May 18, we would love to hear from you!
Please contact Anna or Reception folks by Wednesday, May 13 so that we can ensure you are safely on a list to receive updates and information on how to get involved.

VBIS will be having a documentary crew filming on site on Friday 17th April. If you'd like to take part in the documentary contact our reception and let them know.

We're saying a huge thank you to all our staff, clients, donors and volunteers! You all help make VBIS a wonderful supportive place. We have some fun events planned to say thank you on the 14th, 15th and 16th of April. Watch our website for more information.

Victoria Brain Injury Society is excited to announce a fab fun-filled fundraiser. On Thursday April 30th, Tight Hair and Kick Start will be playing an awesome evening of music to entertain and delight.

Kicking the evening off will be Kick Start. This fantastic four-piece cover band will be taking us back in time with classic rock from today back to the seventies. Tight Hair will then take over the stage to delight and entertain with all your favorite disco, dance and funk tunes from the seventies. Come join us for an evening of great tunes and fun times!

When: Thursday April 30th

Doors at...

“Dancing is fantastic for brain health, as well as physical, emotional and social well-being. Research has found that frequent dancing is one of the best activities for reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia


Joanne has trained in numerous forms of dance, including contemporary modern, improvisation and social dance. She has a master’s of education and has been immersed in facilitating groups for 17 years


To ensure a spot, please speak to Alex S or Leah at the VBIS reception desk.

We will give you a reminder call before the session.


Come on down to the office  to help VBIS celebrate Chinese New Year.


Monday 16th to Thursday 19th:

Door prizes, a wishing tree, as well as all the usual activities.


Thursday 19th  February  1 PM:

Learn how to cook a delicious, traditional Chinese meal.



Did you know... a REGISTERED DISABILITY SAVINGS PLAN can help you save for the future?

WHO: If you have a disability and are under 50 years old

WHAT: The Government of Canada can help, even if you do not have money to contribute.


We are holding an information session at VBIS on Monday, March 2 at 1:00pm for about one hour.

Please RSVP to Leah or Alex S at VBIS reception so that we can ensure there is sufficient seating.

This session is funded by the Government of Canada.


Do you want to help survivors of brain injury and their families? Are you interested in determining the strategic direction of an organization? Do you want to support and advocate on behalf of a community organization that serves over 400 individuals every year?


Whether caused by a concussion, car accident, brain tumor, aneurysm, stroke, substance abuse, assault or accident, acquiring a brain injury can have a severe impact on a person’s life. Victoria Brain Injury Society (VBIS) provides counseling, group support, education and advocates to survivors of brain injury.


Victoria Brain Injury...

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the departure of our Executive Director, Nicole Nelson. Nicole has been offered a position at an organization where she will be able to fulfill her life-long goal of working with First Nations communities. Nicole has been with the Victoria Brain Injury Society since 2011. She will be working with the Board of Directors to ensure the organization makes a smooth transition to new leadership.

The Board of Directors will be seeking an excellent candidate to take over the helm.

For more information on the job posting, or to apply, please visit

The Victoria Brain Injury Society is pleased to announce the 2015 Victoria & Circle Tour Art Calendar Fundraiser in partnership with Suzanne of Blue Heron Arts!

Earlier this month, the Victoria Foundation Vital Signs report came out, which outlines Greater Victoria's progress for the last year in areas such as Health and Wellness, Housing, Standards of Living, Environmental Sustainability, Safety, Learning, Transportation, and Sports & Recreation; it even has a large section on youth perceptions and engagement within our city! If you've ever wondered the volunteer rate in the city, or how affordable housing really is, then this report is for you! Take a look and let us know anything that stands out for you.

We want to thank The Victoria Foundation...

When looking around West Coast cities today, it's safe to say there has been a dramatic increase in those choosing to use a bike as their main form of transportation.

Many are opting to take the bike route due to increased living expenses, gas prices, as well as physical and environmental factors.

But even with there being a law for riders to wear helmets at all times and a possible $100 fine, we often see riders opting not to wear them.

Apparently good hair is more important than what is underneath. 

When searching online about the issues people have with helmets, there's an influx of posts...

