Frequently asked questions

Thank you for your interest in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life! We've tried to answer any questions you may have, but if we've missed something, please contact us for help via email at connect@cancer.ca or toll-free at 1-888-939-3333.

Relay 2022 & COVID-19

We thank all our Relay For Life supporters for their commitment and passion to Relay and the cancer cause. We look forward to welcoming you back to Relay as an in-person experience on Saturday, June 11, 2022.

With the hope of Relay taking place in person, please know that we are committed to honouring physical distancing and protecting the well-being and safety of people living with cancer, event participants, donors, volunteers, staff, and supporters. To ensure your safety, we will observe all public health guidelines and recommendations.

What is Relay For Life?

Relay For Life is a global movement to end cancer. Relay is active in 29 countries and 6,000 communities worldwide, whereby participants commit to raising funds for work against all types of cancer.

Since 1999, Relay has united a collective of Canadians, who are a force-for-life in the face of cancer. At Relay events, participants of all ages gather at a community space and take turns walking around a track or path to symbolize the perseverance and action needed to change the future of cancer.

During Relay, we honour Participants of Hope during our first lap the Lap of Hope. When the sun goes down, luminaries light the track in memory of those we have lost.

Participants are asked to fundraise to:

  • support groundbreaking cancer research into all types of cancer
  • offer support services to help people better manage life with cancer
  • shape health policies to prevent cancer and support those living with the disease
  • offer trusted cancer information for all Canadians

Wherever your Relay takes place, you will be joining thousands of people across the country who have shown up to support their communities. Join us, and together, we can prove that we are bigger than cancer.

When is the Relay For Life?

Relay For Life takes place on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Check out your local Relay event for time and venue information.

Where is Relay For Life?

Relay For Life takes place in communities across the country. Sign up in your community here. If you don’t see your community listed, you can still be part of Relay For Life by choosing Relay Your Way.

Who organizes Relay For Life?

Relay For Life is organized and executed by volunteer committees, supported by the Canadian Cancer Society staff. The generous support of volunteers helps keep costs down, which directs more money to fund groundbreaking cancer research, compassionate support services, trusted cancer information and advocacy on behalf of all Canadians. If you would like to be a part of this amazing group of people check out our current volunteer opportunities.

If I invite others to join me the day of Relay, do they have to pay to participate?

We encourage anyone who wants to participate in Relay For Life to register as a participant online.

What happens if I don’t reach my commitment?

If you don’t fundraise a minimum of $150 (adult) or $60 (youth) by event day on Saturday, June 11, 2022, we encourage you to make the personal minimum donation of $45 which is tax receiptable. To help you reach your goal, you can take a look at our Participant Fundraising Toolkit, for fun and easy fundraising ideas.

If you are still having difficulty reaching your fundraising goal, please contact us at connect@cancer.ca or 1-888-939-3333 and someone from our team will gladly provide you with some guidance and tips & tools!

Where does the money raised through Relay For Life go?

Funds raised through Relay For Life events support groundbreaking research into more than 100 cancer types, programs and services that help people with cancer and their families and advocacy to governments on important cancer-related issues.

Is the Canadian Cancer Society a registered charity?

Yes. The Canadian Cancer Society’s charitable number is 118829803 RR 0001. When you donate to the Canadian Cancer Society, you will receive a tax receipt.

How do I learn more about becoming a sponsor of Relay For Life?

For more information about national or local sponsorship opportunities, or to interact with participants on event day, please call us toll-free 1-888-939-3333 or email relay@cancer.ca.

Can I fundraise by going door-to-door?

We do not encourage volunteers or participants to solicit funds by door-to-door canvassing.

Advisory re: door-to-door canvassing

In our experience, some individuals elect to canvass neighbours in their communities as part of their fundraising efforts.

If you are approached by a canvasser who states that they are raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society, please follow this advice:

  • If you know and trust the canvasser and you want to donate, please donate by giving the canvasser a cheque made out to the Canadian Cancer Society. Do not give cash.
  • If a canvasser is unknown to you and you want to support the Canadian Cancer Society, please visit the Relay website at www.relayforlife.ca for donation options.
  • If you are suspicious of a canvasser, please take note of their appearance and contact your local police department.

