Smilezone Foundation’s mission is to transform areas (“Zones”) in hospitals and other healthcare centres in order to improve the lives of children facing illness
The idea of Smilezone started when Adam Graves, former professional National Hockey League player and Scott Bachly, CEO of Bachly Construction were approached to make a financial contribution to the construction of a local hospital. The request made Adam and Scott realize they wanted to make a difference, not only in their community, but also in communities across the country. As fathers themselves, Adam and Scott wanted to do something that would help children facing health challenges as they have witnessed the obstacles facing families with sick children. They wanted to give kids a place to experience a break from the day-to-day challenges they face; a place, quite simply, that would put a smile on a child’s face.
This determination led to the creation of the Smilezone Foundation in 2012. The idea behind Smilezone Foundation is simple: Transform spaces in healthcare centres to give children, siblings, and their families an opportunity to smile, no matter what circumstances they face!
Smilezone Foundation transforms hospital and healthcare spaces so they are comforting and fun for kids receiving treatment, helping to make their days a little brighter. Visiting a Smilezone is something that a child and their family can look forward to, helping to ease the anxiety of being in a hospital or treatment facility. Smilezones can be created in waiting rooms, treatment rooms, playrooms, or custom patient care spaces.
Smilezones are custom built to suit the specific needs of children and families at each healthcare facility they partner with. These features often include fresh paint and kid-friendly murals; technology and entertainment units such as televisions, iPads, video games, and music items; sensory activities and games to engage children of all abilities; custom furniture, cabinetry and storage; and a lot more! Transformations take place over a single weekend, so that children, families and staff are surprised by the new Smilezone spaces on Monday morning!
As of 2018, the Foundation has transformed 200 Smilezones in over 30 communities across Ontario. Over 146,000 children and families across the province use Smilezones on an annual basis.
Smilezones & ErinoakKids
On August 28th, 2018, Smilezone Foundation celebrated the grand opening of three new Smilezones at ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment & Development in Brampton, ON. Smilezone Ambassador and international pop superstar Alessia Cara helped cut the ribbon to the new Smilezones, with more than 150 children, families, and staff at the Centre for the unveiling.
As part of Smilezone Foundation’s mission, ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment & Development now boasts a refreshed and welcoming main reception area featuring interactive projection flooring, a newly painted Respite Wing displaying bright murals, and a music-themed Youth Room. The treatment centre’s new Smilezones create relaxed and fun atmospheres designed to make children feel comfortable and confident during therapy while complementing the extraordinary care delivered by the Centre’s dedicated inter-professional teams.
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment & Development is the largest children’s treatment centre in Ontario, providing therapy and medical services to over 17,000 children with special needs and their families in Peel, Halton and Dufferin County every year.
Visit smilezone.com for more information on the 200+ Smilezones across Ontario, as well as upcoming transformations.