This year VBIS has had the honor of being chosen by the Victoria Legal Support Staff Association (VLSA) as their charity of choice for their annual silent auction! The event is happening on December 2nd at the Comfort Hotel on Blanshard, and VLSA and VBIS would like to encourage anyone who can to come out and support the event! All proceeds will go towards helping VBIS and our many programs so we can continue to provide comprehensive and quality service. We want to express our sincerest gratitude to VLSA for their support, this will make a huge difference for us this year! You can read more...

This Sunday we are proud to announce our involvement in the 1st ever Backfit LIFE Fair happening at the Backfit Clinic (1092 Mckenzie Avenue) in Victoria! We are inviting you to Live Inspired, Free, and Empowered with us, so mark your calendars for September 28th! All proceeds from the event will go to support VBIS and our programs, so come out, bring your friends and family, and enjoy a full day of fun and learning! There will be interactive lectures, classes, and tons of local vendors to keep you moving and learning about all sorts of wellness issues.

Check out the poster to the right or...

Like many victims of acquired brain injury (ABI), when Heidi Fink suffered a concussion back in May she was left incapacited, unable to work or even take care of herself properly. Thats when her friends kicked into gear and made Heidi the happy recipient of what she calls a 'meal train'. While she was in bed recovering from her incident, her friends set up an ongoing food delivery system for the down and out chef, which meant she could focus her time and energy on recovery instead of the now difficult task of feeding herself that used to be as routine as... well, her work.

After now making a...

We have relocated today's picnic to the Victoria Curling Centre at 1952 Quadra Street! The Centre is right across the parking lot from the VBIS office. If you have any questions, please call our office at (250) 598-9339.

See you at 4 PM today :)

This story highlights the importance of laughter, and of the vital work of organizations like the Victoria Brain Injury Society (VBIS) in our community. This story was written by VBIS volunteer Gray Leigh, as told to him by Andy L.

Andy’s Story

Laughter has been termed a source of healing in many cultures, a respite from the unavoidable and persistent trials that plague everyday life. The human condition has, since time immemorial, been defined by an eternal need to seize the day and draw out as much delight from each and every experience as one can. The ability to make light of the obstacles...

The Victoria Foundation, funders of the Victoria Brain Injury Society's Coping Strategies class (which happens every Thursday from 11:30am-1:30pm and Friday from 10am - noon), have shared a story on their blog about one of our members here at VBIS.

We hope you'll join us for our Annual Picnic on Wednesday, August 13th, 4 PM - 6 PM at the park beside the Crystal Pool.

All are welcome - bring your family, friends and a blanket to sit on!

See you there :)

Please join us for pictures on Wednesday, June 18th at 12:30PM! We want to get some great shots of our staff, volunteers and members, to freshen up our website, social media pages and our brochures.

  • Try to wear plain clothes and solid colours. Avoid logos or advertising on shirts, it distracts the photos.
  • If it rains we will find a spot undercover
  • You are welcome to bring your ‘support system’ for the photo shoot, e.g. family, friends
  • You will be asked to sign a Photo Release Form

See you on the 18th!

We wanted to take a little space to write a short thank you to the Rotary Club of Saanich for their generous donation to the Victoria Brain Injury Society. Pictured here is Nicole Nelson with Deborah Webb, a director at the Rotary Club of Saanich.

We want to thank Thrifty Foods for their decision to renew the smile card program for the Victoria Brain Injury Society!

We are so grateful to Harbourside Rotary for renewing funding for our Music Program. This program has become one of our most popular, to the point where we can barely fit all of the participants in one room!

The Music Program has numerous benefits for brain injury survivors. In terms of physical rehabilitation, using rhythm, pitch, vision and hearing enables clients’ brains to sing words that they aren’t able to speak. Music therapy also has the unique opportunity to focus on the client as a whole person with many abilities and strengths. This program provides clients with positive, successful...

This year a group of passionate VBIS clients and volunteers have decided to particpate in the Spring Sprint event happening at the University of Victoria on Sunday May 25th in order to raise awareness for the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada! 

The Victoria Brain Injury Societies' very own walk and run group that happens every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm decided they wanted to take their active rehabilitation further by helping support local organizations and causes. As a result they have signed up to participate in this wonderful event with the team name The Brain Stormers! If you want to join...

We are so excited to welcome our newest team member, Leah!

Leah will be starting in a new role, as Intake Coordinator, on Monday, May 26th. She will be the smiling face you see at reception every day.

