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March 11, 2024

Els for Autism Canada is thrilled to officially announce their 2023 grant recipients. To visit the websites of and learn more about our 2023 recipients and the Els for Autism Canada granting programs, visit the Grants page of our website.

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March 14, 2023

It is with great joy and pride that Els for Autism Canada announces their 2022 grant recipients! Els for Autism Canada was able to provide over $250,000 worth of funding to organizations across the country working to serve those on the Autism spectrum. Many congratulations to each of these worthy recipients. To learn more about our 2022 recipients and the Els for Autism Canada granting programs, visit the Grants page of our website.

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February 19, 2023

Els for Autism Canada is thrilled to report the impacts made by programs of grant recipient Canucks Autism Network, made possible in part through funding from Els for Autism Canada.

"[Canucks Autism Network (CAN)]’s Youth and Adult programs provide the opportunity for youth and adults with autism to have fun, meet new people in their community and try a range of exciting activities, in a safe and supportive environment. Our weekly and monthly offerings focus on social and life skills, employment and volunteering, physical and mental health, and arts and technology.
These program categories are in direct response to requests from our Youth Leadership Group, made up of youth and adult participants, who advises CAN on preferred program activities, and takes active roles in marketing, communication, community engagement initiatives. Canucks Autism Network’s youth and adult programs help to improve participant’s physical and mental health, provide opportunities to make friendships, and participate in a range of activities that empower individuals to gain independence and confidence. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and in response to the provincial health recommendations, Canucks Autism Network added virtual opportunities for Youth and Adult Programming to its services to reduce social isolation and improve mental health during this difficult time."

"Throughout the four program seasons in the past year, Canucks Autism Network has offered 73 one-time monthly programs, and 51 multi-week programs. Across the 124 different program opportunities, 1172 program spaces were created for youth and adults to find
community whilst accessing social, recreational, and educational avenues throughout British Columbia."

"At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we introduced virtual programs for our youth & adult population. The excitement and registration numbers for these virtual programs has been more than we expected, and our participants have requested that week keep the virtual platform long after the pandemic ceases to impact our social world. With this platform, we’ve been able to reach more participants across the province as it eliminates the geographical restraints."

-Ryan Yao, Canucks Autism Network

Congratulations, Canucks Autism Network, and thank you for the excellent contributions you have made to improving the lives of those on the Autism spectrum!


February 19, 2023

Els for Autism Canada is thrilled to report the impacts made by programs of grant recipient Society for Treatment of Autism, made possible in part through funding from Els for Autism Canada.

"The Mental Health Across the Autism Spectrum (ASD) counselling program provides accessible, specialized mental health counselling services to individuals with ASD. Services include individual, family, and group counselling. All services are designed to address the combined impact of ASD symptomology and mental health on individuals’ functioning and community participation."


"Throughout the development and implementation of the counselling program, clinicians identified a number of recurring needs in the population served. Specifically, development of emotional skills, knowledge of Autism in late-diagnosed girls and women, and implementation of more generalizable social anxiety management strategies."

"In response to identified needs, our team of multi-disciplinary clinicians (Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, and Speech-Language Pathologist) collaboratively designed three counselling and/or psycho-educational group programs. The Emotions 101 program is an 8-week psychoeducational program that incorporates evidence-based principles of Cognitive- Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to support Autistic individuals increase their ability to identify and regulate their emotions. The Autistic Women’s Learning and Support Group is an 8-week group to support participants to learn about the nuances of Autism in women. Additionally, social connections and supportive relationships with other Autistic women are cultivated. Finally, to better support Autistic teenagers to build their social confidence and increase their comfort with dynamic social interactions The Theatre Improv for Social Emotional Skills group is an 8-week group for Autistic teens to increase their social confidence. Dynamic and engaging improvisation games and scene creation activities support participants to increase their skills with regard to perspective taking, cognitive flexibility, listening, self-management, and coping."

"To date, Els for Autism Canada has provided the funding to allow over 20 autistic individuals experiencing financial hardship to participate in therapeutic group counselling programming[...] It is anticipated that when this group concludes at least 30 autistic individuals will have received services as a result of the grant from Els for Autism Canada."

- Kimberly Ward, Society for Treatment of Autism


"I often felt a sense of relief and joy when the calls were finished because the information provided me with details of my experience I couldn't explain before.”

-Anonymous Participant, Autistic Women’s Learning and Support Group

“I enjoyed the course so much. I would like to attend another course. It was such a great addition to my week; I miss it actually. I think it’s better than 1 on 1 therapy for me personally. There is a structured outline of information that is taught and also opportunities to talk and share experiences. This course was a great balance of those 2 parts.”

-Anonymous Participant, Autistic Women’s Learning and Support Group.

“Finding I have so much in common with other ASD women (and what some of them were) was very comforting/enlightening. Learning that some of my difficulties are due to autism as it presents in women helped lessen the feeling that I could be more 'normal' if I just tried harder.”