Will my information be shared or traded with anyone?

No. The Canadian Cancer Society will not share your information with any outside agencies/organizations or individuals without prior consent or if the disclosure is permitted or required by law. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

What are the different participation types?

There are 3 ways you can register to participate in Relay For Life:

  1. Start a team and become a team captain. Team captains are an important part of Relay’s success. Build your team and work together to reach your goals. A team of 10 members can have 10 times the impact!
  2. Join a team that already exists. From fundraising to event day, share your Relay experience with a team, working together to meet your goals and celebrate successes!
  3. Participate as an individual. Register, set your goal, fundraise and make a difference at Relay! If you want, you'll be able to join or create a team later.

How do I register for a Relay For Life event?

We can't wait to welcome you at Relay! To register:

  1. Find your event.
  2. Choose your participation type.
  3. Create an account or sign in with the one you already have.
  4. Follow the rest of the registration prompts.

If you're starting a new team, you'll have to create a team name that isn't already taken. If you're joining an existing team, you'll need to know the name of the team you want to join.

How much is registration for Relay For Life?

Choose to fundraise a minimum of $150 (or $60 as a Youth participant) or pay the minimum donation, which is tax receiptable. The minimum amount will increase as we approach event day, following these dates:

  1. From January 10 to February 28 — $35
  2. From March 1 to April 30 — $40
  3. From May 1 to June 11 — $45

Can I use my username and password from previous years?

Yes, you can. We encourage you to use the same username and password from the last time you participated in Relay For Life.

What if I don’t remember my username or password?

Click here to recover your username and/or password, or contact Donor Care at connect@cancer.ca or phone 1-888-939-3333. Don’t create a new account.

Can I register offline?

Yes, you can register offline by downloading a participant form from your Relay site page. If you choose to register with a minimum donation, please take your form to the banking centre indicated to deposit the donation.

Once stamped, please mail your completed participant form to:

ATTN: Gift Processing Department
Canadian Cancer Society
55 St Clair Avenue West, Suite 500
Toronto, Ontario
M4V 2Y7

Please do not mail cash.

Participants who choose to register offline must submit their completed Participant Form to the Gift Processing Department for their donations to be added to their fundraising totals and their team’s, if applicable.

How do I register a team?

A fast and easy way to register a team is by registering online. Choose your Relay community from our Find an event page. Once you have chosen your Relay community, click on the Sign-Up button. From here you will select the ‘Start a New Team' option and proceed with the registration process.

How do I join a team?

Choose your Relay community from our Find an event page. Once you have selected your Relay For Life community, click on the Register button. From here, you will be able to select ‘Join a Team' option to join an existing team, or you can restart a team from last year that you were a member of. Another option is to contact the team captain, who can register you on the team.

If you are registering for Relay Your Way or a Relay event that has merged with another, unfortunately, you will not be able to restart a team from previous years. You can still use your username and password from previous years to register and create a new team named as your old team. If you have any questions or difficulties registering your team, please contact us using the live chat on the Relay for Life website or at connect@cancer.ca or 1-888-939-3333.

Do I need to have 10 members to form a team?

No. You can have as many or as few members as you would like to form a team.

Can I register my team the day of the event?

Yes. Teams can register at any time, including on the day of Relay For Life.

What is a multi-site team?

Multi-site teams are teams that are registered in two (2) or more locations. Multi-site teams must also register in one of the two categories (Corporate or Friends & Family). Click here to find out more information on multi-site teams.

If I donate to my team, will I receive a tax receipt?

Yes, any online donation made to Relay For Life is tax receiptable. For offline donations of $20 or more, receipts will be issued automatically. Tax receipts for offline donations of less than $20 must be requested on the form.

What happens if my donor incorrectly donates to my team?

If a donor mistakenly donates to your team and would like to transfer the donation to an individual participant, the donor must contact our Donor Care department by August 31, 2022. After the August 31 date, team donations are non-transferable as the fundraising component of this program has closed.

