Lights of Courage campaign gets underway

Dragon Boat Festival’s fundraiser supports B.C. Cancer Foundation

Tony Joe

Tony Joe

Katy Milne sees the whole picture.

She’s a coach for the dragon boat team Paddlers of the Fifth Moon, a paddler with the Snappin’ Dragons, a fundraiser and a cancer researcher who sees the effect those funds have in research labs.

“Being on both ends, as a paddler, a teammate and a cancer researcher, it really helps me see how important (the fundraising) is. I know how we use it,” Milne said.

Many of her teammates are cancer survivors.

“In a research lab, it’s easy to get stuck in the realm of tubes and that,” she said. “This makes me more passionate about my work.”

Milne was part of a group that launched the Lights of Courage campaign recently. The organizers of the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival are selling traditional Chinese paper lanterns for $3 with proceeds going toward the B.C. Cancer Foundation for Island-based cancer research.

This is the sixth annual campaign. Last year, 17,000 lanterns were sold, raising $54,000 for the foundation. This year’s goal is to sell 20,000 lanterns, which are available at all Fairway Market locations, the Bay Centre and Denny’s Restaurant.

Every year, the campaign has surpassed its goal, said festival society vice-president Tony Joe.

“The phenomenal response to the Lights of Courage campaign shows how important this is to the local community,” he said.

People who buy lanterns can string them up along the pier in the Inner Harbour from Aug. 12 to 14, when the Dragon Boat Festival takes place.

For more information on the festival, go to