Relay For Life

Canadian Cancer Society continues to bring cancer survivors and their loved ones together through its signature event to celebrate life and aid cancer research

Every year across the country, cancer survivors and their supporters come together to pass the baton in the Relay For Life. This extraordinary community fundraising experience—Canadian Cancer Society’s signature event—has a powerful purpose: to create a world without cancer.

Funds raised from the event support Canada’s best and brightest researchers, people who work tirelessly to find a solution for the many types of cancer. The funds also enable those with the disease and their loved ones to receive support through invaluable resources and compassionate programs.

Taking place at more than 400 locations across the country, Relay For Life unites Canadians in the shared goal of eradicating cancer. Toddlers can walk hand-in-hand with grandparents around a track; avid runners can complete a half or full marathon. From Prince George to Coquitlam, Comox Valley to Kelowna, every event embraces its community’s unique spirit. What these communities share is the passionate drive to conquer cancer, and wanting to have a whole lot of fun at the same time.

Relay events are typically either six or 12 hours long, and most take place in the spring and summer. Participants set a fundraising goal and work individually or with a team to raise money to advance cancer research and support Canadians living with cancer. Companies can sponsor a Relay in their community, donate products or services, or engage employees by joining the Canadian Cancer Society’s Caring Company program.

The first Relay For Life in Canada took place in 1999 and raised $85,000. Since then, it has raised more than $496.5 million for cancer research and support programs. Last year alone, more than $42 million was raised, with 128,734 Canadians participating on 13,833 teams. In addition to the 22,216 volunteers, there were 28,296 people celebrating their lives in the Survivors’ Victory Lap. Their inspirational stories of courage and strength are the reason why we Relay. 

Money raised at Relay For Life has enabled important life-saving research to fight back against cancer. Today, over 60 per cent of Canadians survive cancer compared to just 25 per cent in the 1940s. Despite remarkable developments in our understanding of cancer and in its treatment and prevention, the battle remains. With the Relay For Life, each lap completed, each baton passed and each dollar raised brings Canadians a step closer to creating a world where no one fears cancer.