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Calling all volunteers! The 2018 WICC ON Gala needs YOU!  3/29/2018 in WICC Ontario

The WICC Gala Committee has been busy over the past few months coming up with the theme for this... [Full Story]

2017 WICC Ontario Relay For Life Sets Canadian Fundraising Record  7/26/2017 in WICC Ontario

June 16, 2017 (TORONTO) – The 2017 WICC Relay For Life is very pleased to have raised a record... [Full Story]

WICC Relay for Life Leaders are just like YOU –
take a look! Could YOU accept the Leadership Baton?
  5/30/2017 in WICC Ontario

  Although the backgrounds of these Relay for Life Team Leaders are diverse, the common... [Full Story]

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Upcoming Events




The WICC Gala Committee has been busy over the past few months coming up with the theme for this year’s event and planning all kinds of fun!!

Have you heard?  The British are invading!!

We’re looking for an entourage of volunteers to help us make this year’s event “royally” spectacular!!

If you’re interested in volunteering, please click on the following link for the WICC Volunteer Application.

Please contact WICC Gala volunteer co-ordinator, Nancy LaCroix at:

June 16, 2017 (TORONTO) – The 2017 WICC Relay For Life is very pleased to have raised a record $533,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.  Each June, Relay For Life events take place across Canada and the amount raised by the WICC-hosted event in Toronto is the largest of any Relay event anywhere, to date.  This already impressive sum is expected to grow in the coming weeks as companies match their employee’s fundraising efforts.  The annual insurance industry-hosted Relay For Life took place in Toronto on Friday, June 16 at Downsview Park from 6 p.m. to midnight.

“Our Relay For Life is a great event that brings insurance colleagues and their friends and families together in a true team effort to raise money for cancer research,” said Relay For Life Co-Chair Shari Dodsworth, Senior Vice President, Sales & Distribution at Northbridge Insurance. “Funding research is essential to progress, and it’s our way of helping to eliminate cancer from our vocabulary.”

WICC has supported Relay For Life for the last eight years and continues to be a very significant corporate contributor through sponsorship and fundraising. Relay For Life is the Canadian Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser walk. This year, Relay engaged 44 teams and a total of 505 individuals.

“We’re so proud of how the Relay event and the money it raises continue to grow,” said Paul Martin, Relay For Life Past Co-Chair and President and COO of RRJ Insurance Group. “The insurance industry has really stepped up to the challenge and backs its commitment to support the health of people in their local communities.”

A perfect example of this commitment is found at Economical Insurance, where the company’s national Relay sponsorship dollars already total more than $102,000 this year.

“At Economical, how we operate reflects our values and who we are as a company,” said Tom Reikman, Economical’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. “Many of us have experienced cancer in some way, and it’s important for Economical to help fund cancer research, both as an employer and insurance provider.”

Since 1947, CCS has put collective donations of more than $1.4 billion toward research which has led to new technology and innovations.



Carrie Brown Team CaptainJen & Randy NB and Sonia Manson Team CaptainsJulie Kirk Team CaptainSusan Walsh Team Captain

Although the backgrounds of these Relay for Life Team Leaders are diverse, the common goal of these high-achievers is to make a difference by helping to raise funds for WICC and the Canadian Cancer Society. WICC is aiming to beat its impressive turnout from last year, with 700 participants and over $470,000 raised. All of this was possible because of leaders like the ones featured here. And in 2017, it will also be because of Leaders like YOU!

Would you like to help Lead or Co-Lead YOUR company to accomplish something great for the 2017 Relay for Life? With 3 weeks left before event day on June 16th there’s still time!

See what it’s all about by WATCHING the 2016 Relay for Life Video here

Accept the baton! To register a team, or to participate in other Relay For Life events, visit or call: 1-866-201-6202

#RelayForLife Twitter: @WICCOntario  Facebook: @WICCOntario

2017 OIAA Poster for News post

On Tuesday, November 9th the P&C community gathered for the 19th annual WICC Breakfast for Cancer held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto.  Over 400 industry professionals gathered for a sit-down breakfast in the Canadian room.  Following breakfast attendees turned their attention to the main event: a live panel discussion covering such topics as individual cancer treatment practices in Canada, cancer research and funding.  The featured panelists included Bobbie Goldie (cancer survivor and Chubb employee), Dr. Kelly Fathers (Senior Manager of Research Communications with the Canadian Cancer Society) and Dr. Uri Tabori (Scientist, Clinician and leader in childhood cancer research).  Breakfast Event Chair, Barb Reddick, served as panel moderator.

