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CNIB Appoints Angela Bonfanti as First COO, Sets Course for the Future

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Angela Bonfanti smiling and leaning against a deskCNIB, Canada’s largest non-profit serving people with sight loss, has appointed Angela Bonfanti as its Chief Operating Officer (COO), making her the first COO in the organization’s 104-year history. The news comes as CNIB prepares to deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy to create a Canada where everyone can live, work, and play without barriers in a post-pandemic world.

“Angela is an exceptional leader who has been instrumental in shaping our strategies and moving the needle on issues facing people with sight loss in Canada since 2011," said John M. Rafferty, CNIB’s President and CEO. “We're incredibly proud to have her as our first COO to lead the development and implementation of the next strategic plan.”

In her 11-year tenure with CNIB, Bonfanti has been a driving force behind some of the organization’s most transformational achievements for people with sight loss. Most recently, she led CNIB’s COVID-19 response and the development of its virtual programs. She also directed CNIB's engagement with the federal government on its response to the pandemic with a strong focus on supports for people with disabilities.

Prior to March 2020, Bonfanti was instrumental in re-thinking how CNIB delivers programs with the development of community hubs across the country.

In her role as CNIB’s Chief Operating Officer, Bonfanti is responsible for providing strategic and operational oversight over the delivery of the organization’s mission to change what it is to be blind through innovative programs and powerful advocacy that enable Canadians impacted by blindness to live the lives they choose. Importantly, she’s also responsible for leading the creation of CNIB’s next strategic plan which is set for release in 2023, and it promises to be a bold and ambitious one. 

“This is so much more than a plan – it's our manifesto, and it will be written by thousands of Canadians with sight loss across the country and the people they love", says Bonfanti. “We’re embarking on one of the most active engagement efforts in our organization’s history. As we connect with tens of thousands of people who are blind or partially sighted, we will be charting a course that breaks down barriers to ensure people with sight loss can truly live the lives they choose.” 

To start, we're inviting the community to complete a survey to initiate the discussions.

While many organizations have faced challenges due to COVID-19, it has provided CNIB with an incredible opportunity. By transitioning our programs to a virtual environment – free of geographical boundaries – CNIB is reaching new people, more people, and offering more support than ever before. And most of the virtual programs are here to stay – an astounding 91 per cent of participants have told CNIB they want these programs to continue after the pandemic.

“We’ve definitely encountered barriers because of the pandemic, but it’s also opened doors for CNIB in the best possible way,” says Bonfanti. “We’ve overcome the challenges to communication that we faced before, and we’ve been able to connect with the people we serve more effectively. This is the time for us to push forward for and with Canada’s sight loss community.” 

To learn more about CNIB and its upcoming strategic plan as it progresses, visit or follow the organization on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. To learn more about Angela Bonfanti, visit

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