CNIB celebrates a century of change in Surrey

Surrey singer Anya performing on stage.

MORE than 150 guests, donors, staff, clients and volunteers helped CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) celebrate its 100th anniversary on April 28 in Surrey. The event held at the Atrium at Surrey City Hall focused on the charity’s storied past – and looked ahead to a bold, ambitious future for people with sight loss in Canada.

Surrey singer Aman Gill, who goes by the stage name Anya and has been blind since childhood, entertained the crowd with her inspiring songs.

Says Jennifer Yankanna, CNIB Manager of Programs and Services, “I was very pleased when Anya volunteered to provide the entertainment. She lost her sight when she was three months old and has always had a passion for music. She is an amazing young woman, currently studying at Capilano University to become a music therapist.”

CNIB Volunteer Award recipient Ann McNabb holding her medal and her companion Jerry.

Over her lifetime Anya has received many hours of instruction and services from CNIB, including white cane training and being part of a peer support group. She is just one of the thousands of clients CNIB provides services to every year.

Another highlight of the event was the presentation of Century of Change Awards. The certificates and medals thanked CNIB volunteers for all they do as ambassadors, vision mates and office volunteers.

CNIB was founded in 1918 by veterans and advocates who believed in ability and equal opportunity for people who are blind. Since then, CNIB has led and contributed to major advances in programs, services and human rights for those it serves.

CNIB BC-Yukon Executive Director Andrea Gronfeldt and CNIB Regional VP John Mulka cutting a cake.

As CNIB enters its second century, it’s more driven than ever before to create the future its founders imagined. For more information, check out