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Coronavirus

At Heart & Stroke, our priority is the safety and well-being of our employees and their families, our volunteers, event participants and all other supporters.

We are actively monitoring the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) regarding coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.

During this difficult and challenging time, we must act to take care of each other and our community.

For anyone living with a heart condition, stroke or vascular disease, please see our recommendations for protecting yourself.

Based on public health recommendations and direction from provincial, territorial and local governments, we have postponed or cancelled some fundraising events and programs. Where possible, we have moved them to a virtual platform. See details below on individual programs.

At this time, our offices are closed as we seek to protect everyone’s health. We are still working virtually, remaining vigilant and active.  Essential services like our customer service centres, website and online communities continue.

When the time is right, we will be together again in person as a Heart & Stroke community, joined in our mission to save more lives from heart disease and stroke. In the meantime, we will stay connected virtually and remain in each other’s thoughts.

Last updated: May 19, 2020

Status of events and programs
Activate +

Activate has suspended all operations until July 2. If you had a pre-booked appointment to take part in the Activate program, we will contact you to reschedule once we are able to.

Big Bike +

All events scheduled between now and June 2020 have been postponed, effective immediately. We are working to reschedule these events to the fall of 2020, and we will provide more details once we are able to confirm rescheduled dates.

My Big Bike date was in April (or May or June). How do we find out what our new rescheduled date is?   

We are following the directives of public health authorities and have decided to move all events into the fall. Our options are August, September and October. We will work with you to find a new date for the Big Bike that works for you and your team.

What extra precautions are being taken?  

Providing a safe event is Heart & Stroke’s first priority. We will be taking extra measures to sanitize the Big Bike between rides. This includes wiping down the seats, handlebars and crossbars using disinfectant wipes.

We have people on our Big Bike team who are affected by heart disease and stroke, should they come?

Providing a safe event for every participant is our number one priority. That is why we followed the guidance of public health officials and have postponed Big Bike events schedule for the spring until the fall. We remain committed to our work to fight heart disease and stroke. Data suggests that people who have a heart condition or vascular disease or who have had a stroke may be at higher risk of complications if they are infected with COVID-19.

I don’t feel safe coming; what happens with my fundraising? Can it be transferred to a future year?

Your personal and team fundraising page will remain active for the complete 2020 Big Bike season should you choose to keep fundraising in support of critical heart disease and stroke research. Any donations submitted during the 2020 Big Bike season will count towards 2020 end of year totals and cannot be transferred to a future year. We ask for your understanding during this challenging time.

Will I still receive my fundraising incentives?

Yes, you are still eligible for all the great fundraising incentives offered as part of your participation in Big Bike.

My company says we can no longer proceed, or we don’t feel comfortable attending - what happens to our fundraising? Can we transfer it to a future year?

Your personal and team fundraising page will remain active for the complete 2020 Big Bike season should you choose to keep fundraising in support of critical heart disease and stroke research., despite the fact you are no longer able to ride the Bike. Fortunately, there is no registration fee for Big Bike. Any donations submitted during the 2020 Big Bike season will count towards 2020 end of year totals and cannot be transferred to a future year. 

What should I tell my donors?

The event is still happening in 2020 – postponed until the fall.  The top priority at Heart & Stroke is the health and safety of all our employees, volunteers and of course our donors and event participants. We will take extra sanitizing precautions to ensure that everyone’s health is protected.

Our donors’ support will continue to help us do the important work of fighting heart disease and stroke. We will continue to issue tax receipts as normal.

As a Captain, what should I say to my team?

We understand that this is a challenging time for all of us. Heart & Stroke is following the guidance and directives of public health authorities like the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), provincial and territorial public health authorities, and local public health authorities. To protect the health of our employees, their families, our supporters and our communities, we have made the decision to postpone all Big Bike rides scheduled in April, May and June 2020 into the fall.

As Captain, I’m having trouble recruiting my team as no one wants to sign-up.