Growing up on a dairy farm outside of Vancouver, Leah followed the salt air to Victoria. After completing her Biology degree at the University of Vitoria, she fell in love with life on the rock.

Leah is very honoured and excited to be joining VBIS in her new role as Intake Coordinator. From her varied careers and interests she brings with her a wide range of skills, particularly those developed...

Do you love parades? Want to be a part of our parade float on Monday, May 19th 2014 in the Victoria Day Parade?! We'd love to have you join us.

Just contact Anna, our Volunteer Coordinator, at 250-598-9339 or e-mail her here and she'll sign you up!

We would like to thank Island Savings Credit Union for continuing to fund our Families First Program.

Families First provides family members with a comprehensive opportunity to become further educated about the issues they and their loved ones will be facing as a result of a member of the family experiencing a brain injury. The program supports family members as they learn about rehabilitation, legal issues, financial issues, services and resources available and the long-term implications of the injury.

The overarching goal of our society is to lend a supportive and helping hand to those...

The Northeast Center for Special Care has released a document that outlines some of the benefits of music therapy session for those who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury. In the document, Rick Shoshensky talks of the many benefits that have been documented through individual participation in the process of creating music, both in a group and independently depending on one's comfort level.

For example, music is an exploratory act of self-reflection, which allows the creator to build self-confidence through artistic expression and tracking individual progression rather than focusing on...

We are hiring an Intake Coordinator! You are the right person to join our team if you are adaptable, can remain grounded and calm despite being pulled in multiple directions and have experience with front line social services work.

Click here to read the full job description.

We look forward to hearing from you!

We recently had a presenter from Vancity come speak to our members about the dangers of fraud and various prevention methods. During the talk a lot of interesting questions were asked! Of course when you have a financial person give a talk, the conversation can veer off into all sorts of interesting directions. One member asked about title insurance for home owners - and our lovely presenter sent us some follow-up information, which we thought we'd share with you.

Click here to view an informational sheet about Homeowners Title Insurance.

The Victoria Brain Injury Society is hiring a part-time Accounting Clerk. Deadline for applications is February 5th at 4 PM.

For more details, please click here.

The Victoria Brain Injury Society will be *CLOSED* on Thursday, January 16th 2014 for our Annual Staff Retreat. We wish we were going to the lake, but really we're just having a cozy little planning session off-site.

Finding Peace during the Holidays

By Fiona McLeod

The holidays! They should mean happiness and joy but in fact, most people, whether brain injured or not, find the Christmas season and the winter holidays to be a stressful and even upsetting time. This is because the holidays, despite the joys that they can bring, can be busy, stimulating, and pressured. It is helpful, then, to identify these stressors before they occur so that coping strategies can be put in place.

A useful way to identify winter holiday season stressors is to notice the amount or degree of change that occurs, for example, to...

We are very excited to announce that the Victoria Brain Injury Society has received funding for our Coping Strategies Program from the Ernest & Hazel Kay Fund for Seniors, the Rudi & Sylvia Hoenson Foundation and the Ernie & Frances Hudson Family Fund through the Victoria Foundation. We are so grateful to these funders for supporting this important program.

The Coping Strategies program empowers brain injury survivors to develop healthy coping strategies as they deal with challenging aspects of their injury including memory loss, sensory overload, depression, social anxiety and...

Join us for our Annual Holiday Celebration today (Thursday, December 12th), from 11 AM - 1 PM. Enjoy in some delicious treats, generously donated by our community partners (see below), and festive music from our very own band, the Forget Me Notes!

Tasty treats courtesy of Country Grocery, Safeway on Shelbourne, WalMart in Langford, Save-On-Foods in Uptown, Wellburn's Market, Mediterranean Speciality Foods, COBS Bread in SHelbourne Plaza, Caffe Fantastico, Patisserie Daniel, Dominos Pizza, Canadian Superstore, Lighthouse Cake Co and Market on Millstream.

To ensure that you receive a 2013 tax receipt, please make your donation by credit card online or via our website until December 31 or phone into the office at 250.598.9339 until 2:00 pm on December 23.

Donations by cheque must be postmarked by December 31, 2013.

Thank you for helping those most in need this holiday season!

Hmmm, now here is a controversial statement: "Poverty can make you stupid". So claims a recent study out of UBC. Thoughts?