-Anonymous Participant, Autistic Women’s Learning and Support Group.

Congratulations, Society for Treatment of Autism, and thank you for the excellent contributions you have made to improving the lives of those on the Autism spectrum!


February 16, 2023

Els for Autism Canada is thrilled to report the impacts made by programs of grant recipient Geneva Centre, made possible in part through funding from Els for Autism Canada.

"GCA staff have been working tirelessly to develop remote programming that will keep our clients engaged in social and recreational activities while we navigate year two of the pandemic. Understanding the multiple and varying needs of children on the spectrum, we have developed four remote programs for children of different ages and abilities."

"As school and most services resumed online, the remote social skills program provided our clients the tools to succeed in a digitized
world. The Remote Social Skills program gave children and youth a platform to connect with similar-aged peers on an ongoing basis using Zoom for Healthcare. Participants were able to connect with peers, play games, discuss shared interests, and see some new and familiar faces."

"After speaking with parents, many shared the timeliness of the Remote Social Skills couldn't be more aligned with the needs of their child."

- Geneva Centre


"Overall, confidence. Participants have more confidence trying to stay social, and make new friends. They also develop friendships in the program that help motivate them to connect with others over time."


"The program has provided them with support and practice when it comes to staying social. It allows the participants to connect with many other kids and has been able to open discussions that also teaches the youth more about various topics."

"The program is a great way to practice social skills while being an introvert, having additional options (Chat and
breakout rooms) that will allow participants to chat and break out of their shell."


 - 100% of participants can communicate emotions by the end of the program

- 500 hours subsidized

- 177 Youth participated in Remote Social Programs

Congratulations, Geneva Centre, and thank you for the excellent contributions you have made to improving the lives of those on the Autism spectrum!


November 8, 2022

Els for Autism Canada is thrilled to report the impacts made by programs of grant recipient Strides Toronto, made possible in part through funding from Els for Autism Canada.

"Parent and family engagement and education has long been a focus of the treatment model we employ at Strides Toronto. Families living with autism often require additional support and strategies, outside of the direct intervention with children and youth."

"As a result of this grant and the support from Els for Autism Canada, we have participated in a formal pilot project of a group delivery model to parents, to help them manage disruptive behavior, from the Research Units in Behavioural Intervention (RUBI). This project was in collaboration with Els for Autism in both Florida and South Africa as well as Shining Through Centre here in Toronto. We were also able to deliver second, Positive Adult Development program to families that have recently received a diagnosis of ASD."

"We were also able to support participation in these programs through the provision of equipment and technology to support a virtual learning experience, given the restrictions in place due to the Covid 19 pandemic."

"As a result of our collaboration with the other service providers, particularly the Els for Autism Foundation in Florida, we were able to access Karen Bearss, the author of the RUBI Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviours Clinician Manual. We worked closely with her and the other providers to deliver a novel, group application of this curriculum. As it is normally delivered in a 1 to 1 setting, the idea was that if successful, this would allow us to reach more families over time."

"We are pleased to report that the parent feedback and demonstrated learning made it clear that the group application of this program was successful, and we are now looking at a possible addition to the data to support this modality. It was a very successful and engaging collaborative and has led to the discussion of a second project, amongst this group of providers." Secondly, we were able to offer the Positive Adult Development Program to a group of parents with child who have been recently diagnosed with ASD. This is a program, based on cognitive behaviour therapy that helps parents cope with the diagnosis, address any feelings and concerns they may have and receive support from the facilitator and a group of peers encountering the same situation."

"Feedback from this group was also very positive and demonstrated a reduction is parent stress level following the 6 week program."

"Strides Toronto has three main Autism locations across the Eastern part of the Toronto area and we participate in a network of providers that cover all areas of the city. We intend to share the outcomes of this project with our partners to also spread the word about the possible use of this curriculum to support families."

- Darryl Nurse, Strides Toronto

Congratulations, Strides Toronto, and thank you for the excellent contributions you have made to improving the lives of those on the Autism spectrum!


February 16, 2023

Els for Autism Canada is thrilled to report the impacts made by programs of grant recipient Shining Through Centre, made possible in part through funding from Els for Autism Canada.

"Many children with autism exhibit behavioural problems, including tantrums, noncompliance, aggression and self-injury. These behaviours may not only hinder the individual’s ability to learn but also amplify caregiver stress."

"Shining Through Centre’s RUBI program in collaboration with Els for Autism, teaches parents to use applied behaviour techniques to manage their child’s challenging behaviours and to teach new skills. Group sessions were facilitated by our Parent Training Coordinator, Nitra Rajcoomar, E.C.E, B.A., RBT with certified experience applied behaviour analysis, speech-language pathology, and mental health

"Thanks to Els for Autism Canada’s generous support of our pilot project, we’re now going into our third year of our Parent Coaching program and demand continues to grow for these services. Nitra our Parent Coaching Coordinator, delivers the RUBI program to families in a 1:1 format via telehealth and in-person to meet their specific needs."