We understand these are challenging times. Since our Big Bike events have been postponed for the fall you still have time to fill your Bike. There are recruitment tools in your Captain’s Kit and remember, your Big Bike Coordinator is available to help.

I don’t want to hand in offline donations, how can I submit money from my donors?

Encourage all of your donors to give online.  If you have already received offline donations, we encourage you to complete your offline pledge form and fill in your credit card information for the total of all of your donations. Bring your pledge form with you on event day or drop it off to your local area office, once the office reopens.  For safety, please do not mail any cash or cheque donations.

If I’m onsite and I’m feeling uncomfortable, is there a point person that I can talk to about my concerns?

Talk to your Big Bike coordinator and other onsite Heart & Stroke staff. Any person who is not feeling well before the event should stay home and not attend the event.

Heart & Stroke Gala, “at-home edition,” May 29, 2020 +

Everyone’s welcome for our first-ever virtual Heart & Stroke Gala. Enjoy music, inspiring guests and lots of fun – from the comfort of your home. Tickets are free!

Visit heartandstrokegala.ca to find out more.

Hockey Heroes Weekend – St. John’s, Halifax & Saskatoon +

With a heavy heart we announce the cancellation of Hockey Heroes Weekend 2020 in St. John’s, Halifax and Saskatoon. Read more at hockeyheroesweekend.com.

Jump Rope for Heart +

With schools closed in many provinces and territories, we will work with our teacher and school partners when schools reopen. We hope to offer Jump Rope for Heart if schools and teachers are supportive and will adapt Jump events with smaller groups and digital fundraising options.

We had already started fundraising for Jump Rope for Heart when the schools closed. What should we do now? 

Thank you for expressing an interest in supporting Jump Rope for Heart even during this difficult and challenging time.   

We will be happy to help you plan your event once school reopens. In the meantime, please keep your registration kits and other information about Jump Rope for Heart as this can be used when schools re-open and your event goes ahead.
Please contact us for more information.

We had to cancel Jump Rope for Heart when the schools closed, and would like to host an event once they reopen. What should I do, how can you help?

Thank you for expressing an interest in supporting Jump Rope for Heart even during this difficult and challenging time.   
We will be happy to help you plan your event once school reopens. In the meantime, please keep your registration kits and other information about Jump Rope for Heart as this can be used when schools re-open and your event goes ahead.
Please contact us for more information.

I’m sorry but I can’t hold an event this year. What are my options? How can you help?

We understand. We will be happy to work with you to cancel this year’s Jump Rope for Heart event you had planned and to plan an event for the next school year.

Physical activity is a great way to protect your heart and brain health. It’s also important for kids and indeed all of us to keep active while at home and to practice other healthy habits to take care of themselves and each other.

For help in winding down your planned event and to plan for next year, contact us.

How can we still show our support for Jump Rope for Heart? 

Thank you for your continued support of Heart & Stroke, and for wanting to still take part in Jump Rope for Heart. 

Physical activity is a great way to protect your heart and brain health. It’s also important for kids and indeed all of us to keep active while at home and to practice other healthy habits to take care of themselves and each other. 

This year, we’re encouraging kids and families to stay active and show their support by going online and counting their EASY healthy habit streak every day.  

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Heart & Stroke is not encouraging any offline (cash or cheque) fundraising for the remainder of the school year. However, you can still support Jump Rope for Heart and Heart & Stroke by fundraising online. 

Visit JumpRopeForHeart.ca for more information on how to do this, as well as for information about healthy habits you can practice at home.

What should we do with our Registration Kits?  

Please hold on to your Registration Kits, as many of those materials can be used again by your school next year.

Our school is closed but we already held a Jump Rope for Heart event and conducted fundraising. Will we get our Thank You Prizes? When will we receive them? 

Please connect with your local Heart & Stroke representative to let them know you’re still expecting a 
Thank You Prize order. 

We will do our best to honour and fulfill your school’s Thank You Prize order once your school reopens and someone is there to receive it. 

