Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock junior rider Brett Wasylyniuk leads the riders from his home to EJ Dunn Elementary School during the 2018 cycling team’s visit to Port Alberni on Friday, Sept. 28. Wasylyniuk will be riding with the team again this year. PHOTO COURTESY TOUR DE ROCK

Tour de Rock arrives in Port Alberni Sept. 27

Beer and burger fundraiser at Boston Pizza on Monday, Sept. 23

Port Alberni will not have a hometown rider in the 22nd annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, but this year’s organizers are still gearing up for the ride’s stop in the Alberni Valley at the end of September.

The riders will arrive in Port Alberni on Friday, Sept 27, with a time still to be determined, and will depart for Ucluelet on Saturday, Sept. 28.

The Canadian Cancer Society’s annual Tour de Rock, is a two-week, 1,000-kilometre bike ride across Vancouver Island for a team of police officers. The event, which is one of the longest-running fundraisers in the province, raises money to fight childhood cancer.

The riders were announced in May this year, and although none of them hail from Port Alberni, organizers are still planning a welcome party for the Tour de Rock team.

READ: Meet the 2019 team to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society

“We’ll greet them as we always do,” said Port Alberni RCMP Cst. Beth O’Connor, who was a rider herself in 2017. “We’ll gather people in one place and have our junior riders there.”

Port Alberni has two junior riders—Brett and Ryder—who will be riding around town with the Tour de Rock team when they arrive in Port Alberni.

“It’s a big deal for the kids, hanging out with us the whole time,” said O’Connor. “With the escort and the music going, it’s a real pump-up. The kids are right in there with us—they’re just glowing.”

Before the riders arrive in Port Alberni, a beer and burger fundraiser will take place at Boston Pizza on Monday, Sept. 23 from 6-9 p.m. (Tickets available at Boston Pizza, or by calling Bev Frolic at 250-724-4116 or Gerry Fagan at 250-731-5574.)

On Friday, Sept. 27, a dinner will take place for the Tour de Rock riders at the Alberni Athletic Hall. Doors open at 5 p.m. Port Alberni residents will have a chance to come out and meet the riders while enjoying a turkey dinner, as well as entertainment and live and silent auctions.

Matilda Atleo, the main organizer of the dinner, said that servers and cooks have been lined up, but she is still looking for volunteers. Organizers are still looking for silent auction items, as well.

“We’re seeking donations from local grocers,” Atleo said. “Usually they’re quite open to donating something for the dinner.”

“People are very generous,” added O’Connor. “[When I was a rider] I was blown away by the generosity of local companies and the lengths they would go to to help out.”

Part of the funds raised from Tour de Rock go towards pediatric cancer research, while others go towards Camp Good Times—a medically supervised summer camp that provides a unique refuge for children and families affected by childhood cancer. Funding also goes to support local families who are dealing with the costs for aftercare and hospital trips to the mainland.

The Canadian Cancer Society in Port Alberni closed its doors in 2018, but the organization is still active in the community. A volunteer can always be reached by phone at 250-720-9204.

READ: Canadian Cancer Society in Port Alberni closing doors

“It’s hard,” admitted volunteer Sheila Aolick. “We still have our meetings every couple of months. We’re still quite active, we just don’t have a space.”

O’Connor described 2019 as a bit of a “slump year,” due to the lack of a rider and a late start for planning and organization. For next year’s events, she and Atleo are hoping to put together a committee made of up representatives from the Canadian Cancer Society, RCMP and other volunteers.

“So that we can have different people taking on different roles,” Atleo explained. “That way we have a clear communication.”

“It gives us more time,” O’Connor added. “So we can have everything planned a little more in advance. Right now we’re hoping for a good turnout, and just keeping [Tour de Rock] in the forefront of people’s minds.”

She admitted that she and other organizers have learned a lot this year.

“We’d like to do more, for sure. Maybe next year we’ll be in a better position,” she said. “And hopefully we’ll have a local rider.”

“It will be bigger and better,” added Atleo.

For more information about upcoming events, tickets or volunteer opportunities, contact Matilda Atleo at 250-720-6141 or

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Celebrated storyteller Mike Downie brings Secret Path to Port Alberni

Presentation takes place at Alberni District Secondary School on Oct. 25

Canadian folk singer returns to Char’s Landing in Port Alberni

Seth Anderson prepares to release latest album, We Could Be

ELECTION 2019: NDP’s Gord Johns re-elected in Courtenay-Alberni

Conservative Byron Horner finishes second, with Green Party’s Sean Wood third

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

Scheer says Canada more divided than ever, as NDP and Bloc hold cards close

While Liberals were shut out of two key prairie provinces, they took two-thirds of the seats in Ontario

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Runners brave wet, windy weather for Ucluelet’s 20th Edge to Edge

“The spirit of the runners I have nothing but compliments.”

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Estheticians can’t be forced to wax male genitals, B.C. tribunal rules

Langley transgender woman Jessica Yaniv was ordered to pay three salon owners $2,000 each

Two youth arrested in UBC carjacking at gunpoint, after being spotted in stolen Kia

‘A great deal of credit is due the alert person who called us,’ said North Vancouver Sgt. Peter DeVries

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Windstorm knocks out power for 10,000 in north and central B.C.

Power slowly being restored, BC Hydro says

Investor alert: ‘Split games’ pyramid scheme circulating in B.C.

British Columbia Securities Commission issues warning about scheme selling virtual shares

Most Read