"This program has helped parents of our learners gain confidence and understand the function of their child’s behaviours. For example, one parent was struggling as her child would often have a tantrum, hit or push to get her attention. After working with Nitra, her son learned the technique of tapping his Mom on the shoulder to get her attention. It sounds like a small thing but has made a such a difference in their life at home."

"The RUBI pilot program has been so successful that Parent Training is now part of our core programs and services that we offer. We offer this to service to parents in a one-on-one setting to meet their specific needs. We have 4 centres across the Greater Toronto Area (Mississauga, North York, Woodbridge & Kleinburg) and were able to help over 25 families."

- Alex Tindale, Shining Through Centre

Congratulations, Shining Through Centre, and thank you for the excellent contributions you have made to improving the lives of those on the Autism spectrum!


October 31, 2022

It was a very special year for the Els for Autism Grand Finale, as it was the first time the finale took place at Albany in Nassau, Bahamas. Albany is home to a very special golf course that was designed by Ernie Els himself. 


The finale was a wild success, with the theme of the event being "The Journey to Empower". 


We look forward to another wonderful Grand Finale in 2023!


July 15, 2022


December 18, 2020

Sign up for one of our four fabulous golf challenge events held between June and September 2021.  Richmond Country Club (Vancouver), Angus Glen Golf Club (Toronto), Carnmoney Golf Club (Calgary) and Greywolf Golf Club (Panorama - Canadian Rockies) are hosting events for Els for Autism Canada this year.  Show your support by signing up with a team for one or more of the events, or make a donation to our charity online.  The 2021 event schedule and information about signing up or donating can be found here: 


For more information, Contact: Gary Chiste, Els for Autism Canada - Phone: 403-836-0692



December 1, 2020


December 1, 2020

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Els for Autism Canada is proud to announce that it has appointed Randall G Shapkin, Director of Solution Extensions at SAP, to its Board of Directors effective December 1, 2020.

“We are pleased to welcome Randall as our newest Director on the Els for Autism Canada Board.  Randall is joining at an exciting time as the organization comes out of a successful year executing three golf challenges in Canada while navigating Covid restrictions.  We are cautiously optimistic for our events in 2021 and look forward to the inaugural Canadian Rockies Golf Challenge to be held at Greywolf Golf Course in Panorama, BC." (Liezl Els, President).

The Els for Autism Canada Board regularly evaluates its composition to ensure it includes the appropriate skills, experience and perspective necessary to drive growth for all Els for Autism stakeholders.  With the appointment of Randall, we are adding vast management and leadership experience, passion and a broad personal network of sponsors and supporters to assist us in driving our future success.

About Randall G Shapkin




Randall, 48, is an active philanthropist with past Board experience with Habitat for Humanity Edmonton.  He is currently employed by SAP Canada and has had an impressive employment history with General Electric and the Canadian Department of National Defense as a Naval Officer.  He has a bachelor’s degree from Royal Roads Military College and an MBA from Royal Roads University.  Randall has been married to Kimberly for 22 years and they have three children, Zaakhary (18), Aubrie (16) and Jaxon (12).


March 15, 2019

Join Els for Autism in celebrating Autism Awareness Month during April! Thanks to some amazing sponsors and partners, we have a variety of fundraisers and events taking place throughout the month.

There are so many ways you can get involved and show your support:


  • Make an online donation

  • Make an online donation, or better yet, sign up for a recurring donation and make every month Autism Awareness Month!

  • Change your Facebook profile picture to The Els For Autism Frame

  • Changing your profile picture frame is a quick, but powerful way to show your support for individuals with autism. Follow instructions here and search for “Els For Autism Canada.”

  • Create a Facebook Fundraiser to support Els for Autism Canada

  • Just a couple of clicks and you can start raising money to support individuals with autism! Don’t forget to share your story and let your friends know why you support Els for Autism Canada. Instructions are here.



Host an Affiliate event -  throw a wine tasting party or create a running club, your donations will positively support Els for Autism Canada's mission to better understand the aspirations of people with ASD and help them to fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives. CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE EVENTS tab on our website


June 13, 2017

Els for Autism Canada's Erin Pettit wrote this piece about her son.  It was published in the Globe and Mail on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.


March 7, 2016

At a pro-am for Ernie Els' charity on Monday, Rickie Fowler made the shot of the year.


The event, held at Old Palm Club in Florida, gave players the opportunity to ace the 19th hole to win $1 million for the Els for Autism foundation.


Fowler cashed in, making a hole-in-one from 113 yards out.


May 7, 2015

We are proud to be a part of the Autism Okanagan story.  With a grant from Els for Autism Canada in 2014, Autism Okanagan was able to get up and running.


For more on this wonderful organization and to reach their story, click on the link below:


We are thankful to Els for Autism Canada for an initial grant to help AOK get


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