Each year, thousands of people purchase paper lanterns from Fairway Markets, The Bay Centre, and Denny’s Restaurants to bring to the Festival on Saturday night and hang on the water’s edge. Each lantern carries a tag that bears a message of hope or remembrance for those affected by cancer. This moving display honours their battles with cancer and shares their stories with the community, and all proceeds from lantern sales are donated to the BC Cancer Foundation.
The lantern colours are beautiful, adding magic to the evening. But the colours are not nearly as breathtaking as the hand-written messages on the tags. Messages are filled with hope, humour, grief, love, and inspiration.
Write your wishes for a healthy and long future. Write a poem of remembrance. Write a name and nothing more. Write whatever you want – and fill the lantern with light.
This year, community members will be invited to the festival site at Ship Point in the Inner Harbour on Friday, August 7 for our Lantern Lighting Celebration. Members of the public are invited to display their lanterns for the entire weekend of August 7, 8, and 9, 2020. Lanterns will also be on sale at the Festival.
Join us as we illuminate the lanterns and spread hope.
8:30 pm, Friday, August 7, 2020
Ship Point Pier, Inner Harbour
Buy a lantern
Buy a lantern. Write a message on your lantern’s tag – write your wishes for a healthy and long future. Write a poem of remembrance. Write a name and nothing more. Write whatever you want – and fill the lantern with light.
From the start of the summer, the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival sells colourful Chinese paper lanterns at local Fairway Market stores, and Denny’s Restaurant. Each lantern comes with a paper tag, on which you can write a message as a tribute to anyone you knew who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Each year, thousands of people bring their lanterns to the Festival on Saturday night to display them on the water’s edge. The tag attached to each lantern bears a message of hope or remembrance for a person affected by cancer. This moving display honours their battles with cancer and shares their stories with the community.
Hang your lantern
Hang your lantern on the Friday afternoon and evening of the Festival, and join us to illuminate your hopes in a moving show of courage and community. At 8:30pm on the Friday evening of the Festival the lanterns will be illuminated, as thousands of fellow supporters look on.
Your lanterns remain hung throughout the Festival, and will be joined by hundreds over the course of the weekend. You can also purchase lanterns at the Festival from the BC Cancer Foundation tent.
Make a donation
All proceeds from lantern sales support the BC Cancer Foundation, an organization that supports world-class research taking place right here in Victoria.
You don’t need to wait until the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival to support this incredible organization, though – make a donation today.
We are the fundraising partner of BC Cancer. Every dollar we raise stays right here at BC Cancer to advance research and enhance care for the people of B.C. At the BC Cancer Foundation we believe that with your help BC CAN make a difference in the lives of all British Columbians. We know that one in two people in our province will face cancer in their lifetime and we’re igniting progress to break down cancer, piece by piece, in the labs and clinics. BC CAN improve treatments for patients. BC CAN harness genomics to save lives. BC CAN prevent cancer for the next generation. By working with people like you, who believe that investments in science and enhancements to care can make a significant difference for British Columbians, we are confident that BC CAN change the outcome for each person facing this disease.
About the BC Cancer Agency
BC Cancer is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.ca.
Since 2008, the Lights of Courage Campaign, Paddlers’ Pledge Drive, and festival weekend fundraising efforts has raised an overall total of $667,109.23 in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.
Lights of Courage totals
2018 – $18,585.03
2017 – $16,657.89
2016 – $14,229.20
2015 – $21,064.00
2014 – $28,192.16
2013 – $25,900.66
2012 – $31,545.93
2011 – $39,273.01
2010 – $31,531.67
2009 – $31,038.93
2008 – $35,709.28
Paddlers’ Pledge totals
2018 – $59,222.00
2017 – $55,102.00
2016 – $52,619.00
2015 – $43,743.00
2014 – $35,834.62
2013 – $36,461.83
2012 – $33,000.05
2011 – $61,791.25
2010 – $65,681.53
2009 – $55,963.43
2008 – $51,155.61
Prior to 2008
Over $126,000 was raised in support of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation since the inception of the Paddlers’ Pledge Drive in 2001 and the Lights of Courage Campaign in 2006. The funds raised went towards the purchase of equipment and machinery for the early detection and treatment of cancer.