Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question about Relay? We've compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about the event and placed them in appropriate categories to make it easier for you to find the answers you need.
What is the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life?
The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life is a celebration of survival, a tribute to the lives of loved ones and a night of fun, friendship and fundraising to beat cancer. Relay For Life involves teams of 10 people who participate in an overnight non-competitive relay. Participants take turns walking, running or strolling around a track. Teams consist of people representing corporations, communities, families and friends. More about Relay For Life.
How is the money I collect used in the fight against cancer?
The funds raised through Relay For Life help the Canadian Cancer Society fund promising research, provide information and support services for people living with cancer and advocate for public policies that reduce cancer risk and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease. More about what the Canadian Cancer Society does.
Where is the Relay For Life location nearest me?
You can find Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life events in your community by visiting this page and selecting the province/territory you live in or by contacting your local Canadian Cancer Society office.
What if it rains/snows/hails during the event?
The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life takes place rain or shine! Please check your local weather station the day of your event and bring the appropriate protective clothing.
Can I participate on my own?
No. The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life is a team event. You must be part of a team to participate. Consider registering as a team captain by creating a team now and using our handy email invitations to ask your family, friends and co-workers to join your team.
How can my school, company, department, or organization get involved?
You can get your school, company, department or organization involved by registering one or more teams for the event. Visit our Get your company involved page to find out how your company, school, department or organization can get involved. Consider registering as a team captain and starting a team from your company or organization now. Be sure to identify the company or organization in the registration process.
On the Get your company involved page, you can also find out about other opportunities to get involved, such as corporate sponsorship, donations and volunteer opportunities.
Do I have to be registered to come watch?
No. You can drop by anytime to make a donation or just to watch and enjoy the spirit of the event.
Why is there no smoking at the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life events?
Smoking is strictly prohibited at all Relay For Life events. There is a correlation between the use of tobacco and cancer. Tobacco use causes about 45,000 deaths in Canada each year. The Canadian Cancer Society wants to set a positive example in the area of tobacco control by prohibiting the use of tobacco at events. Smokers are welcome to participate, but they are asked to respect the smoke-free environment. More information about tobacco and cancer.
Why is alcohol not allowed at Relay For Life events?
Relay For Life is a family, fun event that is not conducive to the serving of alcohol. We do not have alcohol permits at any of our Relay For Life events.
How do I participate as a survivor?
Cancer survivors are invited to participate in the first lap of Relay For Life, the Survivors' Victory Lap. To register online to participate in the Survivors' Victory Lap select Join Survivors' Victory Lap, and follow the instructions for registration.
I want to participate as a survivor, but I prefer not to have my name announced at the event. Is that okay?
Yes. It is your decision. Simply check the box on the registration form (online or paper form) that says that you prefer not to have your name announced.
Why do you ask how long I've been a cancer survivor?
You do not need to provide this information - it's optional. We ask how long people have been cancer survivors because we announce this information (if you're okay with that) when you are introduced during the Survivors' Victory Lap. (You may choose not to have this information announced at the event.)
Is there a cost to register as a survivor?
No. Participation in the Survivors' Victory Lap is free.
What are luminaries?
Luminaries are special candles that are placed in bags and carry the names of cancer survivors and loved ones lost. In a moving ceremony after sunset, luminaries placed around the track are lit in honour of cancer survivors and in memory of those who have lost the battle against cancer.
How/Where can I buy luminaries?
You can buy luminaries online, through your local Canadian Cancer Society office or at any Relay For Life event.
Do I receive a tax receipt for luminary purchases?
No. When you buy a luminary, you are purchasing a product and are therefore not eligible for a tax receipt under Canada Revenue Agency guidelines.
Do I have to attend the Relay For Life if I purchase a luminary?
No. People who purchase luminaries are not required to attend the event. You are, however, welcome to attend.
How do I register for the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life?
Can I join a team when I register online?
