Our Story

Between Friends has been offering social and recreational programs in Calgary and the surrounding area for close to 40 years. Through our programs, we endeavor to benefit all people and increase the community’s awareness, positive attitudes, and sensitivity towards their fellow citizens with disabilities.

Through the name updates, program additions and changes and adapting to the ever-changing circumstances of our society Between Friends has remained committed to providing quality social and recreational programming for people with disabilities.

Pink Pelican Club

December 1, 1970

Between Friends was originally established in 1970, as the Pink Pelican Club, by a group of parents seeking social, recreational, and community-based activities for their teenagers with disabilities. The Pink Pelican Club rapidly expanded as programs provided a bridge for community participation.

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Between Friends Club

March 1, 1982

Originally we were incorporated under the name “The Calgary Between Friends Fun & Fellowship for Disabled Youth”, the organization obtained registered charitable status and was incorporated under the Societies Act of Alberta in March of 1982!

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Camp Bonaventure Established

July 5, 1982

Camp Bonaventure Established at Riveredge Park at Sandy Beach

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Charity Golf Tournament

August 1, 1989

The first annual Charity Golf Tournament, organized by a committee headed by Mr. Mike Howard and Dean Witter Reynolds, was held at the Glencoe Club and raised $35,000 for Between Friends.  It was the beginning of a long-term commitment to help the organization become financially stable.

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Friends in Motion Started

March 12, 1992

Mr. Dave Halwas, a member of the Board of Directors, puts forth the idea of a Skate Relay to raise funds for Camp Bonaventure.  Taking place at the Olympic Oval, participants skate, walked or wheeled around the track in a relay team event.

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Integration Services Started

January 3, 2000

Later to be renamed I.C.A.N! in 2008.

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Friendship Day

September 1, 2000

Building life-long friendship is vital to Between Friends and one of our major awareness campaigns is Friendship Day!  Based on the “pay it forward” concept, individuals on Stephen Avenue Walk are offered carnations, encouraged to keep one and pass the remainder to another and so on, and so on, thereby sharing a feeling of goodwill and camaraderie.

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Adventurers Began

June 3, 2002


March 1, 2007

The organization renamed itself to Between Friends Club Recreation for People with Disabilities

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VIT Began

May 1, 2015

Volunteer in Training (VIT) program began

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