Relay For Life Donor Care
Tel.: 1-888-939-3333
E-mail: connect@cancer.ca
Hours of Operation: Monday — Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm EST.

What is a Participant of Hope?

When registering, participants can choose to identify themselves as a Participant of Hope. A Participant of Hope is someone living with cancer, a cancer survivor, or carrying a genetic risk for the disease.

Why did you change the term survivor to Participant of Hope?

It’s a term that conveys inclusiveness.

Cancer can affect our lives in countless ways. Are you living with cancer, a cancer survivor, or carrying a genetic risk for the disease? Let us honour you as a Participant of Hope at Relay For Life.

Will Participants of Hope receive yellow t-shirts?

This year, we are excited to offer unique Fundraising Rewards to Relay For Life participants who hit specific fundraising milestones. To be eligible, participants must be opted in to receive Fundraising Rewards.

Adults who raise $150 and youth who raise $60 will receive their very own Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life t-shirt. General participants will receive a white t-shirt whereas Participants of Hope will receive a yellow t-shirt. Both t-shirts will be bilingual. We have made this decision to boost fundraising efforts and maximize funds directed to the cancer cause. We appreciate your understanding and your continued commitment to supporting people affected by cancer.

If you have any questions, please contact connect@cancer.ca.

What is the Lap of Hope?

The Lap of Hope is our new name for the Survivors’ Victory Lap. All Participants of Hope are invited to participate in our Lap of Hope at Relay For Life.

What is the Hope Lounge?

The Hope Lounge is our new name for the Survivors’ Tent. During an in-person event, all Participants of Hope are invited to our Hope Lounge and activities at Relay For Life. Check out your Relay event page for details specific to your event and a link to your event’s Facebook page.

What is a luminary?

Whether you Relay for a parent, child, grandparent, or friend, luminaries are a powerful symbol that our loved ones are always in our hearts. The Luminary Ceremony at Relay For Life allows us to honour and remember those we love, every step of the way.

At Relay For Life, luminaries are candles that are placed in special bags that bear the names of loved ones who have been impacted by cancer. These luminaries allow us to remember those we’ve lost to cancer and honour people living with cancer, cancer survivors, and those who carry a genetic risk to the disease. Participants and supporters often personalize their luminaries with meaningful messages and pictures.

Visit our luminary page to find out more and purchase a luminary.

What is the luminary ceremony?

Experience the magic and emotion of Relay For Life by participating in our Luminary Ceremony. The Luminary Ceremony is a time for quiet reflection and allows us to celebrate, remember and honour those we love every step of the way.

At in-person events, luminaries line and light up the track with names, pictures, and meaningful messages.

What is a digital luminary?

We invite Relay supporters to create a digital luminary to honour or remember someone you’ve lost to cancer. Print or share this virtual badge on social media — together, we can show that people affected by cancer are never alone.

When creating your luminary, you will be able to choose from the following options to personalize it, as well as dedicate your digital luminary by including someone’s name:

  • In celebration of
  • In honour of
  • In memory of
  • I Relay for
  • No Dedication

How can I create a digital luminary?

  • Registered participants can create their digital luminary directly in their Fundraising Centre, simply by clicking the ‘Create digital luminary;’ button on their dashboard.
  • Anyone donating $5 or more on the Relay For Life website will also have the option of creating and personalizing their luminary, after their donation is processed.

After you create a digital luminary, you can download and print, or share on social media.

What is Relay Your Way?

If you do not see your community listed in our Relay events, join Relay Your Way — a Relay site for everyone, no matter where you live. Register, fundraise and walk in your community on Saturday, June 11, 2022.

On event day, why not walk your dog, go for a bike ride, do yoga, or even stay home and make a big dinner for your loved ones? Whatever your passion may be, you can recruit friends and family to join you in supporting the cause and making a difference.

