Every August, nearly 2,000 cyclists of all abilities gather at the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer start line in Calgary. They’ve spent months training to complete the two-day, 200-kilometre charity ride that heads out and back through rural Alberta, as well as hours fundraising a minimum of $2,500 benefiting the Alberta Cancer Foundation. For Title Sponsor Enbridge, it’s not just about powering an anticipated sporting event. It’s also a chance to take action towards making a cancer-free future possible.
The inaugural Ride to Conquer Cancer took place in Toronto in 2008. That first year the ride was considered a test event, and, following its success, the ride was brought to Calgary in 2009. Today, the event happens annually in four Canadian cities — Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal.
The Calgary-based energy company Enbridge signed on as the Title Sponsor of the Alberta event in 2010. The company also served as the official national sponsor from 2011 to 2013. The decision to become involved was easy. “Enbridge believes in contributing to the well-being of our communities and supports the quest to conquer cancer in our lifetime,” says Gina Jordan, community investment manager at Enbridge. “The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer is dedicated to fighting all cancers and we are proud to support this work.”
Each year, hundreds of Enbridge employees get involved in the event, either as participants or volunteers. Since 2009, more than 2,000 Enbridge employees have joined in the ride and more than 600 employees have volunteered. For Enbridge employees, involvement is a way to show support for those affected by cancer, directly and indirectly. It’s also a chance to remember colleagues who have passed away from cancer. In 2014, breast cancer survivor Janet Holder, Enbridge’s executive vice president, Western Access, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. She passed away in 2015 and
in 2016, Holder was honoured by Team Enbridge at the ride’s opening ceremony — her bike was walked across the start line as part of the Riderless Bike Procession. “Janet’s story highlights exactly why Enbridge supports the ride,” says Jordan. “She survived her first battle with cancer because of the treatment and research made possible through events like the ride, but her passing tells us that we still have work ahead to eradicate cancer.”
The ride has already made significant contributions to cancer care in Alberta. Funds raised are used for cancer research, prevention and screening, and enhanced care programs, and they provide patients with access to promising new cancer treatments, drugs and therapies. For example, thanks in part to funds from the ride, in 2016 alone, 927 Albertans signed up for clinical trials, which the ride helped fund, a six-per cent increase from 2015.
“We believe that the funds being raised are truly making a difference in our communities,” says Jordan. “It’s humbling to be part of something that’s having a real impact.”
The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer By-the-Numbers
- More than 2,000 riders have ridden on Team Enbridge to date.
- 4,330 riders have completed the race between 2009 and 2016.
- Team Enbridge raised more than $4.4 million to date.
- The ride has raised more than $60 million for the Alberta Cancer Foundation between 2009 and 2016.