Awareness Day

MBC first initiated National Multiple Births Awareness Day (NMBAD) in 2005. It's celebrated annually on May 28, the birth date of the Dionne Quintuplets. The 1st Annual National Multiple Births Awareness Day event (2005) was held at the Dionne Quints Museum in North Bay. It was a powerful experience for the guests in attendance. A visit to the museum continues to be a time of reflection and learning.

Five tiny, healthy infant girls who bonded with each other from the moment of conception. A mother and a father who were excluded from the parenting experience during their formative years. Siblings who were deprived of developing strong relationships with their celebrity sisters. The Dionne Quintuplets’ story is a bittersweet chapter in Canadian history, one of miraculous wonderment that provided much needed hope in the midst of the Great Depression, but also one of extraordinary sadness as the girls were exploited by the Ontario government and kept at an emotional distance by their parents. Their story is one that continues to inspire MBC’s work to provide multiple birth families with the community of support they need locally while also educating and advocating on their behalf nationally. 

First NMBAD celebration in 2005 at the Dionne Quints Museum in North Bay, Ontario

The following links to educational materials is the result of the volunteer efforts of the Dionne Quints Heritage Board who worked valiantly to preserve and keep the museum located in North Bay, Ontario.


MBC invites you to visit these links to learn more about:

  • Yvonne Édouilda Marie Dionne (died 2001)

  • Annette Lillianne Marie Allard (living)

  • Cécile Marie Émilda Langlois (living)

  • Émilie Marie Jeanne Dionne (died 1954)

  • Marie Reine Alma Houle (died 1970)

Can you answer these questions?

  1. What made the birth of the Dionne Quintuplets “a miracle” in 1934?

  2. Why did their birth draw worldwide attention?

  3. Where is Corbeil located on the map of Ontario?

  4. How did the Dionne sisters “make a difference” improving other people’s lives?

  5. What challenges do the arrival of multiple birth infants create for their parents?


While many celebrations across Canada were cancelled last year due to Covid-19 precautions, one national event occured, continuing an annual tradition that began in 2005. National Multiple Births Awareness Day 2020 went on as planned on May 28th. Hosting this initiative online was a natural response for Multiple Births Canada (MBC) members, an organization that fully understands self-isolation as it is the reality most multiple birth families experience immediately upon the arrival of their newborns.

Coincidentally, the focus of last year’s event “Connecting Coast to Coast” has become more relevant as Canada’s multiple birth community unites from British Columbia to Newfoundland to celebrate the initiative together. Multiple birth families celebrated nationwide by:

  • Engageing in self-guided learning experiences of the Dionne Quintuplets History, Pictures, and Videos encourageing multiple birth families and supporters to learn from the past to prevent history from being repeated.​

  • Printing a special cake design commemorating the new MBC logo and the “Connecting Coast to Coast” theme and celebrate with family at home. Multiple-birth families baked cakes and decorated them using the suggested design or created one of their own. 

  • Virtually attending a cake cutting ceremony from the Guelph, Ontario home of our Chair of the Board, Ruth Morton MBC projects are almost exclusively handled by volunteers across the country, with other MBC Directors currently living in Edmonton, Essex, Ottawa, Whitby, and Windsor.​

cake logo.jpg

Cake Design Download


Multiple Births Canada also launched a 12-month initiative on May 28th, the MBC Coast to Coast Project, which has a goal of growing the number of MBC Chapters across Canada

  • Currently there are 12 Chapters in five provinces and the intention is to have a Chapter in every province and double the number of Chapters during the next year.

  • To address the needs of Francophone members, an intense effort is in place to translate many MBC resources to French in the coming months. Volunteers and donations are most welcome.

​Every year, MBC chooses a theme to focus their work and projects on. This is a look at the last 16 years of celebrating NMBAD with each yearly theme.

  • 2021 Equity and Inclusion for Multiple Births Families from Coast to Coast

  • 2020 Connecting Coast to Coast

  • 2019 Honouring our History and the 85th birthday of the surviving Dionne Quintuplets, Celine and Annette. Their story continues to inspire the work that we do, ensuring multiple birth children are cherished and supported, not made out as spectacles.

  • 2018 Growing Up Multiples- Celebrating 40 years of MBC

  • 2017 Postpartum Emotional Support and Wellness for Multiple Births Families. 

  • 2016 Building Support for the Road Ahead

  • 2015 Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) – Early diagnosis can save lives. 

  • 2014 It’s a multiple’s choice: encourage twins, triplets, and more to make individual decisions.

  • 2013 You're not alone - Canada's multiple-birth community is here to support you.

  • 2012 Multiple-birth educational resources and peer to peer support - TOGETHER we can make a difference

  • 2011 Prenatal education and professional support must reflect the unique needs of Canada's multiple-birth community

  • 2010 Canada’s EI parental leave must reflect the needs of multiple birth infants. 

  • 2009 Classroom placement of multiple- Together or not? 

  • 2008 The increased risk of death and disability for multiple birth babies, more complications for the mother during pregnancy and the longer-term consequences for the welfare of multiple birth families are so serious that it should be an imperative for providers of fertility services to aim for treatment which results in the birth if a single live healthy baby and reduce iatrogenic multiple twins and more. 

  • 2007 Raise the attention to the need to recognize and encourage the individuality of individuals of multiple births while respecting the singularity of their multiple birth relationship 

  • 2006 “Raising awareness of the unique risks of multiple-birth pregnancies and the post-natal issues faced by parents and multiples”

  • 2005 a call to dialogue on Employment Insurance (EI)


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