You will be eligible for tax receipts and fundraising rewards. You will also have access to fundraising tools. Participants registered for Relay Your Way who raise $500 or more by May 14 and are opted in to receive rewards, will be mailed a Celebration Kit. The Celebration Kit will allow participants to create the Relay experience at home in your community! It will include balloons, tattoos, thunder sticks and more. Final contents will be determined closer to the event.

Why isn't my local Relay For Life community event listed on the website?

Given the challenges the Canadian Cancer Society has faced due to the pandemic, we can’t support the same number of Relay sites as years past. Please see the section on Relay Your Way below on how to participate if your community is not listed.

What is my Fundraising Centre?

Your Fundraising Centre contains customizable tools for emailing friends and family, tracking online donations, team status, and much, much more.

What is my personal fundraising page?

Your fundraising page is an online page that highlights your fundraising efforts. Participants can customize content and images on their fundraising page from the Fundraising Centre.

Will my fundraising page have last year’s content?

For all returning participants, you may notice the personal story section of your profile on relayforlife.ca has been replaced with default text. This is a result of some Relay For Life sites merging over the past two years. If you would like us to transfer your original message to the new system, we will be happy to assist you.

If you are a returning Relay For Life participant who has signed up for Relay Your Way or a different event location, you will need to manually update your personal story and picture if you choose to. If you have any questions, please contact us by using the live chat on the Relay For Life website or at connect@cancer.ca or 1-888-939-3333.

Will the current Fundraising Centre have my past donors’ information and email addresses?

Yes. If you registered as a returning participant with your previous username, all your donor information will be available under the email contact section of your Fundraising Centre.

I am getting bounce backs when emailing from my Fundraising Centre. Why is this happening?

If you are manually entering email addresses to your contact list, please do not separate the addresses using a colon (;). Kindly use a comma (,) to separate the addresses.

If the issue persists, please contact Donor Care at connect@cancer.ca or 1-888-939-3333.

My friends and family are not receiving the emails sent from my Fundraising Centre. Why is this happening?

If your friends and family are not receiving emails sent from your Fundraising Centre, it is because they have opted out of receiving emails from the Canadian Cancer Society or Relay For Life. Consider sending the email from your own email client from within your Fundraising Centre instead.

If I import my donor information online, will the Canadian Cancer Society be able to contact these people?

No. Your privacy is important to the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and therefore, staff and volunteers cannot view or access your online information. Your information is confidential and is only accessible by entering your username and password, to which CCS does not have access.

What do I do with cash and cheque donations that I have received?

We are excited to inform you that participants may now deposit their Relay donations directly at the selected banking centre for their Relay site.

In-person/offline donations (donations not paid online) will be officially counted as part of your fundraising when the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) has received your donation forms and proof of deposit.

You can download customized donation forms from your Relay For Life site page.

Cash and cheque donations must be deposited at a CCS approved banking centre. Details on which banking centre to use for your Relay site, as well as instructions on what to do with your donations and forms, are outlined on the forms you will download from your Relay site page.

Participants who choose to register offline must submit their completed Participant Form to the Gift Processing Department for their donations to be added to their fundraising totals and their team’s if applicable.

Always ensure that the total deposited is equal to the total donation amounts listed on your donation forms. After depositing your donations, DO NOT leave your form(s) at the banking centre. Please make copies of your forms and proof of deposit (where applicable) for your records and mail them to:

ATTN: Gift Processing Department
Canadian Cancer Society
55 St Clair Avenue West, Suite 500
Toronto, ON
M4V 2Y7

Do not mail cash.

NOTE: Remember, your forms and proof of deposit are needed for tax receipting for your donors, and for the Rewards program, if opted in. DO NOT leave your forms at the bank and please make copies of your forms for your records before mailing them.

If you are unable to visit a banking location, you can mail your completed donation form(s) and donations (cheques only, do not send cash in the mail) to the address above.

What do I do with my credit card donations?

Credit card donations can be processed online or by calling Donor Care at 1-888-939-3333. Please ensure that you are registered online before calling Donor Care to process a credit card donation.

Can I take my credit card donations to a banking centre for processing?

No, banking locations do not process credit card donations.