Yes. If the team you want to join registered at this event location online, you can join that team now. If the team you want to join is at a different Relay For Life location, and the team registered online, use the Find an event link and once you've selected an event location you will be bounced to the home page for that event, where you can select "Join a team" from the options pictured. You will then be able to search for the team you wish to join by entering part of the entire team name.
How do I register a team for the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life?
You can register a team online for this event location now. You'll need to give your team a unique name. After you’ve registered online, you can use our handy email invitations to ask your family, friends and co-workers to join your team.
If you want to find a different Relay For Life event location, use the "Find an event". Once you've selected an event location, you will be bounced to the home page for that event, where you can select "Create a new team" from the options pictured.
Can I register and pay for someone else on my team?
Yes. While registering yourself, you can register other team members. During the registration process, on the Registration summary page use, the "Register family member" button to register others. You will only have this option once, when you register. Unfortunately the system does not allow you to come back later and add members.
Please note that if you want your team members to be able to use our online fundraising tools, you will need to provide a unique email address for each member. If you're not sure what your team members' email addresses are, you might want to check first, then come back and start your team registration.
I'm trying to register online by joining a team, but I can't remember the name of the team I want to join. How do I find out what it is?
If the team captain registered the team online, you can find the team if you know the event location where the team is taking part. Select the "Find an event" option and once you've selected an event location you will be bounced to the home page for that event, where you can select "Join a team" from the options pictured. Leave the "Team name" and "Team company" fields empty and click the search button. All the teams registered for the event will be listed along with the team captain’s name.
If you know the team is registered online for this event location, search for that team now.
How can I get others involved with me?
If you are registered online, you can use our handy email invitations to send personalized emails to your family, friends and co-workers to ask them to join your team or pledge you for the event. (You need to be logged in to your personal fundraising centre to do this). Your recipients will get an email with a personal message from you containing a quick link. This link gives people an easy way to join your team or support you in your participation by pledging you.
Why can't I register my favourite team name online?
If you are not able to register your team with your favourite name, it is most likely because another team has already registered that name for that particular Relay location. Team names are on a first come, first served basis.
Can I register my team the day of the event?
Yes. You can register in person at any Relay For Life location up to the start of the event. We do, however, encourage participants to register in advance so they have plenty of time to raise the $100 recommended pledges per participant and so we can assign tent sites in advance.
Is there a registration fee?
Yes. There is a participant registration fee which will vary from province to province. This fee covers the cost of running the event.
Can I register online to participate in a different province?
Yes. You can participate in the province of your choice. To register online, go to the Find an event page and choose the appropriate province.
How many people have to be on my team?
Relay For Life teams are made up of 10 people. If you have more than 10 people, consider getting a second team going.
How can I change the team I'm on?
Contact the Canadian Cancer Society office that is managing the event location you are registered for.
Does my whole team have to stay the whole night?
No. We do, however, encourage team members to take in the entire Relay experience by staying the night, as it is a night full of fun and entertainment.
What if my team can't finish?
That's okay. The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life isn't a "pledge per lap" kind of event. Relay For Life is a non-competitive relay focused on participation, not competition. When team members walk the track, it's not to see how many laps they can walk, but rather to enjoy the spirit of the event.
How do I remove someone from my team?
Contact the Canadian Cancer Society office managing the Relay For Life event that your team is registered for.
How do I volunteer?
To register to volunteer at your local Relay For Life event, select "Find an event". Once you've selected a location, you will be bounced to the home page for that event, where you can select "Volunteer" from the options pictured and follow the instructions for registration.
If you wish to volunteer in a different province, go to the "You are visiting" drop-down menu at the top-right of any page and choose the appropriate province. You can then follow the instructions listed above (i.e. "Find an event" and then click "Volunteer", etc.)
What do volunteers do at the Relay For Life?
Help make Relay For Life happen in your community by volunteering on the day of the event or becoming involved beforehand as a committee member. There is a wide range of volunteer opportunities for each Relay location, from participating in organizing committees, to setting up the site location and serving food at the event.
