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The Davis Phinney Foundation and the Brain Canada Foundation

Eleven years ago, Olympic medalist, Tour de France stage winner and sports broadcaster Davis Phinney set out to share what he’d discovered since learning he had Parkinson’s: that although he could not change the diagnosis, there was much he could do to change how he lived with the disease. The same determination, optimism and conviction that brought him success as a professional athlete applied naturally to his approach to Parkinson’s: set goals and strive for the best possible results. From these humble beginnings, the Davis Phinney Foundation was born, with a mission to help people with Parkinson's to live well today.

As the Davis Phinney Foundation crosses the threshold into a second decade, its unique role in the Parkinson’s community remains to inspire, inform, and equip people with the tools to live fully and to thrive. In 2014 alone, the Davis Phinney Foundation positively impacted nearly 150,000 people in the US, Canada and beyond. But with 6.3 million people living worldwide with Parkinson’s, the Foundation is resolved to reach even more people with Parkinson’s with tools and resources that will empower them to live well today.

As of 2019, we welcome as new partner in Canada, a national charitable organization, the Brain Canada Foundation.

Brain Canada was founded in 1998, and since its inception, has made the case for supporting Canada’s world-class brain research. Over 20 years, the organization has raised—from donors and through partnerships--and invested $250 million to fund about 300 projects involving more than 1,000 researchers and clinicians based at 115 institutions across the country. Grants are selected through a rigorous, international peer review process, and reward excellence, innovation, and the potential to achieve paradigm changes in the field which will lead to improved outcomes for people. Brain Canada’s central vision is that the brain is a single, complex system with commonalities across the range of neurological disorders, mental illnesses and addictions, brain and spinal cord injuries. Looking at the brain as one system has underscored the need for increased collaboration across disciplines, institutions, and organizations, and a smarter way to invest in brain research. This holistic vision appeals to us and offers exciting new possibilities. For example, Parkinson’s shares common underlying mechanisms with other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, MS and Huntington’s, and so Brain Canada’s approach means taking a broad lens to be able to expand our search for answers.

Drawing on DPF's deep engagement with the community of those directly and indirectly impacted by Parkinson's, Brain Canada ‎will endeavour to explore with the DPF ways to collaborate to fund research and programming that is centered on people with lived experience. Applying basic research for the benefit of people, and exploring pathways linking cure-oriented research with current care, are aims shared by both organizations. We will have more to announce about this relationship in the coming months.

Learn more about DPF and Brain Canada at:

Davis Phinney Foundation

Who Is The Davis Phinney Foundation? from Davis Phinney Foundation on Vimeo.

Learn more about Brain Canada at the Brain Canada Website

Brain Canada from Eclipse Productions on Vimeo.


It is estimated that one in three Canadians will face a mental illness, a neurological disorder or a brain injury at some point in their lives. Collectively, the diseases of the brain are the major health challenge of the 21st century and impose a $60-billion burden on the Canadian economy every year – an impact greater than cancer and cardiovascular disease combined.


• Brain Canada supports innovative and paradigm-changing brain research across Canada;
• Brain Canada has expanded the philanthropic space for supporting brain research. Since 2011, we have had a major partnership with the Government of Canada (through Health Canada), which has provided $160 million in matching funds for research;
• Brain Canada is a convener and a catalyst, breaking down silos between diseases, disciplines and institutions, and across all stages of the research career, accelerating the understanding of both brain function and dysfunction;
• Brain Canada has provided leadership in enabling multidisciplinary research, and on placing a focus on sex and gender considerations, Indigenous communities, and on the ethical, social and legal implications of brain research.