Scotiabank AIDS Walk History
What is the Walk?
Canada’s most important HIV/AIDS fundraising and awareness event is the annual Scotiabank AIDS Walk. During the national event, cities and communities from across the country host Walks to raise funds for local services and programming and to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS.
The roots of the Scotiabank AIDS Walk date back to the first fundraising and awareness walk for HIV/AIDS in Canada, which took place in Vancouver in 1986. Over the decade that followed, many more Canadian cities followed Vancouver’s lead and established their own AIDS walks.
The Birth of a National AIDS Walk
As more and more walks began to appear across Canada, the need for coordination of multiple sites became apparent. Several member organizations of the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS) came together in 1995 and requested that CAS coordinate some centralized tasks for their walks. In response, CAS assumed management of the national AIDS walk campaign in 1996 and established AIDS Walk Canada, the first national fundraising and awareness event for HIV/AIDS in Canada.
The national framework of the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life strives to balance the coordination required and autonomy necessary to run a community-driven, national fundraising event. The Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life is a hybrid between a grassroots and a truly national event, as we rely heavily on the input and involvement of our local host organizations across Canada.
What’s in a Name?
Since its inception, the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life has gone through several name changes:
- 1996-2003: AIDS Walk Canada | Ça Marche
- 2004-2006: Walk for Life | Marche pour la vie
- 2007: AIDS Walk for Life | Marche action sida
- 2008-2015: Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life | Marche action sida Banque Scotia
- Since 2016: Scotiabank AIDS Walk | Marche action sida Banque Scotia
To date, over half a million Canadians have participated in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk, from coast to coast. Together, they have raised more than $42 million to support programs and services in their communities, for people living with HIV / AIDS and those affected by it.
We sincerely thank all Canadians who have supported the Scotiabank AIDS Walk over the years. We appreciate your continued support and we hope that one day the walk will not be necessary.