Our awesome volunteers and staff got together for a day of fun, laughter and parading in the Victoria Day Parade!


The Victoria Brain Injury Society was the lucky recipient of a day of team building and strategic thinkspace, donated by Once-a-Quarter, a collaboration of Victoria based small businesses committed to making Victoria the best it can be.

VBIS has over 80 volunteers, can you believe it? We are hosting a big celebration to thank them for all of thier hard work and dedication, this Thursday, April 25th from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM. Are you a VBIS volunteer? Come joing us for some yummy treats, and some awesome door prizes! See you there!

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Nicole Nelson is now appointed as VBIS’s new Executive Director. Nicole has been the Director of Resource Development at VBIS for two years. She looks forward to supporting the organization as it continues to grow!

*We're in the news!*

Shaw TV interviewed one of our clients about riding a bike without a helmet and the severe consequences it can have. Should fees be increased for not wearing your helmet? We think so!

Let's keep people safe!

*REMEMBER* This Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 2 AM clocks are turned forward 1 hour to 3 AM local daylight time instead.

We received a heartfelt letter from one of our client's family members and would like to share it with you.

Please click here to read this beautiful testimonial.

During their 13th Annual Christmas Donation Drive Opus raised $4,236 for the Victoria Brain Injury Society!

It is with hearts full of gratitude that we thank each and every one of their staff members for their incredible fundraising efforts. No doubt their passionate petition on behalf of the Victoria Brain Injury Society encouraged the generosity and giving spirit of Opus customers and suppliers. We are humbled and honored by this outpouring of altruism, a testament to the character of Opus employees, and to the business itself. Opus has matched  this large donation with an Opus gift card of...

The Victoria Brain Injury Society will be closed from Friday, December 21 until January 1st, 2013. We will reopen on Wednesday, January 2nd. May your holiday season be festive and safe!

This holiday season we can all be thankful for what we have and give to those who may need a helping hand.

Your holiday donation to the Victoria Brain Injury Society can go a long way to helping those most in need this holiday season. It can also be a great year end tax strategy!

If you want to claim a charitable donation on your 2012 tax return you have to make the donation before December 31, 2012.

You can take advantage of a last minute added tax deduction, which off-sets taxable earnings for you or your business, while supporting your chosen charity’s work in the community.

All that is...

Opus has chosen the Victoria Brain Injury Society as their charity of choice for their 13th Annual Christmas Donation Drive! Opus has been raising funds for local community groups for the past 12 years. Opus matches all donations in gift cards of equal value to the funds raised to assist each group’s programs.

So, if you’re thinking of shopping for art supplies this holiday season, make sure you support this generous business! All proceeds from the Opus Christmas Donation Drive will go to the Victoria Brain Injury Society’s Creative Arts Program. Thank you Opus!

Wow, we pulled it off! What an absolutely fantastic fundraising event. We are simply stunned by the amazing effort everyone put in – all of the time, energy and hard work of our volunteers and staff members; it was evident on the big night that we had an out-of-this world team!

We really couldn’t have asked for a better group of people: dedicated, passionate and determined. Each and every one of them. We are so grateful for the time everyone put in, and that they were willing to put up with the hectic flurry of activity on Saturday night. We are thankful for their smiles, laughter and...

Communication between brain injury survivors and their support person are often stressful and marked by irritation.

This 4-session group for brain injury survivors and their support person focuses on developing effective partner communication skills. Working with two other couples, the survivor and their partner, either romantic or otherwise, will learn about the common effects of brain injury along with communication strategies that honour both the survivor’s and the support person’s needs.

The goal of the group is to develop concrete, practical strategies that the survivor and the support...

The Victoria Brain Injury Society presents the 5th Annual Evening of Black & White…Because Grey Matters Gala Fundraiser in the Pacific Ballroom of the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour Hotel on Saturday, November 17, 2012. This enchanting evening will include an intimate concert with the inspiring group Destino, a champagne reception, tapas, silent and live auctions and much, much more.

Destino means destiny in Spanish and Italian. It was truly destiny that brought this uniquely diverse group together. Destino is made up of three handsome young men and one stunning young woman that love...

On Sunday, October 7th, Terri walked across the finish line at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon, having completed her first 8k race!

