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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: April 2, 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.

Heart & Stroke B.C. Gala +

The Heart & Stroke B.C. Gala has been postponed from May 29, 2020 to a tentative date of September 26, 2020.

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.  

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 +

We are still assessing the feasibility of hosting the Manulife Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart on June 7, 2020. We will update event participants once more information is available.

Is the event happening?

As of right now, we are still assessing the possibility of holding the Manulife Heart & Stroke Ride for Heart. At this moment, our plan is to proceed with the event and take extra precautions to make sure it is a safe event for all. As more information becomes available, we will update you. 

What is Heart & Stroke doing to combat COVID-19 during Ride for Heart?

We are following the guidance and directives of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Public Health Ontario and Toronto Public Health. We are making sure that we have hand sanitizer available on-site, instead offer disposable water bottles, and place extra recycling bins on site.

How will food be handled at the event?

We have decided that, this year, we will not offer self-serve food options. Volunteers and employees will distribute food in the fresh food market, and will wear gloves. For our corporate challenge and VIP participants, we will serve boxed lunch and breakfast options.

Will you be invoicing corporate teams if the event does not happen? 

No, we will not invoice your company if the event does not happen as planned – however, we ask that you consider making a corporate donation to heart disease and stroke research.  

Are the Blitz Contests, VIP Jerseys and fundraising incentives being offered?  

Yes, all of these are currently being offered as planned.

Will I still have to pick up my event credentials at check-in? 

We encourage you to reach your $100 fundraising minimum by May 1, so that you qualify for our bib mailing.

Participant Services will still open in advance of event day to pick up your bib and drop off any offline funds, between June 4 to Saturday, June 6, and you can pick up your bib on event day before the event begins.

Will the Enercare Centre be open on event day?

Yes, you will have access to washrooms and hand-washing stations inside. Additionally, event booths will be open and our vendors will be taking extra sanitizing precautions to make sure we have a safe event.

Will volunteers and staff be cleared from COVID-19?

Providing a safe event for all is our first priority at Heart & Stroke. Any volunteer or staff member who feels unwell will be asked not to attend the event.. We all have an important role to play in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Is there an opportunity to ride or walk virtually?

While the Ride for Heart is not offered virtually, we encourage you to take a heart-healthy break in your day to ride and walk either in the comfort of your neighbourhood or in your local gym if possible.

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

If you don’t want to exchange cash and cheque donations, we encourage you to complete your offline pledge form, and fill in your credit card info for the total of all of your donations. Keep the cash donations, and ask any cheque donors to sign the cheque over to your name and mail in your offline registration form to the address listed on your form.

What should I tell my donors? 

As of today, the event is happening as planned, Heart & Stroke is taking extra precautions to ensure that everyone’s health is protected.There are templates in the Participant Centre, for you to use to email your donors should they have any questions.  

According to Health Canada. I’m in a vulnerable population for mass events. Should I stay home? 

It’s important for you to do what is safest for you, and in line with advice from your primary health care provider. If you are someone who is living with heart disease or stroke, you can read a recent article on our website that has information about COVID-19, heart disease and stroke.

Are there any major changes to the programming/schedule planned for event day?

There are no major changes to the programming, there will still be live music, giveaways, entertainment and activations for you to enjoy before and after your ride and walk.  

If I’m not attending, can I still continue to fundraise for Ride for Heart?

Yes, your participant centre will remain open and we encourage you to continue to fundraise and reach out to your network for support. Thank you for your continued support of Ride for Heart and we hope to see you at next year’s event.

Where should I be getting the most up to date information about the event?

Please visit www.rideforheart.ca and phone: 416-486-RIDE. We will also post regular updates on our website,  www.heartandstroke.ca.

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 social 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 +
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