Tour de Rock 2024: About Tour de Rock - Canadian Cancer Society

What is Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock?

The short answer is it’s a two-week, 1,200-kilometre bike ride for a team of first responders who raise money for children and their families affected by pediatric cancer. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the biggest community event on Vancouver Island and longest-running fundraiser in the province - unifying every community from Victoria to Port Alice as we rally together to support children who are impacted by cancer cancer.

Without you, we would just be a group of people riding bikes.

History of Tour de Rock

So where did the idea of a bike ride down Vancouver Island come from? The story goes back to 1994 and to Alberta. It was there that an Edmonton police officer named Gary Goulet befriended a young boy with cancer named Lyle. This friendship inspired others to support children and families living with cancer. A spark was ignited and so started Cops for Cancer.

By 1997, the Cops for Cancer head shaves had reached Vancouver Island. In Greater Victoria, the local police wanted to try something bigger. A brainstorming session between the cops and the Canadian Cancer Society resulted in the suggestion of a bike ride the length of the Island.

At the time it seemed like a wild idea. But as the goal was to raise money for children on a cancer journey, it was decided that the bike ride would be worth trying.

A young boy high fives a doctor while his mother watches smiling.

The first ride

The first ride in 1998 attracted a group of 16 police officers who took up the cause. The Canadian Cancer Society enlisted the help of incredible community sponsors. In its first year, Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock raised $325,000.

Two young boys smile while paddling a paddleboard together.

Honourary members

The inspiration behind the Tour de Rock

The Tour de Rock Honourary team is made up of Vancouver Island kids who have felt the effects of childhood cancer firsthand.

Children and families involved in the Honorary team program are an important part of the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock. Their courage and presence inspires the Tour de Rock team members and gives supporters an opportunity to show compassion and support families affected by childhood cancer.

We are always happy to welcome new Honorary team members into our family. Click here for our Honorary team application form (PDF).

Dollars raised

The amount has grown and grown. To date, Tour de Rock has raised more than $26 million for pediatric cancer research and support programs like Camp Goodtimes. Tour de Rock started a domino effect, launching three other Tours across British Columbia riding in support of Cops for Cancer.

Spoken word poem

"Our hope is big enough to hold you..." Inspiring, moving and beautifully spoken words from Reynolds graduate, Emily Gittens' spoken word poem for the Cops for Cancer, Tour de Rock. Emily speaks from the heart of Tour de Rock, sharing the compassion, unity and uplifting spirit of what Tour truly inspires.

View this video's transcript

This fall we ride together

This fall a team of committed cops and emergency services personnel will pedal over 1000 kilometres in Cops for Cancer tours. They will raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society to fund childhood cancer research and caring support programs for children with cancer and their families. You can unite with us by supporting a rider, hosting a fundraising event or making a donation that will raise well needed funds for childhood cancer research and vital support services such as Camp Goodtimes.

View this video's transcript