Here is Terri’s story, in her own words:

About three years ago I decided to be proactive regarding my health, both physically and emotionally. I started exercising in Sooke. I was referred by them to the Victoria Brain Injury Society. I started off using the dance program. I enjoyed this so much I used some of the other services as well, such as the arts, peer support and writing programs.

Last summer, the Victoria Brain Injury Society started a Walk and...

In 2010, Caitlin Saunders was told she may never walk again.

But guess what? Against all odds she will be running a half marathon on October 7th, 2012.

Caitlin is a warrior. She fought every day, even when the battle seemed unwinnable. Soon she took her first step; then another; then another. Now she is aiming to reach her goal of completing the half marathon this Sunday.

Caitlin is going the extra mile, and she wants you to join her. She is spearheading a pledge drive to raise critical funds for the Victoria Brain Injury Society. And there is a great need. Currently, the Society serves...

How would YOU like to own this fantastic running shirt?

Start collecting pledges to support TEAM VBIS in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon and you could be running down the street in STYLE :)

All our pledge collectors will be entered to win a running shirt!

Send friends and family to pledge online here:


OR, create your own Giving Page at CanadaHelps.org and get your family and friends involved!

It’s EASY:

  1. Go to CanadaHelps.org
  2. Click on GivingPages
  3. Register with CANADAHELPS
  4. Create a GivingPage
    1. Type of Page: Sporting Event
    2. Page Title: Goodlife Fitness...

Thanks to a generous donation from LifeCycles Project Society, we have oodles of plums.

Come on down to the Victoria Brain Injury Society and grab a bundle!

People who sustain a brain injury experience multiple changes and losses in their lives. These losses become apparent in many areas of a brain injury survivor’s life when they pop up unexpectedly. Common examples include activities like making a quick choice on what clothes to put on or preparing dinner or meeting up with friends or going to work. The implications of these losses are personal, multiple, meaningful, and painful. Grieving these losses can assist people with an ABI to let go of the old in order to develop new patterns and horizons in their lives. 

This hands-on group is especially...

Watch Caitlin's inspiring story, as she goes from a wheelchair to training for a half-marathon. Caitlin is paying it forward by raising pledges for VBIS in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon!

Want to learn more about how YOU can get involved in raising pledges for the Victoria Brain Injury Society? Just e-mail Anna to get your pledge form!

We had SUCH a great time at our Annual Picnic yesterday!

We owe a huge THANK YOU to soooo many people.

First and foremost, our amazing volunteers...they worked tirelessly, and kept big smiles on their faces the whole time!

Also, to all the staff and members who helped out.

And of course, we can't forget the 15 businesses that donated all the yummy eats!


We would like to express our appreciation for the generosity of our supporters:

Arts Bakery, B&C Food Distributors, Cobbs Bakery at Shelbourne, Country Grocer, Fairway Market on Quadra, Market on Yates, Peppers Foods, Peninsula Co-op, Real Canadian Superstore, Red Barn Markets, Safeway at Tillicum, Save On Foods at Esquimalt, Walmart at Westshore, Wildfire Bakery and Wellburn’s Market.

We rely on donations from these generous supporters to make our events a success.



WHAT:  Victoria Brain Injury Society's Annual Picnic & BBQ

WHERE:  Victoria City Park, next to Crystal Pool (Quadra and Pembroke, opposite the Mowhawk gas station)

WHEN:  Wednesday, August 15, from 4:30pm to 7:00pm

WHO:  All clients, family members, friends of Victoria Brain Injury Society

WHY:  Meet old friends, make new friends, share food and stories, and HAVE FUN!!

We have the Island Savings Youth Team and Penny the Owl joining us for face-painting and games, to satisfy the real-age kids as well as the inner kid in us all!! With the children’s play ground right beside us as well, this...

Think of the last time you went somewhere. Maybe you went to the grocery store, to the park, or to the brain injury society. To get there, you had to plan and follow a route. Planning and following a route is called wayfinding. Research has shown that people with brain injury often have a hard time wayfinding, which may lower access to the community. But hand-held technology is becoming more advanced, and may help people with brain injury to plan and follow their routes.

With this in mind, a computer science graduate student named Nathanael Kuipers began his research on wayfinding in acquired...

There’s an exciting new initiative in Greater Victoria called the Community Action Plan (CAP) on Poverty

Over twenty organizations have joined forces on a campaign to make our community a more affordable and resilient place for everyone. We invite you to be part of this campaign. 