How many sponsors do I need?
As many as you want. Each Relay For Life participant is asked to raise a minimum of $100, however most participants raise much more.
Do I have to collect the donations from the people who have agreed to pledge me?
Yes. You should ask your pledgers to give you their generous donation at the same time they pledge you, except for online pledges which are paid by credit card immediately during the online pledging process.
When will the Canadian Cancer Society send out tax receipts for Relay For Life pledges and donations?
Donors who've pledged online should receive electronic tax receipts by email within minutes of making their pledge.
How do I make an online pledge even though I'm not participating in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life?
You can pledge a Relay For Life participant online by selecting the "Make a donation" link on the left side navigation bar, and follow the instructions.
What do I do with the money I have collected offline?
Your team captain will collect the funds raised offline by his/her team members and submit them on a "bank night" prior to the event. Bank nights allow early submission of team paperwork, helping to avoid line-ups at the event.
You can also submit your pledges at the event or drop them off at the Canadian Cancer Society office managing your event.
Donations collected offline cannot be processed online. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) states that a donation receipt can only be issued to the true donor of the gift.
Funds raised through team fundraising activities such as bake sales, yard sales, dances, etc. cannot be entered online; it is against CRA guidelines. All team fundraising dollars must be turned in to your team captain or your local Canadian Cancer Society office. Please contact us for more information.
Can I pledge without using the Internet?
Yes. You can pledge directly to any participant or you can contact your local Canadian Cancer Society office for donation information.
Why wasn't my credit card accepted?
There are several reasons a credit card might not be accepted. You might want to check that you have typed the number in correctly, that the expiry date is correct and that the name you've typed in appears exactly as it does on the card.
If you would like further information, you can contact the Society's division office in your province.
I lost my tax receipt. How can I get another copy?
If you have lost your tax receipt, contact the Society's division office for that province.
Can I pledge someone outside my province?
Yes. If you want to pledge an out-of-province participant who has registered for Relay For Life online, go to the "You are visiting" drop-down menu at the top-right of any page and choose the appropriate province. You can then follow the instructions listed above on how to make an online pledge.
Alternatively, you can contact the person you want to pledge for the event, and pledge them directly. Contact your local Canadian Cancer Society office for more information about pledging for Relay For Life.
Can I make a general donation to the Canadian Cancer Society?
Yes. Go to cancer.ca and select "Donate online" from any page on the site.
Can people other than my team see the results of our fundraising?
Yes. Team and individual fundraising pages - along with your results - are public. Your fundraising totals will appear in each case, but individual donation amounts do not appear. Donors have the option to remain anonymous. Fundraising totals that appear on your personal and team pages reflect only your online fundraising total, not the pledges that you collect in person.
Access to the more detailed information available in your participant centre (including donation amounts and donor names) is by username and password only. Team captains can only see total amounts raised by the team members, not individual pledge details.
I forgot my password. How can I get it emailed to me?
You can go to the User login page. Under "Email me my password", enter your username and the email address you registered with, and click “Send password”. We will send your password to your email address. You might want to check your spam or junk folders for this email.
I forgot my username. Who can help me?
You can go to the User login page. Under "Email me my username", enter the email address you registered with, and click "Send username". We will send your username to your email address. You might want to check your spam or junk folders for this email.
What do you do with the information you collect about me?
How long do you keep the information you collect about me?
Do you share/sell/rent the information you collect about me?
What are your minimum browser requirements for online registration?
The minimum browser requirements for Relay For Life online registration are Internet Explorer 9.0, FireFox and Chrome. If you are having trouble with the online registration process, please contact your local Canadian Cancer Society office.
How do I notify you of a change of address?
If you registered online, you can log in to your personal account and change your contact information any time by selecting "Edit my profile" from the left side navigation bar.
If you did not register online, you need to contact your local Canadian Cancer Society office.