Almost seven decades after its inception and hundreds of millions of dollars raised, Heart & Stroke’s seminal Heart Month fundraiser, the door-to-door Canvass, is now knocking on virtual doors.
“The Heart Month Canvass has been the cornerstone of Heart & Stroke since 1952 when a group of cardiologists and their families braved the cold to ask neighbours for donations to support heart research,” said Doug Roth, CEO, Heart & Stroke. “For nearly 70 years, dedicated volunteers in communities large and small across Canada have continued this tradition and now the Canvass has gone completely virtual to meet today’s needs.”
Pivoting in-person fundraising events to go online and enhancing the digital experience is only one of the ways Heart & Stroke has responded to the challenging environment. “For years we have focused on innovating to fund our mission, and in this climate it’s more critical than ever to look for new ways to collaborate and create partnerships to accelerate change,” Roth adds.
Heart & Stroke recently announced a new partnership with Brain Canada in the form of a $6 million Heart-Brain Connection IMPACT Award, to study the deep connections between the heart and the brain. And last November, it released positive results from Activate, a pilot high-blood pressure program made possible with the support of private investors, government, and community partners. This year it is also working with the World Heart Federation and other Canadian health partners to address and lessen the burden of heart failure, which affects more than 600,000 people in Canada.
Heart disease and stroke have not gone away during the pandemic. And alarmingly, not only is the virus much deadlier for people with chronic conditions, COVID-19 can also damage previously healthy hearts and have serious impacts on the brain.
This Heart Month, Roth wants people to look after themselves and their heart and vascular health, and for supporters to know that funding research breakthroughs is more urgent than ever.
To volunteer as a fundraiser, or to donate to the 2021 Heart Month Heart & Stroke Virtual Canvass go to: https://www.heartandstroke.ca/