Click here to join the movement

The organizations behind the CAP on Poverty will be highlighting an action of the month and sharing regular updates full of opportunities to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community.  If you’re looking for opportunities to be involved, or if you’re already working on...

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual General Meeting last night. The snacks were yummy, the "Forget Me Notes" played some awesome tunes and the speeches were inspiring. Congrats to all on an amazing year of growth and achievement!

A HUGE thank you to the great folks at Caffè Fantastico Specialty Coffees for their generous donation of delicious brew for our Annual General Meeting.

We are also grateful to Cobs Bread at Shelbourne Plaza for the tasty treats.

Our taste buds were delighted!!

Watch the Victoria Brain Injury Society's Walk & Run Group featured on the CHEK News Vital People series.

Way-to-go to all of our AWESOME walkers and runners...healthy people = healthy brains!!

Thank you to CHEK News for wanting to learn more about brain injury and how the Victoria Brain Injury Society is empowering people to find their own unique path to recovery and rehabilitation!

Feedback from members indicated that although people benefit greatly from the programs held in our group room, they often found the room itself to be a huge issue. They found it difficult to feel comfortable due to poor lighting (which was giving them headaches), poor air quality and circulation, depressing colours and unfriendly décor. In addition, the tables in the room were...well, just plain ugly!!!

These can be significant issues as brain injury survivors often experience sensory defensiveness, in which sensory input causes a client to react in a negative way.

We were therefore very...

We had a great time at the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon Media Launch this morning - thanks to all those who made it out to support TEAM VBIS, and for those sending positive vibes from home :)

We would like to offer a huge THANK YOU to David Boersma, “The Lighting Guy,” for all the hard work he did here at the Victoria Brain Injury Society last Friday. He did a fabulous job re-wiring our electrical system and putting up our new sconce lighting system in the group room. Need some electrical work done?

Call Dave at (250) 580-4432. We highly recommend his work!

Check out the website for his locally-owned company, Modern Multimedia: www.modernmultimedia.ca

Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What are some small things you can do to help reduce the impact of negative experiences?

1) Take a stand for yourself - being kind to yourself, wise and realistic about the toxic effects of painful experiences.

2) When emotional pain does come, even softly, try to hold it in a large space of awareness. In a traditional metaphor, imagine stirring a big spoon of salt into a cup of water and then drinking it: yuck. But then imagine stirring that spoonful into a clean bucket of water and then drinking a cup: it's the same amount of salt -- the same amount of worry or frustration...

Volunteer Opportunity

Event Coordination Assistant

VBIS is seeking a volunteer Event Coordination Assistant to work with our team to help plan our involvement in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon on October 7th, 2012.

The volunteer coordinator will be responsible for:

  • Creating media and communications materials
  • Recruiting team members to walk, run and/or collect pledges for the VBIS Team
  • Developing business partnerships and obtaining sponsorships and related fundraising activities
  • Coordinating with staff, team members, sponsors and volunteers
  • Attending monthly Charity Pledge Program...

Jordan finished her Bachelor of Social Work degree at the University of Victoria this summer and has a background in community work from working with federal parolees as a counselor to helping set up care and community arrangements with the Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Center in Victoria. She is passionate about areas such as social justice, disability rights and advocacy and was herself born with physical disabilities and this is a big part of her reason for being passionate about peer support and the importance of it.

Jordan has lived in various places around the world, growing up in...

Thank you to CHEK News for wanting to learn more about brain injury and how VBIS is empowering people to find their own unique path to recovery and rehabilitation!

Watch CHEK News on Sunday, June 10th at 5:00 PM to see an all-star cast of VBIS members talk about our Walk & Run Program!

Brain injury is an invisible disability - who above has a brain injury? Bet you can't tell!

Above, an avid runner and brain injury survivor describes how the Walk & Run Program at VBIS has helped her!

Above, our Walk & Run Program facilitator talks to CHEK reporter about the positive impact physical...

Is the Purpose of Sleep to Let Our Brains “Defragment,” Like a Hard Drive?

(adapted from an article in Discover Magazine)

Why do we sleep? We spend a third of our lives doing so, and all known animals with a nervous system either sleep, or show some kind of related behaviour. But scientists still don’t know what the point of it is.

