Frequently asked questions

Thank you for your interest in Relay For Life! We've tried to answer any questions you may have, but if we've missed something, please contact us so we can help you.

What is Relay At Home?

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reimagined Relay For Life into Relay At Home — a new, fun and interactive way for participants to Relay online from the comfort of their home and respect physical distancing. This online fundraising event celebrates cancer survivors, supports people living with cancer and remembers those we’ve lost.

Why should I participate?

At the Canadian Cancer Society, we know that cancer changes people and that nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. But a cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to define a person. Our goal is to improve the cancer experience by helping people live longer and enhancing their quality of life. We believe that life is bigger than cancer.

Relay At Home brings together communities, united by the same goal of creating a world where no Canadian fears cancer.

How do I participate/experience Relay At Home on June 13?

Simply register at relayforlife.ca. Once you register, you’ll receive a participant package with details on how to actively engage and participate with us. Then on Saturday, June 13, just follow the link to tune in to your event in English or French at 7 p.m. EST.

Do I have to fundraise to participate in Relay At Home?

At its core, Relay At Home is a fundraiser. Now more than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have experienced an increased demand for our digital and phone support programs which are critical to the people we serve, providing information, reducing anxiety and limiting feelings of isolation. Funds raised will continue to support cancer research and will also go towards:

  • Our Cancer Information Service, a toll-free helpline to answer questions about cancer
  • Our online and phone-based peer support programs including Peer Match and CancerConnection.ca which help people with cancer and their caregivers build community and connection
  • Our trusted health information on cancer.ca that can help people better manage life with cancer and answer questions they may have

Most participants raise money as part of a team and hold fundraising events throughout Relay season. To support participants with their fundraising efforts, we provide resources and ideas for virtual fundraising via the Fundraising Centre on relayforlife.ca.

How will Survivors’ be honoured during Relay At Home?

Relay At Home will feature all the hallmarks of in-person Relay events. We will have a survivor speaker and Survivors’ will be recognized in an exciting new and memorable way.

How can I fundraise when I need to follow physical distancing? Generally I hold a bakesale/car wash/karaoke night, etc. How do I fundraise online?

Thank you for your continued support of Relay and for honouring physical distancing measures.

To support you with your fundraising efforts, we have provided resources and ideas for virtual fundraising via the Fundraising Centre on relayforlife.ca

I am disappointed that you cancelled my in-person community Relay event and are hosting a national virtual event. I do not want to participate. What do you say to that?

We thank all our Relay For Life supporters for their commitment and passion to Relay. This is an unprecedented time in our history the COVID-19 health crisis is far reaching and is having an undeniable impact on people across Canada and around the world.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reimagined Relay For Life into Relay At Home a new, fun and interactive way for participants to Relay online from the comfort of their home and respect physical distancing.

We have made it easy for participants to join our virtual event and we hope you will join us. Simply visit relayforlife.ca to register in advance. Then on event day, follow the instructions you received in your participant package to tune in to your event in English or French at 7 p.m. EST.

Can I join Relay At Home on June 13 without having registered in advance?

At its core, Relay At Home is a fundraiser. Now more than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have experienced an increased demand for our digital and phone support programs which are critical to the people we serve, providing information, reducing anxiety and limiting isolation.

We understand that not everyone is in a position to donate right now but there are still ways you can support Relay that will make a critical difference. By registering in advance, we hope you can reach out to people you know who might be able to support your Relay and we hope you join us June 13 at 7 p.m. EST to enjoy doing something special with the people you love in the comfort of your own home.

What are the different participation types?

There are 4 ways you can register to participate in Relay At Home:

  1. Start a team and become a team captain. Team captains are an important part of Relay’s success. Build your own team and invite your school, neighbours, family, colleagues or sports teams to join and help you reach your team goal.
  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 success!
  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.
  4. Join us as a Survivor participant. Register online and tune in on June 13 where we’ll honour survivors in a special way.

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.

I am a participant/survivor/team captain/school who registered for Relay For Life prior to May 1 and paid a $15 registration fee. Can I/we get a refund?

Relay At Home is an important way for people to show their support for the cancer cause. Thank you for continuing to believe that together, we are bigger than cancer.

