The Life Blanket Campaign: Changing the Way Canadians Talk about Death

Ottawa, ON) The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association’s (CHPCA) Champions Council is proud to announce the launch of the Life Blanket Campaign, a creative project that aims to encourage Canadians to start a dialogue and engage in thoughtful conversations about end-of-life issues. The Life Blanket vernissage, hosted by the Honorable Michael MacDonald, the Honorable Noel Kinsella, and Andrew Sheer will be held April 17, 2013 on Parliament Hill.

“I am honoured and humbled by the notable Canadians who have given their time and shared their story for this worthy initiative,” said Russell Williams, co-chair of the Life Blanket Campaign and President of Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, “we’d also like to thank the art students from across Canada who worked with our celebrity participants to help them realize their visions.”                                                                      

For the past year, (retired) Honourable Senator Sharon Carstairs, award winning actress Sheila McCarthy, award winning film producer Kevin Tierney, Dr. Reverend Brent Hawkes, award winning actor Gordon Pinsent, and former President and CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Paul Lucas, have worked collaboratively with local art students to create one-of-a-kind legacy pieces.


“It is time that Canadians change the way that they talk about life, death and their legacies as end-of-life care is at the threshold of significant change,” said Michael Sangster, co-chair of the Life Blanket Campaign and Vice President of Government Relations at Telus. “The Life Blanket Campaign is an innovative way change the way we discuss life and death.”

As the Canadian population ages, changing the way in which Canadians talk about end-of-life will become increasingly important. In 2009, Canada had 4.7 million persons aged 65 years or over, twice the number recorded in 1981. It is projected that by 2061, there will be between 11.9 million and 15.0 million persons aged 65 years or older.[i] It is time for us to bring the conversation about death and dying to the forefront so that we may improve end-of-life care for all Canadians and their loved ones.



For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:

Vanessa Sherry

Communications Officer

Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

E-mail: [email protected]

Phone: 613-241-3663 ext. 229

Images of the blankets are also available.

About the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) is the national voice for hospice palliative care in Canada. It is a bilingual, national charitable non-profit association whose mission is the pursuit of excellence in care for persons approaching death so that the burdens of suffering, loneliness and grief are lessened. 

About the CHPCA’s Champion’s Council:

The Champion’s Council is a group of influential Canadians who have come together as champions to advance the profile of hospice palliative care in Canada. The proud members of the Council are: Mr. Russell Williams – President, Rx&D Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Chair); Ms. Kathryn Butler Malette – Chief Human Resources Officer, House of Commons of Canada; The (retired) Honourable Sharon Carstairs – Senator, Senate of Canada; Mr. William (Bill) Greenhalgh – MBA, C. Dir. CEO, Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA); The Honourable Michael MacDonald – Senator, Senate of Canada; Mr. Michael Sangster – Vice-President, Federal Government Relations, TELUS, Dr. Balfour Mount – Emeritus Professor of Medicine, McGill University.

[i] Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories – 2009-2036, Statistics Canada. October 2010.