Remember: Online Bonus gift cards are instant! You will receive an email to the address used to register your child within 24-48 hours of achieving the fundraising milestone (i.e. 24-48 hours after reaching or surpassing $150 or $350 raised online). The email will prompt you to visit the portal, enter your Redemption Code, and select your Online Bonus gift card from the available options: Indigo, Amazon.ca, Canadian Tire and Mastermind Toys.  

Indigo and Amazon.ca cards are electronic gift cards that are delivered via email within 24-48 hours of your selection. Canadian Tire and Mastermind Toys cards are plastic gift cards that are delivered via post approximately 7 to 10 business days from the time of your selection. With the exception of Canadian Tire cards, all of the Online Bonus gift cards can be redeemed online or in-store. Canadian Tire gift cards only are only redeemable in-store.

Our school is closed but we already fundraised for Jump Rope for Heart. When and how will we receive our School Give-back?

Please connect with your local Heart & Stroke representative to let them know you’re still expecting a School Give-back order. We will honour and fulfill your School Give-back as soon as your school reopens and someone is there is receive it.  

Remember: If your school is already set-up for a direct deposit School Give-back cheque, please let your local Heart & Stroke representative know as it should be automatically deposited into your account.

Our school is closing or cancelling but we already handed out pledge envelopes for families to fundraise. What should we do? 

Please connect with your local Heart & Stroke representative to let them know you have a pledge envelope with offline donations already collected. 

For now, we ask that you please hold on to any pledge envelopes you’ve received so far and ask families to hold on to any that they have in their homes until further notice. We will let you know when those can be dropped off. 

As a parent, I don’t know how I’m going to keep my kids active and entertained for the next couple of weeks at home. How can we participate virtually?  

Thank you for your continued support of Heart & Stroke, and for wanting to still take part in Jump Rope for Heart.

Physical activity is a great way to protect your heart and brain health. It’s also important for kids and indeed all of us to keep active while at home and to practice other healthy habits to take care of themselves and each other.

This year, we’re encouraging kids and families to stay active and show their support by going online and counting their EASY healthy habit streak every day.

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Heart & Stroke is not encouraging any offline (cash or cheque) fundraising for the remainder of the school year. However, you can still support Jump Rope for Heart and Heart & Stroke by fundraising online. 

Visit JumpRopeForHeart.ca for more information on how to do this, as well as for information about healthy habits you can practice at home. 

Our school is closing or cancelling but we already collected donations using the pledge envelope. What should we do? 

Please connect with your local Heart & Stroke representative to let them know you have a pledge envelope with offline donations already collected.

For now we ask that you please hold on to your pledge envelopes and keep them in a safe place in your home until further notice.

Manulife Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart +

What is happening with this year’s Manulife Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart?

The health and safety of participants, their families, and all our Heart & Stroke employees and volunteers is our top priority. Following important public health restrictions due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, we are shifting to a virtual event, open to people no matter where they live. While we can't gather in person this year, what has not changed is our shared commitment in the fight against heart disease and stroke.

How do I participate in the Virtual Ride for Heart?

Registration for the Virtual Ride for Heart is open now! You can register by visiting RideForHeart.ca and start fundraising right away.  

I already registered for the in-person event, am I automatically registered for the virtual event? 

Yes! If you had already signed up for Ride for Heart, you are automatically registered for the virtual event. You should have received an email from us with details. If you did not receive this or have questions, please email us at: 

I want to do an outdoor activity for the Virtual Ride for Heart. Can I do that? 

You can, but it is important that you follow all the regulations put in place by your local public health authority and your provincial or territorial government. This means that you should not complete your event with people outside of your household, for example, and that you must follow physical distancing guidelines by staying two metres (six feet) away from other people. You also should make sure to complete your activity in areas that are open to the public and not access closed parks or trails, for example.

I donated to someone who is not able to participate in the virtual event. Can I receive a refund for my donation?

