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Here's how the Prince George Relay for Life is going to work this year and it's not a 24-hour event anymore

As with most things the Covid-19 pandemic has affected many events over the last two years and the Relay for Life is no different.
Luminary walk
Luminary bags line the track at Masich Place Stadium in 2016 at Relay for Life. Each bag represents someone who has lost the battle with cancer.

As with most things the Covid-19 pandemic has affected many events over the last two years and the Relay for Life is no different.

For the first time in many years, this year’s live 30th Prince George Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society, is not a 24-hour relay.

This year’s fundraiser will take place at Ecole Lac Des Bois, 4131 Rainbow Drive, Saturday, June 11 from 4 to 10 p.m.

“Reducing the event from a 24-hour relay to a six-hour event was not a decision made lightly,” Rachael Zapp, manager of signature programs for the Canadian Cancer Society, said.

“This is going to be our first event back in person since the pandemic so with the return of in-person events there are some extra Covid-19 safety protocols and guidelines we need to put in place and locally in Prince George we’ve been really struggling with volunteer recruitment this year because of the pandemic so we have a very small yet mighty team of volunteers that unfortunately didn’t have the capacity with which to move forward with the longer event this year.”

The local branch of the Canadian Cancer Society will reassess moving forward hoping the challenges of the pandemic will be lessened in 2023, allowing for another 24-hour relay to take place in Prince George once again.

This year’s abbreviated event will start with opening ceremonies and the Lap of Hope, formerly known as the Survivor’s Victory Lap.

“A couple of years ago we changed the term to make it more inclusive for people living with cancer, cancer survivors, people living with metastatic cancer, as well as those who carry a genetic risk for the disease, so we’ll have a participant share their story on stage, the Lap of Hope, then we’ll continue with some activities and entertainment,” Zapp said.

There will also be a fundraising award ceremony.

“So we’ll have a chance to celebrate and recognize fundraising teams and participants on stage,” Zapp added. “Then, of course, we’ll have our luminary ceremony at dusk. So we’ll have a speaker on stage, we’ll have a moment of silence, we’ll have that quiet time of reflection and remembering and then we’ll wrap up with the closing ceremonies.”

Numbers have increased for people affected by Cancer in Canada. Two in five Canadian are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

“We’re really encouraging people to sign up for the Relay for Life,” Zapp said. “We’re super excited to be back in the community.”

Relay For Life is the most impactful way for people to support Canadians living with all cancers in communities across the country. Relay for Life supports Canadian Cancer Society’s commitment to groundbreaking research across more than 100 types of cancer, working with governments to shape a healthier society, and creating a compassionate national support system. 

The Canadian Cancer Society has a local impact in Prince George via the following programs: 

  • Prince George Lodge: CCS funds and operates Lodges across the country, a place where out-of-town patients can stay while receiving cancer treatment. Lodges act as a home away from home, where their caring staff and volunteers meet the patient’s practical needs. The lodges also offer social and emotional support, where you can meet others who are also experiencing cancer. 
  • Wheels of Hope: recently launched in the province, this program connects British Columbians who need transportation to cancer treatments with volunteer drivers. Drivers are trained to provide safe and reliable rides to approved cancer treatment facilities. 
  • On a national level, CCS also operates their Wig Bank program, an online community called, and a Cancer Information Helpline.