Shinerama Shines On: Celebrating 59 Years of Sparkling Success in Student Fundraising

DECEMBER 4, 2023

Thousands of post-secondary students across Canada banded together this Shinetember to raise essential funds for cystic fibrosis research, care and advocacy. 

Shinerama is Canada’s largest post-secondary fundraising event for cystic fibrosis (CF), raising over $29 million in its 59-year history. It continues to play a big part in the student experience, encouraging first-year students to meet new people and give back to their local community during orientation week. 

 This Shinetember, Cystic Fibrosis Canada worked directly with more than 60 student leaders at 21 schools across Canada to help facilitate and manage local Shinerama events — raising over $100,000 and counting to support life-changing CF research, improve patient care and support advocacy efforts.  Longstanding schools like Wilfrid Laurier University (59 years), Memorial University of Newfoundland (50 years), Mount Allison University (37 years), Toronto Metropolitan University (33 years) and University of Manitoba (38 years) were back again to shine with all of the campaigns. 

The campaign kicked off with a new and improved Shinerama website to share community stories, messages of impact and streamline the process for students seeking to initiate a fundraiser at their school. The Shinerama committee showcased the updates and new assets for coordinators during our virtual volunteer leadership conference in June.   

Shine Days took place in September and thousands of students kicked into gear to fundraise and spread awareness about CF within their communities. Many special guest speakers were invited to share their stories, including Canadian actor and Wilfrid Laurier University alum, Jeremie Saunders. 

Student coordinators brought back traditional fundraising events like car washes, BBQs, bottle drives, bake sales, chuck your change, sports tournaments, but also got creative hosting events such as trivia, karaoke, paint night, drag show, movie nights, a walk and selling Shinerama merchandise. 

Online fundraising is still a strong revenue generator, which encourages team fundraising and challenges to see who can raise the most. This year, partnerships were continued and built with local radio stations, supermarkets, donut shops, Zumba clubs, florists, food trucks and alumni groups. 

“It was amazing to see how committed, determined and creative student volunteers were to continue their partnership with CF Canada,” said Patricia Dolla, National Events Manager. “The students shined even brighter by jumping in to help support CF Canada’s advocacy letter campaign to get Health Canada to approve Trikafta for children aged 2-5 with the most common CF mutation.” 

In 2024, Shinerama is reaching a significant milestone as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of helping students make a positive impact in communities across Canada. The 60th anniversary celebrations promise to be a memorable experience, including spotlights on the fundraising efforts and years of support of our incredible legacy schools. We are excited to provide schools, organizers, and volunteers with a fresh set of resources, materials, and tools to help make fundraising easier, more effective, and more engaging! 

Thank you to the Shinerama leadership team, volunteers, students and sponsors for supporting the 2023 Shinerama campaign. Together, we can make the 60th year the most shining and impactful one yet! 

Shinerama National Leadership Team