No, we are not able to offer refunds on donations. As per Canada Revenue Agency guidelines, donations are non-refundable. By law, a gift transfers ownership of the money or other gifted property from the donor to the charity. Once the transfer is made, the charity is obliged to use the gift in carrying out its charitable purposes.

Even if the person you’ve sponsored is unable to take part in the Virtual Ride for Heart, please know that your donation will be used in our critical mission to raise funds, raise awareness and to fund lifesaving research into heart disease and stroke.   

Will the fundraising incentives that were offered for the in-person event still be offered for the Virtual Ride for Heart?

Yes. The Blitz Contests, VIP jerseys and other fundraising incentives are still being offered to participants in the Virtual Ride for Heart. 

In the past, there have been medals for participants and other items. Will those be available this year?

Yes! Participants will receive a package in the mail with a medal, your participant bib and a Heart & Stroke buff that you can wear as a headband or an armband. We will be mailing these out before June so that you have them for when you complete your activity.

Is there still a fundraising minimum?

Yes. We encourage all participants to raise at least $100. We will be sharing lots of great tips on how to fundraise and how to ask your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to support you for this year’s Virtual Manulife Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart.

Why should people sign up and fundraise for the Virtual Ride for Heart?

With your support, Heart & Stroke leads the fight against heart disease and stroke. With the COVID-19 crisis, we need you now more than ever. Emerging data shows that people we protect are at greater risk for developing serious medical complications if infected with COVID-19.

This crisis has changed all of our lives and has changed how we hold events; it is why this year’s Ride for Heart is moving to a 100% online experience. Your fundraising support will help us continue to do our important work, and we need it now more than ever.

My Own Fundraiser +

Many people have created their own events to raise funds for Heart & Stroke. We strongly encourage event organizers to follow the advice of PHAC and other health authorities to postpone, or if necessary to cancel their events. Virtual fundraising is also an option and we will help people transition their events to a virtual fundraiser if they choose to do so.

Is there anything I should consider before having the event?

Thank you for your continued support. All of Canada’s provinces and territories are currently under a provincial or a health state of emergency.  No public event may take place at this time due to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you decide to move your event to a digital fundraiser, we will help you set that up.

If you are postponing an event, we recommend that you follow strict disinfecting procedures to ensure the health and safety of participants.

Heart & Stroke continues to follow the directives and guidance of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), as well as provincial and territorial public health authorities and local public health authorities by cancelling or postponing several events. We all have a role to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health of our communities. 

I still want to support My Own Fundraiser. What can I do?

Thank you for your continued support. Public health authorities are asking all of us to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 by practicing physical distancing and not gathering in large groups. you can still fundraise online using our website. It’s an easy and secure way to connect with your supporters and fundraise for My Own Fundraiser. We will help you throughout the process if you choose to host an online fundraiser.

I still want to have my event, but the venue has closed. What do I do?

Thank you for your continued support and for wanting to host a My Own Fundraiser event.  All of Canada’s provinces and territories are currently under provincial or a health state of emergency.  No public events  may take place at this time due to the COVID-19 outbreak.    

Please make plans to postpone the event and try to reschedule with the venue. It’s important that all of us follow the direction of public health authorities and do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 by not gathering in large groups. In the meantime, you can register online and fundraise using our website. It’s safe, secure and easy to use!

Resuscitation training +

Currently Heart & Stroke recommends all instructors postpone CPR training if they have not already done so.  Please click here for detailed information.

Special events in the Greater Montreal area +

The following special events are cancelled or postponed to a later date:

  • 20th edition of the Salon des vins de la Montérégie (April 1, Marcel-Dulude Center, Saint-Bruno) is postponed to a later date.
  • California Wine Tasting (April 8, Port of Montréal Grand Quay, Montreal) is cancelled.
  • Banquet du Coeur (May 12, Francine-Gadbois Multifunctional Center, Boucherville) is postponed to a later date.
Stroke Month door-to-door volunteer canvass +

In-person, door-to-door canvassing to raise funds during Stroke Month in June has been cancelled. We are instead offering a virtual fundraising option for those who would like to continue to raise funds during Stroke Month. For those looking to return your February canvassing kits, we will resume collecting kits in April. More details to be released.

