Toronto, ON – The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) will be hosting the 10th anniversary of one of their milestone fundraising events, Can You Do Lunch? (CYDL?) on April 28th at The Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. This year’s event is co-chaired by CYDL? Founder Janice O’Born and CANFAR’s National Spokesperson Valerie Pringle. It will pay tribute to prominent women who have been at the forefront of fighting and ending HIV in Canada and will celebrate key people from the scientific and medical community as well as philanthropists and community leaders.

Among medical and research experts who have dedicated their careers to the fight against HIV, CANFAR will be honouring Dr. Hélène Côté, Dr. Lisa Barrett, Dr. Bluma Brenner, Dr. Louise Charest, Dr. Marianne Harris, Dr. Marina Klein, Dr. Mona Loufty, Dr. Anita Rachlis, Dr. Cécile Tremblay, and Dr. Sharon Walmsley. Philanthropists and community-builders to be honoured include, Muluba Habanyama, Notisha Massaquoi, Patti MacNicol, Sylvia Mantella, Marvelous Muchenje, Ashley Rose Murphy, Patricia Olasker, Magaret Kisikaw Piyesis, Nada Ristich, and Leeanne Weld.

CANFAR will also be paying a special tribute to the Hon. Hilary Weston, CM CVO, for her long-time efforts and support of the HIV cause in Canada. Lastly, CANFAR will honour the memory of Bluma Appel, the Canadian philanthropist and patron of the arts who started CANFAR and spearheaded the support for research for HIV/AIDS in Canada, and June Callwood, the founder of Casey House, the first hospice in the world to provide support and palliative care for people with HIV/AIDS.

“We are elated to be able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of CYDL? and honour the many women who have been contributing to AIDS research and supporting the HIV-positive community,” commented Alex Filiatrault, CANFAR’s CEO.

This is such a pivotal time, with trial cures being developed to treat HIV and having the International AIDS Conference happening on Canadian soil in Montreal this September. We are grateful for all the women who have gotten our community in Canada and globally to where it is today.

Alex Filiatrault, CANFAR’s CEO

In addition, CANFAR will be bringing greater awareness to women who are living with and newly diagnosed with HIV. About a quarter of the population living with HIV in Ontario are women, and women accounted for 25% of new cases of HIV in recent years. Women who face systemic and social inequalities, specifically African, Caribbean and Black women, Indigenous women and Trans women, are more likely to be exposed to HIV. CANFAR sees the importance of highlighting at-risk segments of our population to keep moving forward to support them.

CANFAR is grateful to welcome back community leadership sponsors Mantella Corporation and Holt Renfrew, as well as BMO, Labatt, The P. Austin Family Foundation, Dr. Trevor Born and Air Canada. Thank you to our patrons for making CYDL? a sold-out event. Join us in donating or bidding in the CYDL? Silent Auction at:

donate or bid in the CYDL? silent auction


CANFAR’s mission is to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada by funding innovative research, and awareness programs focused on increasing prevention, increasing testing, improving treatment and care, and ending HIV/AIDS stigma. Over its 30-year history, CANFAR has invested more than $24 million and awarded more than 500 grants across Canada in research addressing all aspects of HIV/AIDS.

Media contact

Bria Weaver