Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation was founded in Toronto in 1992 by Anne Armstrong Gibson, who had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1988. 

In September of 2022, Wellspring Calgary and Wellspring Edmonton joined forces to become Wellspring Alberta, a strong and unified provincial charity that offers programs and services at no charge and without referral, to anyone with any type of cancer, and their families.

Given the shared mission and mandate of these organizations, and their connection to the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation, the union was a natural fit and a logical way to strengthen resources, capitalize on efficiencies, and band together to provide vital services to those living with cancer throughout all of Alberta.

The merger was months in the planning and implemented after extensive analysis, collaborations, and committee work to ensure seamless integration of the three Wellspring centres in Calgary and Edmonton, as well as the thriving online Wellspring community so that no one living in Alberta has to face cancer alone.


Key Dates

Anne Armstrong Gibson is diagnosed with cancer. The idea of Wellspring is born and an advisory committee is established.
Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation is registered as a non-profit organization.
Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation's first centre, the Coach House, opens in Toronto, ON.
Anne Armstrong Gibson dies.
Wellspring Westerkirk House opens in Toronto, ON.
Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House in Oakville, ON opens.
Wellspring's first affiliate organization opens in London, ON - Wellspring London.
Wellspring's next affiliate organization opens in Niagara, ON - Wellspring Niagara.
Wellspring Centre of Innovation is founded.
Wellspring's first Alberta affiliate opens - Wellspring Calgary.
A Wellspring affiliate organization is formed in Brampton, ON - Wellspring Chinguacousy.
Another Alberta affiliate organization opens - Wellspring Edmonton.
Wellspring starts to offer online programs, available across Canada.
Wellspring Calgary and Wellspring Edmonton kick-off plans to expand their reach to rural Albertans.
Wellspring Calgary and Wellspring Edmonton merge into a provincial-wide organization - Wellspring Alberta.
Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation begins to offer programming within select Toronto hospitals.

History of Wellspring Calgary

In 1999, a Globe and Mail article about Toronto-based Wellspring inspired cancer survivor and Calgary businessman John Stephure to open a support centre for cancer patients and their families in Calgary. He was joined by cancer survivors Rita Egizii and Barbara Cunnings who shared John’s vision and together they co-founded Wellspring Calgary.

They formed a Board, legally incorporated, and received charitable status in 2006. Wellspring Calgary launched programs in a rented space in 2007 after raising two years of operating capital and affiliating with the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation. In 2009, the organization moved into its first centre, Carma House, gifted and built by Carma Developers, now Brookfield Residential Properties. Sadly, after a short recurrence of the cancer he had fought for 11 years, co-founder John Stephure passed away on June 28, 2009. 

In October of 2019, Wellspring Calgary opened its second Calgary home, Randy O’Dell House in Seton, offering the space and capacity to serve and support more Albertans with cancer across southern Alberta.

History of Wellspring Edmonton

The idea for a Wellspring in Edmonton was formed in 2008 when Drs. Glenn and Marilyn Hundleby from Edmonton toured the construction of Wellspring Calgary’s Carma House, and recognized the need for a cancer support organization in northern Alberta. Over the next several years, with extensive research and planning, their dream took shape. Joined by Solomon Rolingher, Q.C., and John Webster, an architect at Stantec, the project was named Wellspring Edmonton and land was secured for development. They formed a founding Board and a Healthcare Advisory Council to engage local healthcare professionals and provide expertise and collaboration for the centre.

Wellspring Edmonton was legally incorporated and granted charitable status in 2010. The newly formed Board of Directors initiated a capital campaign, raising $7 million for the construction of the building. Wellspring Edmonton was a result of the generosity of hundreds of businesses and professionals, donors, and volunteers. The centre opened its doors and formally launched programs in 2017. 

Forward as One

Today, Wellspring Alberta serve thousands of Albertans, offering people living with cancer – those diagnosed, caregivers and kids, free access to a wide variety of evidence-informed programs and services across the province.

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