I do not want to canvass this year because I am worried about getting sick / my health 

 We agree. The safety and well-being of our fundraisers is our highest priority. We have suspended the door-to-door  Heart & Stroke  Canvass for the time being, including all Stroke Month activities.  Thank you for your continued support and we will make sure to keep you informed once we resume in-person program.  

We’d like to ask you to continue to support our joint mission to save lives from heart disease and stroke.  You can continue to canvass by fundraising online, seeking the support of your community from the comfort and safety of your home. If that is something that is of interest to you, we are here to help you with it.

I’m scheduled to canvass in Stroke Month, what should I do?

The safety and wellbeing of our fundraisers is our highest priority. We are suspending the door-to-door Heart & Stroke Canvass for the time being including all Stroke Month activities.  Thank you for your continued support and we will make sure to keep you informed once we resume the program. 

As you are aware, you are more than welcome to canvass online where you can call or email your neighbours and other supporters from the comfort and safety of your home with the ask to support your Heart & Stroke Canvass.  If that is something that is of interest to you, we are here to help you with it. 

I still have my kit; how do I return it under these new circumstances? 

Thank you so much for canvassing! Please hold onto your kit for the time being.  We will update you when it is safe to return your kit and we will share the process at that time.  

Is there a wrap up event this year?

No.  Our top priority is to keep our Heart & Stroke community safe and healthy.  As such, this year we will be showing appreciation with a phone call and email and not in person.

What is Heart & Stroke saying about the impact of COVID-19 on heart disease and stroke?

I encourage you to check out the following page with updated information from Heart & Stroke:
www.heartandstroke.ca/articles/coronavirus-heart-disease-and-stroke

I still want to support Heart & Stroke. What can I do?

Thank you for your continued support, we sincerely appreciate your commitment 

While in-person canvassing has been suspended, you can still fundraise online using our website. It’s an easy and safe way to connect with your supporters from the comfort of your home and continue to help raise much needed funds to save lives from heart disease and stroke.  

More answers about Heart & Stroke events
If an event is postponed to a later date, will my existing registration let me attend on the new date? +

Yes. Heart & Stroke will honour your registration for an event that is postponed to a later date.

If I have paid a registration fee and the event is cancelled, will I receive a refund? +

Heart & Stroke is looking at our options to refund registration fees. We are also looking at options to convert registration fees for cancelled events into a donation to Heart & Stroke. If you choose to do this, you will receive a tax receipt from Heart & Stroke. This excludes My Own Fundraiser events, which are not led by Heart & Stroke.

Will you be taking additional hygiene measures at events that go ahead? +

Yes. For example, for Big Bike events, we will sanitize the Big Bike between rides. This will include using sanitizing wipes to wipe down the seats, handlebars and crossbars. In the case of Manulife Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart, we will have extra handwash stations and more access to hand sanitizer. We are working with our event partners to make sure that common spaces are cleaned more frequently. We are also working to provide packaged foods instead of self-serve buffet options.

Answers about donations and estate administration
How do I continue to support Heart & Stroke during this critical time? +

You can donate at heartandstroke.ca/donate.

At this time, our offices are closed as we seek to protect everyone’s health. We are still working virtually, remaining active and committed to our communities. Essential services like our customer service centres, website and online communities continue.

If you require assistance, please call 1-888-473-4636. You can also visit our website, heartandstroke.ca

I’m administering an estate and need to get in touch with Heart & Stroke. Who should I contact? +

Estate administrators can send an email to Patricia Ward, Project Manager, Estates Administration at patricia.ward@heartandstroke.ca.

Where to learn more about COVID-19
Links to latest updates +

COVID-19 makes our fight more urgent than ever

Donate now to help those at greater risk.


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