How long will it take before my donations are posted to my account?

Online donations will be reflected automatically once a donation is complete.

Offline donations are entered, as received, leading up to Relay and weekly starting after Relay. Offline donations made through a Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) approved banking centre are processed once the donation forms and proof of deposit are received by CCS. Therefore, you must retain your form(s) and proof of deposit from the banking centre and mail them to:

ATTN: Gift Processing Department
Canadian Cancer Society
55 St Clair Avenue West, Suite 500
Toronto, ON
M4V 2Y7

Do not mail cash.

Due to the number of participants partaking in Relay For Life, this process could take until the end of October 2022 to complete, depending on when forms are submitted.

Can I donate if I’m not participating in Relay For Life?

Absolutely. Donate online or at a Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) approved banking centre across Canada. To donate at a CCS approved banking location, record your name, address, and donation amount on a donation form. The banking centre will accept your donation and a teller will either stamp the form or provide you with a deposit receipt, then return it to you (note: banks do not accept donations by credit card). To get a tax receipt, mail the completed donation form and proof of deposit to:

ATTN: Gift Processing Department
Canadian Cancer Society
55 St Clair Avenue West, Suite 500
Toronto, ON
M4V 2Y7

Do not mail cash.

Does the Canadian Cancer Society accept corporate matching donations?

Yes. For more information on corporate donations and to find our corporate matching form, please visit our Corporate Engagement page.

How do I donate through Benevity?

Benevity is a corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software that provides employees with a platform to donate to causes they care about, such as Relay For Life.

Please use the Benevity instructions to donate to Relay For Life. You can select the amount of information that you would like shared with the Canadian Cancer Society. If you do not share this information, your donation will remain anonymous.

IMPORTANT: Donations made through Benevity will not be designated to a specific participant’s fundraising page on the website.

What are the Fundraising Awards?

Visit our Fundraising Awards page for everything you need to know!

How will award winners be notified?

Award winners will be notified and presented with their awards during the closing ceremonies at their local event on Saturday, June 11, 2022. Award winners will also be posted on the Relay website after the event.

When will donations be counted for fundraising awards?

The deadline to qualify your online fundraising for Fundraising Awards is 11:59 p.m. local time on Thursday, June 19, 2022.

For offline fundraising to be counted towards awards, completed donation forms and proof of deposit must arrive to the Canadian Cancer Society, no later than Friday, May 27, 2022. This is to account for the time needed to enter offline donations into participants’ Fundraising Centres. Donation forms, bank stamped or with deposit receipts can be received via mail to:

ATTN: Gift Processing Department
Canadian Cancer Society
55 St Clair Avenue West, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M4V 2Y7
or scanned to connect@cancer.ca

Please do not mail cash.

I did not receive my fundraising award. What should I do?

Please reach out to your local Relay For Life Volunteer committee or email relay@cancer.ca.

How long will it take before a team or participant’s offline donations are added to their record?

All offline donations received by Friday, May 27, 2022, will be completed by Friday, June 10, 2022. Any received after June 10 will be completed by October 2022 at the latest.

What are the fundraising rewards levels?

All participants in Relay For Life who individually raise $150 or more ($60 for youth below the age of 18) are eligible for the Fundraising Rewards program. See the Fundraising Rewards program for details on the levels and prizes.

*Participants must be opted in to receive Fundraising Rewards and must raise the minimum amounts by 11:59 p.m. PST on June 11, 2022, to qualify. Product available while supplies last. Participants will automatically be opted in to receive zero cost rewards.

How will participants be notified that they’re eligible for fundraising rewards?

We ask participants at registration if they want to receive a reward based on achieving the goal of $150, $300, $1000 and $2500. This was a mandatory question. We will use the information from the registration completion to issue rewards and participants will receive an email as they reach each milestone to notify them. All offline participants will receive rewards they qualify for.

Participants who raise at least $150 are required to have all fundraising dollars and forms received by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) by June 11, 2022, to qualify for the Fundraising Rewards program.

