Sunrise History

1982 Sunrise founded
• Started with 5 riders and 3 horses
• Guelph/Cambridge/Kitchener chapter of the national association, Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA)
• Rented facilities for 14 years, and operated seasonally / weather dependent (six different locations, with most moves necessitated by program growth, before the present farm)

1990 Camp Sunrise initiated
• Integrated summer riding day camp program, for children of all abilities

1996 A permanent farm home purchased
• Facility had indoor riding arena, enabling Sunrise to move to year-round operation
• Located in Puslinch, just 15 minutes from Guelph and Cambridge

1996 to 2000 Extensive improvements made to property for accessibility and safety
• Funded by individuals, corporations and the Ontario Trillium Foundation
• Renovations included creating tack room, viewing lounge / meeting room upstairs and accessible washrooms. Also improvements to fencing, shelters, etc.

2001 Drive shed renovated into Children’s Activity Room and offices
2001 Therapeutic Riding Instructor Training Program initiated
• Only Canadian residential training school
• Student Instructors train at Sunrise from across Canada and around the world

2002 “Little Breeches’ Club initiated
• Introduction to horses for 4 to 7 year old children (integrated)

2006 “Building Brighter Futures” Development Campaign was launched
• This campaign provided a swimming pool, Marguerite’s Farm Discovery Camp Centre, and Accessible Adventure Playground
• Farm Discovery Day Camp initiated for younger children (5-8 years)

2007 Sunrise received National Accreditation from the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association.
2007 Sunrise received National CanTRA Accreditation as a Residential Instructor Training School and Exam Centre.
2007 Sunrise received accreditation through the Ontario Camps Association (OCA)

2008 Stable Renovations
• Tack Room was enlarged and renovated through the Building Brighter Futures Campaign – Ontario Trillium Foundation grant.
• New accessible barn washroom.

2010 Rotary Children’s Nature Project completed

2010 McDonald’s Children’s Room completed
• Funded by Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada
2010 Received three year Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant.
• Hired a Child & Youth Recreation Coordinator and purchased marketing material and technical equipment.

2011 Personal Support Worker program initiated at Camp Sunrise

2014 Junior Leader Program initiated at Camp Sunrise
•  To provide more support options for campers with moderate special needs.

2014 Extensive Property Renovations
• 25’ Extension to Indoor Arena, funding by UPI Energy LP, to accommodate an improved mounting area, funded by an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant.
• Paddocks reconfigured, and addition shelters added, through a grant from the Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Foundation to improve pasture rotation and reduce hay dependency.

2015 Life Skills Day Program initiated
• Funded through a grant from Scotiabank (2015-2018)
• Provides a farm and horticulture based day program for adults with developmental disabilities.
• Program expanded in 2016

2016 Property Upgrades through private donor
• Construction of a garden shed, raised garden beds, picnic pavilion and picnic tables
• Extensive upgrades to Butterfly Gardens; initiation of herb and vegetable garden by Life Skills Program

2017 Conferences and Clinics Offered
• Hosted 35th Anniversary Conference Weekend, with 75 delegates representing 29 therapeutic riding centres across 6 provinces attending
• Eleven registrants completed the first American Hippotherapy Association (AHA) Level 1 Hippotherapy course to be offered by Sunrise

2018 LED lights installed in all buildings
• Implementing an important environmental and cost-saving measure.

2019 Successful re-zoning of the existing agricultural property
• Agricultural/residential which will permit construction of a future residential and respite facility for adults with special needs.

2019 The Sunrise Therapy Forest was established
• For future programming and environmental projects
•A place to honor and remember loved ones through the planting of a tree or the naming of a bench.

2020 Arena renovations
• Made possible through a successful Ontario Trillium Grant
• New windows and doors as well as an insulated ceiling to improve arena sound proofing and temperature control.


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For the safety and enjoyment of all our participants, please note that Sunrise Farm is a smoke, alcohol and drug-free environment.
In fairness to the animals that work in the Sunrise program, no dogs or other pets are allowed on the premises, unless scheduled by the staff for specific events.
© 2024 Sunrise Therapeutic Riding & Learning Centre Inc. Registered Charity: # 11920 6027 RR0001

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