FAQs - Relay For Life - Canadian Cancer Society Skip to Main Content
Relay for Life - Canadian Cancer Society


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.

About the event

What is the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay For Life?

Relay For Life is a community fundraising event where Canadians across the country join together in the fight against cancer. In 2016, over 400 Relays took place across Canada.

Relay participants walk or run together around a track or path at a local school, park or fairground, passing a baton to their fellow participants and working together toward one common goal - the fight against cancer.

Where is the Relay For Life location nearest me?

Search for a location near you on our map.

What if it rains or snows during the event?

The show must go on! Remember to check your local weather station on the day of your event and bring appropriate protective clothing so you still have fun.

Can I participate on my own?

Yes, you can! If you don't have a team or would like to walk/run the distance all on your own, simply register as an individual once you find your event location. If you decide that you'd like to Relay and fundraise with a team after you register, you can always join or create a team later on.

How can my school, company, department, or organization get involved?

We would love to welcome your organization to Relay! Here's how you can get involved if...

...you're a student

Check out Relay at Schools and register today or find out how your school can host a Relay event!

...you're with a company or organization

Start a team with your colleagues and include your company name when you register. You can also join our Caring Company program and gain extra exposure for your company.

Why is there no smoking at Relay For Life events?

For the health and well-being of everyone at Relay events, smoking is strictly prohibited. Tobacco use causes about 45,000 deaths in Canada each year. Smokers are welcome to participate, but are asked to respect the smoke-free environment. Learn more about tobacco and cancer or find out how we can help you or a loved one quit smoking.

Why is alcohol not allowed at Relay For Life events?

Relay For Life is a physical, fun and family event that isn't conducive to consuming alcohol. Also, research shows that drinking any type of alcohol - beer, wine or spirits - raises your risk of cancer. Find out more.


What are the different participation types?

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

Start a team and become a team captain. Team captains are an important part of Relay success. Build your own team and work together to reach your goals. A team of 10 members can have 10 times the impact!

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 to celebrate success!

Participate as an individual. Register today to participate as an individual. 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 Relay For Life?

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

  1. Search for your event location.
  2. Choose your participation type.
  3. Create a Canadian Cancer Society 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.

Find your event and register now!

I'm a survivor Participating in Relay For Life - is there anything special I have to do?

We're so glad you're joining us! During the registration process, you can choose to identify yourself as a survivor and be an inspirational part of the event. Simply follow these steps to register:

  1. Search for your event location.
  2. Choose your participation type.
  3. Create a Canadian Cancer Society account or sign in with the one you already have.
  4. Follow the rest of the registration prompts.

Find your event and register now!

I want to participate as a survivor, but I don't want my name announced at the event. Is that okay?

Yes, of course! Simply check the box on the registration form (online or paper form) that says you prefer not to have your name announced.

Why do you ask how long I've been a cancer survivor?

Survivor participants are such an inspiration to people who are facing cancer, and we may want to announce this information during your Relay event. While we think it's worth celebrating, it's completely up to you! You can choose not to have this information announced at the event by leaving it blank during registration.

Can I register and pay for someone else on my team?

How generous! You most certainly can register and pay for someone else. You can register as many people as you'd like, but you need to register everyone with their own unique email address (unless they're kids, of course).

  1. Register yourself.
  2. On the registration summary page, click register someone else.
  3. Fill out their registration information.

Register now!

I can't remember the name of the team I'm trying to join. What can I do?

If any of your team members have already registered, you'll be able to join the team from their personal fundraising page:

  1. Click donate on the home page and select donate to a participant or team.
  2. Search for any of your registered teammates.
  3. Click on the participant's name, and you'll be brought to their personal fundraising page.

Can I register my team on the day of the event?

Yes, you can, but it's better to register in advance. It's better for you because you'll have more time to reach your fundraising goal. We'll also be able to assign your tent site in advance - no need to scramble for anything! Register a team now.

Is there a registration fee?

Yes, there is. Fees vary by province, and you'll be able to see the fee when you're registering. Your registration fee helps to cover the cost of running your Relay event, so that all of the money you raise and donate can be used to help create a world where no one fears cancer

Do I have to fundraise in addition to paying the registration fee?

Yes, you do. Everyone who participates in Relay For Life sets a fundraising goal of at least $150, and we'll be here every step of the way to help you reach your goal! All of the money that you raise will be used to help save more lives by funding ground-breaking cancer research and supporting people who are living with cancer. See where your money goes or check out these fundraising tips.


Do I get a tax receipt for my donation?

If you made a donation online, we sent you your tax receipt right away to the email address you provided during the donation process. If it isn't in your email inbox, please check your spam folder.

Issuing tax receipts varies by province, so if you made a donation offline, please contact your local Canadian Cancer Society office for details. They'll be happy to answer any questions you have.

How do I make a donation?

Thanks so much for your anticipated support! There are a few ways you can make a donation.

Sponsor a participant or team online - If someone you know is participating in Relay For Life, and you'd like to support their fundraising efforts, making an online gift is quick and easy!

Make a general donation to a Relay event - Through your donation, you'll help fund research and support services for people who are living with cancer. To make a donation to a Relay For Life event, first find the event you want to support.

Don't want to make a donation online? Talk to the person you want to sponsor and they'll fill out a pledge sheet for you. Or you can contact your local Canadian Cancer Society office to make a donation by phone.

Why wasn't my credit card accepted?

It's usually the case that there was a little error when someone entered their credit card information. Please check that you've typed your credit card number correctly, that the expiry date is correct and that the name you've typed appears exactly as it does on the card.

If it's still not working, please contact us so that we can help you get your donation processed.

I lost my tax receipt. How can I get another copy?

Please contact your local Canadian Cancer Society office, so that we can send you another tax receipt.


What are luminaries?

Luminaries are candles that have been placed in special bags - they look like beautiful lanterns when they're lit. Each luminary is dedicated by someone like you and carries the name of a cancer survivor or a loved one lost to cancer, along with a message of inspiration.

At each Relay For Life event, the luminaries are lit during a moving ceremony. Buy a luminary now, and you'll provide light and inspiration for the participants as they walk around the track.

How and where can I buy luminaries?

You can buy luminaries online, through your local Canadian Cancer Society office or at any Relay For Life event. Find your local event.

Do I receive a tax receipt for luminary purchases?

No, you will not receive a tax receipt. When you buy a luminary, you're purchasing a product and are therefore not eligible for a tax receipt under Canada Revenue Agency guidelines. If you'd like a tax receipt, you can make a donation in addition to your luminary purchase, and you will receive a tax receipt for the donation amount.

Do I have to attend the Relay For Life event if I purchase a luminary?

No, you are not required to attend a Relay For Life event if you purchase a luminary, but we do invite you to register and join us as a participant!

Participant FAQs

Help and FAQs

If you're already registered for Relay For Life, find out more about fundraising, using your participant centre or tips for captains.

Participant FAQs