There are plenty of theories. Some researchers argue that sleep has no specific function, but rather serves as evolution’s way of keeping us inactive, to save energy and keep us safely tucked away at those times of day when there’s not much point being awake. On...

Today we are celebrating all 100 of our AMAZING volunteers! If you've ever volunteered at VBIS, or been helped by one of our superstars, please come down to our office between 11-1 today to celebrate!

"The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers" ~Terri Guillemets

Have trouble remembering all the awesome events we have going on at VBIS? Take a peak at our calendar...or better yet, just come in and visit us - we'd love to see you!

Have trouble remembering all the sweet events we have going on at VBIS? Take a peak at our calendar...or better yet, just come in and visit us - we'd love to see you!

Have you heard about the new Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) program?

It helps low-income seniors and people with disabilities finance home modifications for accessible, safe and independent living.

Eligible homeowners, renters and landlords can receive up to $20,000 per home in the form of a forgiveable loan.

For more information, visit BC Housing’s website or call 604.646.7055.

VBIS is ecstatic to announce we’ve been selected as one of the 20 charities for the 2012 Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon Charity Pledge Program!

The big race will take place on Sunday, October 7th, which means we have 248 days to get the community involved in this great event.

VBIS will be raising awareness and funds by forming a Walk & Run Team and Cheer Squad. Victorians can support VBIS by donating pledges to the team or individual participants, or by coming out to cheer on the big day!!

Whether you walk, run or cheer, we’d love to have you on our team, so give Anna a call at...

Listen to Victoria Brain Injury Society Board President Stephen McKenzie on CBC's All Points West! Posted on Monday, Jan 16th, skip ahead to 6:12 to hear about the McKenzie family's journey through brain injury.

Click HERE to listen.

A gigantic THANK YOU to the United Way of Greater Victoria for funding our Community Connections Program! Our sincere gratitude for your continued and steadfast support of brain injury survivors.

This grant will provide brain injury survivors with support, training and volunteering opportunities that help them build the skills required to be emotionally, economically and socially self-supporting. This is so critical to our members and the broader community because it provides a safe environment for survivors to rebuild positive living skills and regain work experience while learning to deal...

We are very excited to announce we have received funding from the Vancouver Foundation for our Peer Support Program for 2012!

This funding will help train our peer supporters, who are available Monday through Thursday in our community room. These volunteers, who have experienced acquired brain injuries themselves, are trained to support new members, facilitate group conversations, answer questions about brain injury and refer survivors to useful community resources. They pass on useful coping techniques and share their experiences with other survivors and their families.

Thank you, Vancouver...

We had a joyful Holiday Celebration that filled the VBIS office with delightful songs, bright smiles and festive cheer!

Our all-star volunteer, Andrea Schneider, organized the entire event, with the help of Brenda Hurd and Anna McLauchlan.

Over 70 people made their way through our open doors, enjoying delicious treats, graciously donated by Cobbs Bakery on Shelbourne, Safeway (University Heights and Oak Bay), the Market on Yates and Dominos Pizza on Quadra. Board member Barbara Toller brought a lovely pot of hot apple cider and Caffe Fantastico supplied scrumptious coffee!

We had a rousing...

The Victoria Brain Injury Society's Run & Walk Team joined brain injury survivor David McGuire for the last 2 kilometers of his epic journey across Canada on Friday, December 9th, 2011.

David sustained brain injury in 2005, and his life changed dramatically after brain injury. He wants to bring awareness to this cause and although he was told by doctors that he’d never walk again, he decided was going to run! And run he did. A marathon a day, in fact! The event was called A Run to Remember and David ran from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, BC.

David’s goal is to inspire people...

Did you know that the Victoria Brain Injury Society offers a Creative Arts Program for brain injury survivors?

Facilitator Katusha Dmitrieva runs the program every Monday from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. in the Fernwood area.

This holistic approach to recovery offers survivors a chance to use the creative process of art-making to improve and enhance their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

We believe that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps survivors work through challenges, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self...

Today participants of the Coping Strategies program wrapped up 20 weeks of learning, laughing and friend-making.

Today's celebration included a lot of yummy treats brought in by participants, and a lot of fond memories recalled from weeks gone by.

One participant, Greg, sat down with Director of Resource Development, Nicole Nelson, to share his story and his experiences in the program.

