News Release


OAKVILLE: APRIL 7, 2021 – Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Donovan Bailey’s 100M Gold medal and the Men’s 4 x 100M Relay Gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Pass the Baton Canada is an annual celebration of virtual race events benefiting youth charities across the nation.

Pass the Baton Canada is a series of initiatives to mark the 25th anniversary of Donovan’s historic double Gold Medal wins in Atlanta.

Pass the Baton Canada will take place from July 27- August 3 with five virtual race events including a 1K, 5K, 10K, a 25K with the option to sprint the last 100M, and a 4x100M for any 4-person social bubble to participate in place by walking, strolling, wheeling, biking, boarding, etc., as well as a series of fun and engaging social media challenges. The months leading up to the week of events will include aseries of online social activities and activations.

The purpose of the race(s) is to raise funds for national youth charities as well as sports excellence programs. This inaugural program provides a COVID-19 friendly health initiative, anywhere in Canada, for members of the same social bubble, that will benefit physical and mental health issues. It offers a range of activities virtually that can engage every one of all ages and abilities, in their place and can be posted to social media to share the celebration.
Charities that will benefit include Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada, and organizations/scholarships supporting youth sports, vis-à-vis the Donovan Bailey Sports Excellence Award held at the Oakville Community Foundation. The Oakville Community Foundation (a.k.a. The Foundation) is the anchor foundation for this event.

Said Donovan Bailey: “Twenty-five years ago, double gold in Atlanta. What a moment in time that was! And 25 years later, we celebrate this for one reason, and not because it is about the past, but rather because it is about the PRESENT – and the FUTURE – our future. I look around and I see what Canada CAN be – should be – must be. And it starts with our youth. All youth. Inclusive. Active. I have said on many occasions that everyone should do sports. It benefits not just the individual – one’s body and mind – but one’s soul. Pass the Baton Canada is a rally call to all Canadians to be active – to get involved while raising funds benefiting youth charities across the nation.”

Pass the Baton Canada has a theme song called “This Is …for Donovan Bailey, Pass the Baton Canada” an up-beat tune, encouraging listeners to never give up and to follow their dreams.
Written and sung by Ana Pac, who followed her inner voice from short track speed skating to the stage as a singer/performer.

Registration for this event is at

We would like to thank our Sponsors including Staples Canada, Buck Productions, eBay Canada, Roar Records Inc, Citrix and Bata Shoe Museum.

Donovan Bailey 'Pass the Baton' Canada

The Oakville Community Foundation:

The Oakville Community Foundation is a registered charity focused on Building Community Through Philanthropy. The Foundation acts as a vehicle for community members to fulfill their charitable passions and has granted $50.6 million to charitable organizations since its inception. The Foundation also supports investments of more than $110 million in assets. We welcome families, businesses and residents into our community and give everyone the opportunity to be a philanthropist. The Foundation is one of the largest members of a national network of more than 190 Canadian community foundations.

Donovan Bailey Foundation:

The Bailey Foundation, a Not-for-Profit organization, enjoys more than a 20 year relationship with the Oakville Community Foundation. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of his gold medal accomplishments in Atlanta, the Oakville Community Foundation has created the Donovan Bailey Sports Excellence Scholarship. This award has been created to recognize a high-performance athlete who upholds the values of good sportsmanship and fair play in any Olympic sport (including Paralympic and Special Olympics). The partnership brings together the iconic “world’s fastest man” with his hometown charitable foundation to provide the financial transparency and charity donation oversight for the celebration.


For the past 50 years Kelly Arnott, founder of VR Pro, has been making communities across the province great places to race!! VR Pro is dedicated to providing professional, safe and healthy races for participants, while also supporting communities. VR Pro hosts approximately 20 events per year in the GTA, while also helping other organizations with their races, and has been instrumental in raising over $3 million dollars towards various charities.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada​

Community-based services. Positive relationships. Life-changing programs. As Canada’s largest child- and youth-serving charitable organization, BGC Canada provides vital programs and services to over 200,000 young people in 775 communities across Canada. During critical out-of-school hours, our Clubs help young people discover who they are, what they can do, and how they can get there. Our trained staff and volunteers give them the tools to realize positive outcomes in self-expression, academics, healthy living, physical activity, mental health, leadership, and more. Since 1900, BGCs have opened their doors to children, youth, and families in small and large cities, and rural and Indigenous communities. If a young person needs it, our Clubs provide it. Learn more at and follow us on social media @BGCCAN.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Canada​

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada 

Established 106 years ago, the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is to enable life- changing mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides one-on-one and group mentoring services for more than 40,000 children and youth in 1,100 communities across Canada. Many young people face adversities in their lives, resulting in toxic stress that can negatively impact their development. With the support of a mentor, young people can overcome these adversities and develop the confidence to reach their full potential. Visit for more information.

For Interview Requests with Donovan Bailey and Wendy Rinella, CEO of The Oakville Community Foundation, please contact:

Press Release

Official theme song of “Pass the Baton Canada”

We have an official song for this initiative, with 10% of the record label royalties being donated to Pass The Baton Canada. Please share this link: This Is … (for Donovan Bailey Pass the Baton Canada) – Single by Ana Pac on Apple Music

Photos of Donovan Bailey

For editorial use only

Credit Claus Andersen (download)

Pass The Baton Canada Logo Pack