Providing the drive behind the Relay for Life



Doug Jones; Amiee Cassie, Prince George Relay for Life coordinator, and Kyle Bachman, dealer principal of Northland Nissan announce that Northland and AutoCanada will give registered Relay for Life participants an opportunity to win a new car. Bill Phillips photo
Doug Jones; Amiee Cassie, Prince George Relay for Life coordinator; and Kyle Bachman, dealer principal of Northland Nissan announce that Northland and AutoCanada will give registered Relay for Life participants an opportunity to win a new car. Bill Phillips photo

Hey, why not go for a walk and win a car?

That will be possible for participants of this year’s Prince George Relay for Life, thanks to the Northland Auto Group and Auto Canada. This year’s Relay for Life is set for June 9-10 and will move from the traditional Masich Place Stadium location to the parking lot at Exhibition Park next to CN Centre.

As the relay’s fundraising incentive sponsor, Northland and AutoCanada will give registered Relay For Life participants the opportunity to drive away in one of two new vehicles – a Nissan Micra or Hyundai Accent. For every $500 a registered participant raises, he or she will have one ticket thrown into a draw barrel. The draw will be made on the morning of June 10 and the winner will get to choose between the two cars.

“All of us have probably been touched by cancer in some form,” said Peter Sia, dealer principal of  of the Northland Nissan and Hyundai. “We are very proud to be the sponsors and let’s make this another successful year.”

Northland Auto Group and AutoCanada, its parent company, have been involved in the Prince George Relay For Life for five years as fundraising incentive sponsor but will be presenting sponsor for the first time. Stepping into this dual role is part of the new AutoCanada Cares initiative.

“When I reflect on how small this community is when you compare against metro markets and what we do compared to all of Canada,” said Kyle Bachman, dealer principal for Northland Dodge. “To be the biggest in Canada it just means so much to us.

The 24-hour event, a major fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society, had outgrown its previous home at Masich Place Stadium and will have a fresh look and feel for 2018. This year’s Relay is set for June 9-10, from 10 a.m. to 10 a.m. and will be more accessible for participants and vendors than ever before.

“This is a big year for us,” said Doug Jones of the Relay for Life. “We have a venue change and things are going to be really different. So we’re looking for the support from everyone in the community.”

Registration for the 2018 Relay For Life is now open. To register online, please visitwww.relayforlife.ca/princegeorge. Registration can also be done in person at the local Canadian Cancer Society office, located at 1100 Alward Street.

As presenting sponsor of the 2018 Relay For Life, Northland Auto Group and AutoCanada have provided financial backing that will help make the event possible.

“Northland Auto Group has been a proud supporter of the Relay For Life for many years as an Incentive Sponsor and in that time, year-after-year, we’ve witnessed the overwhelming and continually growing support from the community for it,” Bachman said. “That’s why we are extremely excited to be taking our sponsorship of the Relay to another level this year as Presenting Sponsor in partnership with AutoCanada Cares.”

Organizers of the 2018 Relay For Life are thankful for the support of Northland Auto Group and AutoCanada and are excited about the event’s new base in Exhibition Park, which offers room for present and future growth and will allow for the creation of a festival-like atmosphere. With the increased size of the venue and improved accessibility, there will be food vendors on site and plenty of booths offering goods and services. And, as usual, there will be live entertainment throughout the Relay, provided by some of the city’s top bands and performers.

Another benefit of the new location is an almost unlimited amount of parking in the CN Centre lots for regular vehicles and RVs. Locals and out-of-towners who bring RVs to the Relay will be able to comfortably set up bases of operations for the entire weekend to enhance the overall experience.

Each edition of the Prince George Relay For Life has a theme, and this year’s is: Colours of Hope – Every cancer has a colour, every Relayer has a reason. With this theme in mind, participants are encouraged to decorate their track-side tents as brightly as possible and/or with colours that are significant to their reasons for participating.

The main part of the track will be bordered by CN Centre, Kin 1 and the Exhibition Sports Centre, which houses the B.C. Northern Exhibition office and the Prince George Gymnastics Club. For those participants who wish to cover a little extra distance, a loop of the track will also extend on the east end toward Ospika Boulevard.

While the surroundings will be different, a couple traditional elements of the Relay For Life remain in place: it will start with a Survivors Victory Lap and will feature a Luminary Ceremony, or ceremony of remembrance, at 10 p.m. on June 9. The idea of ‘Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back’ will always be at the core of the Relay For Life.

In terms of fundraising, the Prince George Relay For Life has been No. 1 in Canada for four consecutive years. Last year’s Relay generated more than $570,000. Money raised helps fund life-saving research, cancer prevention initiatives and is also used to support cancer patients and their families.

As a community event, the Prince George Relay For Life is open to everyone, not just registered participants. Organizers are issuing an open invitation to anyone who wants to come to Exhibition Park to check out the new-look Relay For Life.

This year’s Relay is the 26th annual in Prince George.