Here is what Greg shared:

It happened in the early morning hours of July 31st 2009 while I was showering. It was my last day of work before my five week holiday. I knew right away something was wrong. There was...


Canadian Tenor Ken Lavigne to Perform at Benefit Concert to Help Local Organization Cut Down on Waitlists

VICTORIA, BC (11 AM – November 2, 2011) – Canadian Tenor Ken Lavigne and friends will lend their vocal talents to the Victoria Brain Injury Society at the 4th Annual Black & White Gala on Saturday, November 19th, 2011.  

Due in part to increased awareness of the connection between Sidney Crosby-like concussions and brain injury, the Victoria Brain Injury Society has seen an upsurge in the number of people accessing their services. In order to meet...

Barbara Erickson, Director of Client Services, will be moving on after 5 years at VBIS.

Barbara has contributed to the Society in ways too numerous to mention and she will be greatly missed.

We wish her every success and hope she'll come back to visit us often!

According to the article, “Sidney Crosby took a step toward returning to National Hockey League action Thursday, but the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar still faces a significant hurdle in his bid to recover from a brain injury.

Paul Echlin, a sports medicine physician from Burlington, Ont., advises patients in similar circumstances that they are at risk of sustaining another concussion with a similar or lengthier symptom duration. He informs individuals that have suffered multiple concussions, or that take a long time to recover, that there may be some permanent brain injury. The risk of...

Adapted from an article by Christie Judson.

Click here to view the full article.

The Courage to Come Back

Michael Coss is a funny guy. His jokes come quick and, if you’re not paying attention, his charming wit might just go over your head. But what you won’t miss, however, is this Traumatic Brain Injury​ (TBI) survivor’s uplifting spirit, dogged determination and the courage to come back against all odds.

It was May 18, 2006. Looking forward to the weekend getaway, the young family left their Coquitlam home at approximately 9 a.m. Coss, a former recreational pilot, avid sports competitor and...

A brain injury survivor sat down and shared her story with us today.

Thanks to her courage and perseverance, others can learn from her experience and use it to help with their own recovery.

Here is her story:

"I was in a car accident in 2008, four days before Christmas. I went from one reality to another

Depression hit like never before, I couldn’t figure out how to get out of it. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t get motivated. I lost my ability to work, I lost my home. I ended up living in a hotel, and then at a transition house, without access to any of my personal belongings...


VANCOUVER - B.C. will be home to a centre that will lead the way in North America by uniting brain health and patient care, announced the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and Health Minister Michael de Jong, who attended today's groundbreaking at UBC Hospital.

Uniting psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience, the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health will revolutionize brain health by bringing research together with care. All the areas of brain health will be under one roof, housing hundreds of...

The VBIS Running Team had five members run the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Half-Marathon this Sunday!

Everyone crossed the finish line in under 2 hours - way-ta-go team!

A must-read! There is an interesting article discussing the 'concussion crisis' in today's sports environment in The Atlantic.

Interesting tid-bits include:

- Competition...has been intensifying among girls, who are now suffering concussions at rates far greater than their male counterparts.

- Over the past three seasons, eight high school football players died as a result of injuries to the brain.



Wow! What an event!

We're blown away by the numbers - 77 students stopped by to say hello, and 48 of them signed up to learn more about volunteering with us.

UVic is lucky to have such engaged students!

A Bike Ride Across Canada for Brain Injury Awareness!

Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill, came to visit the Victoria Brain Injury Society on June 6, 2011.

After touring the office, Carole sat with our peer supporters and learned more about the challenges faced by brain injury survivors.

At the end of her visit, Carole presented us with a Letter of Support:

Letter of Support

Carole also made a statement on Brain Injury Awareness and the Victoria Brain Injury Society in the Legislature on June 2, 2011.

Click HERE to watch the video on YouTube!

You can visit Carole James' website at http://www.carolejamesmla.ca/

The Victoria Brain Injury Society works diligently to ensure British Columbians are made aware of the impacts brain injury can have on our entire community.

With special thanks to Don Anderson and all of our Board Members, we are pleased to announce that June has been officially declared Brain Injury Awareness Month in British Columbia. The Honourable Steven L. Point, Lieutenant Governor of Our Province of British Columbia, signed the proclamation into effect on May 27, 2011.

Brain Injury Awareness Month Proclamation


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