Presented by McDonald's Canada, cross-Canada Relay begins August 24,
2011 in Cape Spear, NL
TORONTO, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - Twenty-five years to the date of his Man In
Motion World Tour commencing its historic cross-Canada journey back to
British Columbia, Canadian hero Rick Hansen will continue his dream of
making the country more accessible and inclusive with the announcement
today of the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay.
Beginning on August 24, 2011 in Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador -
the easternmost point in North America and approximately 15 kilometres
south-east of St. John's - the 25th Anniversary Relay will retrace the
Canadian segment of the original Tour, but this time one man in motion
will be represented and celebrated by many in motion; engaging 7,000
participants from across Canada who have made their own difference in
the lives of others. With a shared vision of celebrating everyday
Canadians' contributions to their communities, McDonald's Canada is
joining as the Relay's first presenting partner.
"Twenty-five years ago I set my dream in motion; one that took me
through 34 countries and across 40,000 kilometres as we raised
awareness of the potential of people with disabilities," said Rick
Hansen, President and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation. "The 25th
Anniversary Relay will be an exciting opportunity for Canadians to join
the journey, to keep moving forward and to create a new dream. And to
have the support of a partner such as McDonald's - who were there from
the beginning, and who will be with our team again as we travel across
the country - makes this all the more exciting."
The Relay will mark the beginning of the third and final phase of the
two-year 25th Anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man In Motion World Tour.
Since March 2010, the 25th Anniversary has served as an occasion to
celebrate progress, foster international collaboration and recognize
difference makers in the areas of accessibility and spinal cord injury
A project of this scope and scale could not be possible without
tremendous support of major sponsors and corporations. As one of the
presenting partners of the 25th Anniversary, McDonald's Restaurants of
Canada will also play an operational role during the Relay - with the
Relay passing through or stopping at McDonald's restaurants across
Canada as it makes its way to Vancouver, BC.
"We're immensely proud of our long-standing relationship with Rick and
the Rick Hansen Foundation, dating back to the original Man In Motion
World Tour in 1987 - where McDonald's customers raised $1.5 million
from coast-to-coast - to this next chapter of their incredible
journey," said John Betts, President and CEO of McDonald's Canada.
"Making a difference in the communities we serve is part of our core
values at McDonald's and we're thrilled to be a part of the 25th
Anniversary Relay, which will give Canadians an opportunity to come
together in celebration right across the country."
Focusing on engaging Canadians to take up the challenge and become
vessels for positive change, the Relay will feature participants who
will run, walk, wheel, bike and complete their segments through a
variety of forms of movement for all abilities. In every province,
Relay participants will pass the singular Rick Hansen Medal - produced
by the Royal Canadian Mint - to each other as the Relay makes its way
across the country. While Rick will be present at a number of cities
and stops along the 25th Anniversary Relay, it will be these 7,000
participants who will complete this cross-Canada tour.
Chosen via a public contest that will launch in the spring of 2011,
participants will represent a wide spectrum of examples of making a
difference. Examples will include those whose efforts have removed
barriers and contributed to making their community more accessible and
inclusive, those who have overcome adversity, those who are promising
youth leaders, those who live by the credo that anything is possible,
those who are committed to making a difference in the lives of others
and those who mirror the values of determination, courage, integrity,
inspiration and teamwork.
"These difference makers' remarkable stories will not only showcase the
positive impact these individuals have had in their communities, but
will remind us that we can all become champions of change," Hansen
said. "Working together, we can recognize and inspire a new generation
of difference makers to never give up on their dreams and realize that
with courage and determination, anything is possible."
The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay will travel through more than 600
communities as it makes its nine-month, 12,000-kilometre journey across
Canada before concluding in Vancouver on May 22, 2012. Each Relay day
will conclude with an End of Day Celebration, which will provide the
opportunity for communities to come together, recognize local
difference makers, raise awareness about accessibility and inspire a
new generation to take action.
The average Relay distance covered in a day will range from 40 to 80
kilometres. In populated areas, participants will carry the Rick Hansen
Medal using a variety of modes of movement, with each participant
covering an average distance of 250 metres. In less populated areas,
and to cover longer distances between communities, the Rick Hansen
Medal will be carried by a participant in "Endurance Mode." Finally, in
an effort to showcase Canada's innovation in transportation,
accessibility and sustainability, extraordinary transportation modes
will be utilized - ranging from hand-cycle, snowmobileadaptive rowing
and a variety of other forms.
25th Anniversary Relay Fast Facts:
Begins on August 24, 2011 in Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador and
concludes in Vancouver, British Columbia on May 22, 2012.
Fully recreates the original Man In Motion cross-Canada tour, spanning
12,000 kilometres from coast to coast.
Will travel through over 600 communities, visit every capital city and
all provinces and territories and reach more than 70% of the Canadian
Will engage approximately 7,000 participants - difference makers in
their own right - who will collectively cover an average of 40 to 80
kilometres a day, making their way across the country passing a
singular Rick Hansen Medal to the next participant.
All Canadians (12 years and up) will be able to apply to become a
participant through an online contest to be launched in spring 2011.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Rick Hansen and Richard Ellis (Senior Vice President, Communications &
Public Affairs, McDonald's Canada) will be available via a moderated
conference call from 1:30pm-2:00pm EST on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.
Call in details: toll-free conference number: 1-866-696-5910
Participant pass code: 8780202. Media assets will be available on rickhansen.com
About the Rick Hansen Foundation:
The Rick Hansen Foundation is a registered charitable organization that
provides leadership to create more accessible and inclusive communities
for people with a spinal cord injury, and supports the search for a
cure. The Foundation achieves its goals by connecting the people and
resources that make innovation possible. Please visit www.rickhansen.com for more information.
About the Rick Hansen Foundation's 25th Anniversary:
The Rick Hansen Foundation is currently celebrating the 25th Anniversary
of Rick Hansen's Man In Motion World Tour, and the extraordinary
progress that has been made in the fields of accessibility and spinal
cord injury advancement since. Over the two-year anniversary period
(March 21, 2010 - May 22, 2012) a number of programs and events are
planned to inspire others to dream big, recognize difference makers,
create lasting and sustainable legacies and change the world, one good
turn at a time.
About McDonald's Canada:
McDonald's is the leading foodservice company in the world. McDonald's
Restaurants of Canada Limited and its Canadian franchisees own and
operate more than 1,400 restaurants and employ more than 77,000
Canadians coast to coast. Approximately 75 per cent of McDonald's
Canadian restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent
entrepreneurs. For more information about McDonald's Canada, visit the
company's web site at www.mcdonalds.ca.
SOURCE Rick Hansen Foundation
For further information:
John Gibson (in Toronto)
Rick Hansen Foundation Communications
Robin Russell (in Vancouver)
Rick Hansen Foundation Communications
Media Relations Line