Black Press reporter Natalie North rapels downs the Standard Life building at 1175 Douglas St. in 2012. North was one of the brave participating in the B.C. Lions Drop Zone taking the plunge down 13 stories to help to raise money for B.C.'s children with disabilities.

Easter Seals Drop Zone for the Kids cancelled in downtown Victoria

Annual fundraising event raised $113,000 for Camp Shawnigan in 2013, say organizers

The days of costumed mascots and Greater Victoria mayors awkwardly rappelling down the side of a downtown Victoria office building are no more.

Standard Life, which for the past seven years has hosted the Easter Seals Drop Zone for the Kids event at its 1175 Douglas St. building, told Easter Seals in 2012 that last year’s event would be its last, said Standard Life spokesperson Anne-Julie Gratton.

“Easter Seals is a great organization, but we’ve changed in terms of our community investments over the years,” Gratton said. “What we’re supporting (now) is youth unemployment programs and school perseverance. So based on those guidelines, it just didn’t fit with what we’re doing now across the country.”

Verna Wright, Easter Seals special events co-ordinator, announced this week the Drop Zone fundraiser is now indefinitely cancelled.

“We’re really sad,” she said. “(The building owners) may change their mind next year, but I kind of doubt it. For the last few years, they weren’t really crazy about the idea.”

Drop Zone raised $113,000 last September for Camp Shawnigan, a summer camp for children with mental, cognitive or physical disabilities. Easter Seals sends 300 kids through the week-long camp each summer at a cost of $2,400 per child.

Wright said Easter Seals approached several other building owners in Greater Victoria but were unable to secure a new location for the rappelling event.

“We have other events, and we’re hoping they’ll be able to make enough money to keep supporting the camp. We can’t close it,” she said.

Upcoming Easter Seals fundraisers include the second annual Splash of Colour Family Fun Run for the Kids, Apr. 19 at Royal Roads University. The five-kilometre run includes bright-coloured paint explosions throughout the race. See for more information.

On May 31 and June 1, the Easter Seals 24-Hour Relay for the Kids takes place at University of Victoria Centennial Stadium. Visit for more.

Vancouver’s Drop Zone event will still take place this year, and Wright said interested participants are still invited to attend.

“Whatever they raise from Island teams will come to us,” she said. “But no more Drop Zone here, unfortunately.”

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Standard Life building management.

Just Posted

BREAKING: Police actions under investigation following Langford crash

IIO investigates officer-related incidents that result in serious harm

Victoria woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

Victoria council looks to self-impose carbon tax on staff airfare

A new carbon pricing fee would put additional funds into the city’s Climate Action Reserve

Gas stations could push to 167.9 cents a litre this week

Analyst says high prices are due to supply and demand

United Way celebrates volunteers, contributors in Greater Victoria area

$4.7 million was raised in 2018 thanks to the work of hundreds of people

WATCH: Cougar saunters through Metchosin yard

Spring cougar sighting caught on camera

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Island Cup set for East Sooke on May 3-5

Off-road racing event expected to attract over 50 racers

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read