TORONTO, ON, Oct. 6, 2017 /CNW/ - In celebration of World Smile Day today, Canadian music superstar Alessia Cara was announced as the official Ambassador for Smilezone Foundation. The announcement was made by a personalized video message from Alessia at this morning's grand opening celebration of 12 new Smilezones at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Canada's largest children's rehabilitation hospital.
Founded in 2012, Smilezone Foundation is a registered Canadian children's charity with a mission to transform areas ("Smilezones") in hospitals and other health care centres to improve the lives of children facing illness, disabilities and physical or emotional obstacles – ultimately putting smiles on their faces. The Foundation has transformed over 150 Smilezones in hospitals and children's centres across Ontario, because of a core belief that every child deserves to smile no matter what circumstances they face.
"We are honoured to have Alessia join the Smilezone family", says Adam Graves, two-time Stanley Cup Winner and Vice Chair of Smilezone Foundation. "She is such an inspiration to the children and families we serve, and her dedication to the Smilezone mission will certainly give kids a reason to smile, even on their toughest days in the hospital."
Alessia's video message spoke to the power of having Smilezones as child-friendly spaces in hospitals that promote healing and fun, where kids can focus on just being kids.
"I am so excited to be celebrating World Smile Day with Smilezone and Holland Bloorview," said Cara. "I spent a lot of time in hospitals as a kid so I know first-hand how important it is to have an environment where kids can just feel at home, and feel safe, and most importantly, feel like kids."
Brampton, Ontario native Alessia Cara is a singer songwriter with four U.S. Top 10 hits to her name. Her debut album, Know-it-All, won the 2017 Juno Award for Pop Album of the Year.
The newly transformed Smilezones at Holland Bloorview include three therapeutic gymnasiums and nine outpatient clinic rooms, featuring bright murals, updated furniture, sensory toys, tablet stations and much more. The new Smilezones at Holland Bloorview will be home to some of the 55,000+ outpatient visits that the hospital has each year, and will be available to all of the kids who are living at the hospital during their rehabilitation. The Smilezones create an inviting atmosphere designed to make children feel comfortable and confident during therapy, and will serve to compliment the extraordinary care delivered by the hospital's dedicated interprofessional teams.
Visit smilezone.com to learn more about the 150+ Smilezones across Ontario and upcoming transformations.
SOURCE Smilezone Foundation
For further information: Jackie Hames, Communications Coordinator, Smilezone Foundation, 905-951-2978 x313, [email protected]