Dr. Tabori and Dr. Fathers underlined the importance of organizations like WICC who support crucial cancer research funding and offered examples of the important breakthroughs that have been made thanks to such funding.  Research grants currently funded by WICC include:

  • WICC Ontario Breast Cancer Innovation Grant of the Canadian Cancer Society (Dr Sabourin)
  • WICC Ontario Prostate Cancer Innovation Grant of the Canadian Cancer Society (Dr He)

Following the panel, WICC ON Co-chairs, Ellen Moore and Marilyn Horrick announced the award winners for the inaugural WICC 20th Anniversary National Platinum Volunteer Awards.  Cat Pickell (Crawford & Company) was presented with the Ontario Chapter award for her long-serving dedication to the WICC Ontario Gala event.  Thanks and congratulations were extended to the following award winners in other chapters:

WICC AB – Jim Sinclair (Guardian Insurance)
WICC BC – Debbie Demar (Marsh) & Mary da Costa (The Guarantee)
WICC QC – Carole Morin (Travellers)

2016 Volunteer Award Winners_80

Thank you to all WICC National Sponsors and Event Sponsors who make the WICC Breakfast for Cancer possible.  And to all of the dedicated committee members and volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year to bring this fun and important fundraising event to the P&C community.

WICC is grateful to the P&C community for their support in making WICC the Canadian Cancer Society’s largest living donor – having raised over $12.6 million since its inception in 1996.

Check back here for updates to funds raised from this year’s Breakfast as well as additional photos from the event as they become available.





Click here for 2016 WICC Relay for Life video link

On Friday June 17th insurance industry professionals gathered at Downsview Park in support of WICC Ontario’s annual Relay for Life event.  Relay is the Canadian Cancer Society’s signature fundraiser, generating significant funds each year for lifesaving cancer research.  In 2016, 699 participants and 67 teams represented WICC at events across Ontario to raise a total of over $425,000.

The Downsview Park location is an insurance-industry exclusive event.  This year, 546 participants ‘accepted the baton,’  walking the track from 6pm until midnight.  Participants heard from cancer survivors and researchers about the importance of organizations like WICC and the CCS with a passion and commitment to fighting cancer.  “Canadians should be very proud of their insurers for stepping up and supporting the Canadian Cancer Society,” said Susan Drodge, the Society’s Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships in Ontario. “Year after year, insurance industry professionals demonstrate their commitment to those in their community touched by the disease.”

As presenting sponsor, Economical Insurance donated $109,500 to support this event and several other Relay For Life events in Ontario and Quebec. “As a member of the insurance community, we were quite proud to support the event in such a significant way,” said Tom Reikman, Economical’s chief operating officer. “It’s a powerful thing to stand together with our colleagues and competitors, united in our fight against cancer.”

Event participants were fervent in their fundraising efforts, with the Northbridge Insurance Navigators team receiving honors as top fundraisers after raising almost $26,000. “I am so proud of both my team and the industry for their passion and commitment to fighting cancer,” said Relay For Life Co-Chair Shari Dodsworth, senior vice president, Sales & Distribution at Northbridge Insurance.  “This is the seventh year that we have joined WICC in Relay For Life and we are showing no signs of slowing down!”

Flame luminaries were available for purchase to remember those touched by cancer.  The lighting of the luminaries and the lap of remembrance was, as always, a powerful reminder that we all stand together in the fight against cancer.

Live music, food and drink and entertainment for the kids too – made the time on the track fly by.  Before we knew it we were once again hugging friends and colleagues goodbye and heading home with tired legs and a great feeling of accomplishment.

If you would like to accept the baton, check back here for 2017 Relay for Life event updates or contact WICC to become a volunteer or to make a donation.




Guidelines in JPG format

Sophia Stukas (nee Norkus)

Sophia Stukas (nee Norkus)


WICC Ontario Chapter fondly remembers Sophia Stukas’ participation in the creation of WICC. Early founders of the organization set the groundwork for what has made WICC a sustainable and growing fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.  Sadly, on July 2nd, 2016, Sophia Stukas (Norkus) lost her 24 year battle to cancer.




WICC Founders: Sophia is pictured 4th from left.

As featured in WICC Ontario’s 20th Anniversary article, Sophia is seen in 1997, fourth from the left, standing beside her great friend (and WICC co-founding Co-Chair) Mabel Sansom.


Sophia’s friends and business colleagues are honoring her enduring legacy in many ways. A tribute, sponsored by her loving husband Vitas, has been set-up for Sophia on the WICC website. If you wish to make a donation in Sophia’s name, you may do so using the following link:

Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency (WSIG), the company that Sophia worked for in California, will be collecting ‘Jeans for Charity’ funds in Sophia’s memory. The monies raised in August & September 2016 will be gifted to WICC.

On August 11th, WSIG held a Luminaria Ceremony at dusk on the lawn of their offices. Sophia’s husband Vitas was able to fly out to California for the ceremony. Bag pipes played as friends and colleagues shared memories of Sophia. Funds raised (through the purchase of luminaria bags) were donated to the Relay For Life / American Cancer Society in Sophia’s name.



USA WICC Tribute to Sophia



If you didn’t have the honor of knowing Sophia personally, her husband Vitas recently forwarded the attached article written nearly 20 years ago. Read on to learn more about Sophia’s incredible compassion and initial battle with cancer.