Donation forms, either bank stamped dated up to Saturday, June 11, 2022, or with applicable deposit receipt dated up to June 11, 2022, must arrive at CCS no later than two weeks after Relay (by June 26, 2022) to be counted towards the rewards program. This is to account for the time needed to enter offline donations into participants’ Fundraising Centres. Donation forms, either bank stamped or with applicable deposit receipt, can be received via mail or scanned to connect@cancer.ca.

ATTN: Gift Processing Department
Canadian Cancer Society
55 St Clair Avenue West, Suite 500
Toronto, ON M4V 2Y7
or scanned to connect@cancer.ca

Please do not mail cash.

Is my Fundraising Reward level transferable?

No. The Fundraising Reward level reached individually cannot be transferred to another participant.

Does my team’s fundraising total count towards the Fundraising Rewards program?

No. Team fundraising totals are NOT eligible for Fundraising Rewards, and they do not count towards an individual’s fundraising total.

When will donations be counted for Fundraising Rewards?

All donations for rewards must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on June 11, 2022.

After a participant is notified that they have reached a fundraising reward level, can the shipping address be changed?

The participant can contact Donor Care at connect@cancer.ca or phone 1-888-939-3333 and advise of the change, but only if the reward has not been shipped.

If I change my mind about opting-in to rewards, what should I do?

The participant must contact Donor Care at connect@cancer.ca or phone 1-888-939-3333, so that they can make the update.

I did not receive my fundraising reward. What should I do?

Please contact our Relay For Life team at relay@cancer.ca.

How long will it take for my reward to arrive?

Participants who qualify for a Relay For Life t-shirt (Adults who raise $150 and Youth who raise $60 and are opted in to receive rewards) will receive your t-shirt from your local Relay For Life volunteer committee. Funds must be raised by June 11, 2022.

For participants who qualify for the $1000 reward of an insulated water bottle and reach the fundraising milestone by May 14, the reward will arrive by Relay Day. Rewards for all other participants will be shipped after the event day and depending on the location. It may take 3-6 weeks to arrive from the time the Fulfillment Centre receives the notification that a participant qualifies for a reward.

My reward was damaged when I received my package. What should I do?

The participant should contact Donor Care at connect@cancer.ca or phone 1-888-939-3333 to arrange a new shipment.

How long will it take for an offline donation to be added?

All offline donations will be completed by October 2022.

When will the Canadian Cancer Society send out tax receipts for Relay For Life donations?

If you donate online to a team, yourself, or another participant, you will receive an electronic tax receipt within 24 hours. The Canadian Cancer Society will begin issuing tax receipts for offline donations following Relay For Life. They will be distributed by the end of October of the event year.

I have lost my original tax receipt and require a duplicate. What do I do?

Please contact Donor Care at connect@cancer.ca or phone 1-888-939-3333.

How do I become a volunteer?

Please click here for more information on how to become a Relay For Life volunteer.

Do I need to have experience volunteering with Relay For Life?

No, you do not require previous volunteer experience. However, it is recommended that people in leadership roles are familiar with Relay For Life.

Is there a minimum commitment of hours required to volunteer with Relay For Life?

Each volunteer role has differing time requirements based on the role and responsibilities. Committee roles have a longer time commitment and may vary. Details are provided in the role description.

Does volunteering for Relay For Life qualify for high school community service hours?

Yes. If you need confirmation of volunteer hours, please reach out to volunteer@cancer.ca after the event.

How old do you have to be to volunteer?

Volunteers must be 14 years and older to volunteer for the Canadian Cancer Society. There are some positions with further age restrictions (19 or over) and this will be made clear in the position description. If you are under the age of 18, please obtain parental or legal guardian consent before completing the online application. Your parent or guardian must be present to electronically consent to the terms and conditions.

I have forgotten my username and password. What do I do?

Click here to recover your username or password. Don’t create a second profile.

I have other questions about Relay For Life? Who can answer my questions?

Thank you for your interest in Relay For Life! Our Donor Care team can answer your questions. Please contact them via email at connect@cancer.ca or by calling 1-888-939-3333.

National Sponsor

YesTV