Now more than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak, our digital and phone support programs are critical to the people we serve, providing information, reducing anxiety and limiting feelings of isolation.

We encourage Relay supporters to continue supporting the cause through online fundraising. Would you be interested in converting your registration fee into a donation to CCS? This will help kickstart your fundraising for the Relay At Home virtual event and we have various tools and resources to assist you with your efforts at relayforlife.ca.

We can also provide a tax receipt.

I registered as a Survivor participant (for free) to walk the Survivors’ Victory Lap. Can I still experience Relay At Home without fundraising?

Relay At Home will feature all the hallmarks of in-person Relay events. We will have a survivor speaker and Survivors’ will get to walk a lap around their home or neighbourhood.

At its core, Relay At Home is a fundraiser. Now more than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have experienced an increased demand for our digital and phone support programs which are critical to the people we serve, providing information, reducing anxiety and limiting feelings of isolation.

We understand that not everyone is in a position to donate right now but there are still ways you can support Relay that will make a critical difference. We hope you can reach out to people you know who might be able to support your Relay and we hope you join us on June 13.

Where does the money raised/donated go?

By supporting Relay At Home, you make a meaningful difference for people affected by cancer.

Now more than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have experienced an increased demand for our digital and phone support programs which are critical to the people we serve, providing information, reducing anxiety and limiting feelings of isolation. Funds raised will continue to support cancer research and will also go towards:

  • Our Cancer Information Service, a toll-free helpline to answer questions about cancer
  • Our online and phone-based peer support programs including Peer Match and CancerConnection.ca which help people with cancer and their caregivers build community and connection
  • Our trusted health information on cancer.ca that can help people better manage life with cancer and answer questions they may have

With the COVID-19 pandemic I am not in a financial position to donate or fund-raise this year, what should I do?

We know the COVID-19 crisis has had a tremendous human and financial impact across the country. We know many Relay supporters have also been personally impacted.

We understand that not everyone is in a position to donate right now but there are still ways you can support Relay that will make a critical difference. We hope you can reach out to people you know who might be able to support your Relay and we hope you join us June 13 at 7 p.m. EST to enjoy doing something special with the people you love in the comfort of your own home.

Do I get a tax receipt for my donation?

Yes, charitable tax receipts will be issued for any donations made through relayforlife.ca.

For offline donations, charitable receipts for donations of $20 or more will be issued. If you would like a receipt for a donation of less than $20, please contact our Donor Care team at connect@cancer.ca.

What happens to all the fundraising I’ve done so far/my donation to a Relay participant/team? Where does this money go?

By supporting Relay At Home, you make a meaningful difference for people affected by cancer.

Funds raised/donated will continue to support cancer research and will also go towards:

  • Our Cancer Information Service, a toll-free helpline to answer questions about cancer
  • Our online and phone-based peer support programs including Peer Match and CancerConnection.ca which help people with cancer and their caregivers build community and connection
  • Our trusted health information on cancer.ca that can help people better manage life with cancer and answer questions they may have

We need your continued support so we can help all Canadians affected by cancer.

If I convert my registration fee to a donation, can I still get a tax receipt?

Relay At Home is an important way for people to show their support for the cancer cause. Thank you for continuing to believe that together, we are bigger than cancer.

When you convert your registration fee to a donation with us, we are able to provide a tax receipt for you.

How will loved ones lost to cancer be honoured at Relay At Home? Will there be a Luminary Ceremony?

Relay At Home will feature all the hallmarks of in-person Relay events. While this year’s Luminary Ceremony will look different from in-person Relay events, and we won’t have luminary bags, we will still honour those lost to cancer in a memorable way.

I purchased a luminary on relayforlife.ca for my in-person Relay event. Will I get a luminary sent to me?

Thank you for supporting Relay through your luminary purchase. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we are unable to send out luminaries.

For those who purchased a luminary prior to May 1, in lieu of the traditional luminary bag, you will instead receive an email with a link to personalize a digital daffodil in honour of your loved one.

While this year’s Luminary Ceremony will look different from in-person Relay events, and we won’t have luminary bags, we will still honour those lost to cancer in a memorable way.

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 or by calling 1-888-939-3333.