Edited WICC Article FINAL

Sophia Stukas walk with Vitas

Sophis Stukas with her husband Vitas



The 6th Annual WICC Ottawa Sugar Bush Breakfast was held on April 8th 2016 at the Shaw-Centre.  Over 250 guests had the opportunity to network and catch up with industry colleagues while enjoying the spectacular view, celebrating WICC’s 20th Anniversary, and having fun in the photo booth*, before a hearty French Canadian style breakfast was served.

From the spoon playing, MacCulloch Dancers, and live music by the fiddler and guitarist team to the maple taffy and plaid shirts, it was truly a “Sugar Bush” in the city ambiance. A cheque presentation in the amount of $25,000.00 was made to Byron James, manager, Canadian Cancer Society Ottawa. In attendance was Andrew Wight, a member of the CCS Research Information Outreach Team (RIOT), who spoke about his involvement in Dr. Makrigiannis’ research which is supported by “WICC Ontario (Ottawa Region) Innovation Grant of the Canadian Cancer Society”. This grant was named in recognition of WICC’s generous support and is in its second year of funding.

The event was equally successful from a financial perspective thanks to our guests and sponsors. We raised over $8,000.00 after expenses and the funds will go directly to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Thank you to our Gold Level Sponsors – $3,500.00

o   Gowling WLG

o   Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP

Thank you to our Silver Level Sponsor – $1,500.00

o   Cavanagh LLP

Thank you to our Bronze Level Sponsors – $500.00

o   Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

o   Bradley’s Insurance

o   Desjardins Insurance

o   Forbes Chochla LLP

o   MDD Forensic Accountants

o   Reed Research International Investigators & Intelligence

o   Promus

o   William Litigation Lawyers

Stay tuned for next year’s 7th Annual WICC (Ottawa) Sugar Bush Breakfast being held on April 7, 2017!

* Click here to view the Rogers TV segment featuring Ottawa Sugar Bush Breakfast 2016

* Click here to see pictures from WICC Sugar Bush Breakfast 2016

To access the gallery, use your email address & the following case-sensitive password:  sugarbushbreakfast
To download the photos, use the following 4-digit PIN: 7058

This photo collection will be online until:  May 10th, 2016

A special thank you to WICC’s 6th Annual Sugar Bush Committee Members.

The WICC OTTAWA 2016 Sugar Bush Breakfast Committee:

Marie Clemens, Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP – Chair

Robin Brown, Cavanagh LLP
John Good, Read Research
Cheryl Smith, Desjardins Insurance
Emily Millar, TRAC Group
Tessa Warmelink, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Stephanie Doucet, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP
Shaun Jaberolansar, Kelly Santini LLP
Sandra Lebrun, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Chris Pierre, KeyNorth Group
Jean-Charles Plante, KPMG LLP
Mike Kohut


2016 WICC Sugar Bush Committee

2016 WICC Sugar Bush Committee


On Wednesday, April 6th the P&C community gathered for the 20th anniversary WICC Gala Dinner held at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in downtown Toronto.  Over 500 industry professionals gathered for a masquerade mingle in the Metropolitan Ballroom.  Attendees were treated to a cocktail hour, live performers, themed photo booth, silent auction and raffle.  Many of the guests embraced the masquerade themed party – showing up in their own (often very elaborate!) masquerade masks or taking advantage of the ones available for purchase.

Following a delicious 3 course dinner, there was a mass cake cutting as everyone dug into the decadent 20th anniversary salted caramel cakes that served as the table centrepieces.

After dinner it was time for WICC to present its annual awards.  Congratulations to the following WICC 2015 Award Recipients:

Worden Insurance and Financial Services Ltd, Lew Dunn Memorial Award
Heartland Farm Mutual Insurance, Gold Flame Award
OIAA Windsor, Gold Flame Award
SPECS, Gold Flame Award
Enterprise Canada Ltd, Hall of Flame Award

Thanks to P&C community support WICC is the Canadian Cancer Society’s largest living donor – having raised over $12.6 million since its inception in 1996.  WICC Gala Event Co-chairs, Sandy MacSpadyen and Laurel DiMaso were honoured to present Patricia North and Susan Drodge of the Canadian Cancer Society with a ‘big cheque’ for $200,000.

After dinner the mystery musical guest was finally revealed to be none other than ‘Canada’s Queen of R&B,’ Jully Black!  With her amazing vocals & incredible stage presence – Jully gave a fantastic performance that was exciting, funny & even emotional at times.  Jully had everyone up on their feet waving their hands in the air.

Thank you to all WICC National Sponsors and Event Sponsors who make the WICC Gala dinner possible!  And to all of the dedicated committee members and volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the year to bring this fun and important fundraising event to the P&C community.

Check back here for updates to funds raised from this year’s Gala as well as additional photos from the event as they become available.