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DRIFcan: BTA Charitable Foundation $ at Work

Posted by on in Building Trades of Alberta
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Helps Fund Research for Type 1 Diabetes Cure

More than $2.2 million – that’s how much the Building Trades of Alberta and its Charitable Foundation have donated to diabetes research since 1991. The money goes to DRIFcan (Diabetes Research Institute Foundation Canada) to support the vital research needed to find a cure for diabetes.

Drifcan Logo

Charitable Foundation Donations Total More Than $6 Million

BTA created its Charitable Foundation in 2001. The members of BTA’s affiliated unions provide most of the Foundation’s funding by purchasing tickets in raffles authorized by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. Raffles are held with contractor / owner permission at work sites. Additional funding comes from charity golf tournaments, curling bonspiels, events at the annual conference, and a 50-50 raffle at the Building Trades of Alberta Oil Kings Night. To date the Building Trades of Alberta Charitable Foundation has donated over $6 million to charitable organizations in Alberta.

BTA Charitable Foundation donated $20,000 to DRIFcan

In April 2018, the BTA Charitable Foundation donated $20,000 to DRIFcan.

To learn more, visit the BTA Charitable Foundation website.

DRIFcan Diabetes Research

  • DRIFCan is the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation Canada
  • DRIFcan funds cure-based research into Type 1 diabetes, which stops the body from producing its own insulin.
  • Worldwide,  45 million people have Type 1 Diabetes. 
  • More than 300,000 people in Canada have Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Dr. James Shapiro, the founder of DRIFcan and the lead researcher, developed the Edmonton Protocol
    • The Edmonton Protocol is a method of pancreaitic islet implantation.
    • The transplanted islets can then produce insulin, meaning that diabetes patients no longer require insulin treatment. They do, however, require immunosuppressive drugs.
  • Dr. Shapiro is currently leading a clinical trial of stem-cell derived islet replacement therapy, which could eliminate the needs for immunosuppressive drugs.
  • Learn more about DRIFcan.
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The Building Trades of Alberta coordinates and promotes the interests of 16 Alberta trade unions whose 75,000 members work in the residential, commercial and industrial construction, maintenance and fabrications industries.


Nationally, Building Trades of Alberta joins the other Provincial Councils that make up Canada's Building Trades Unions. Canada's Building Trades Unions, in turn, is a member of the Building and Construction Trades Department centred in Washington, D.C.

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