The initiative of our founder, Betty Caplan, kickstarted the success of the Cancer Research Society. Since its creation, the dedication of our community, made up of tens of thousands of donors and partners across the country, has been the driving force that propels our researchers towards breakthroughs in cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. We wanted to introduce you to a few and say THANK YOU.

  • 1950


    In 1950, the Montreal Royals, a legendary baseball team whose members included some of the great names in the sports pantheon, organize a major exhibition game to benefit the Cancer Research Society. The slogan used to promote the event shows a clear desire to fight cancer: “Come to the game—help strike cancer out!”.

  • 1982
    Les jeux de Saint Lambert


    Dr. Volker Blank, a researcher at McGill University and the recipient of a research grant from the Cancer Research Society, launches the Saint-Lambert Games to raise money for cancer research. Since the first edition, the Saint-Lambert Games have raised more than $80,000 for research. Doctor Blank’s research is still ongoing today.

  • In 1997, Fran Gougeon inline skates 7,400 kilometres from Vancouver to St. John's in 90 days. Her feat raises $35,000 to support cancer research and makes national headlines.
  • 1999
    Ski For The Cure


    In 1999, Rob Lutterman lost his battle against pancreatic cancer. He was 63 years old. Later, his family and closest friends decide to create an annual ski day to celebrate his life, raise money for cancer research, and commemorate Rob through his passion for skiing. The Rob Lutterman Memorial Fund of the Cancer Research Society is thus created to promote and fund research on pancreatic cancer. It is the first fund within the Society, entirely dedicated to fighting this particularly deadly type of cancer.

  • Each year, thousands of people from coast to coast organize or participate in activities to benefit the Cancer Research Society. Their remarkable dedication has enabled us to invest more than $177 million in cutting-edge research since 2000. Here are the highlights.

  • 2006


    Toronto book club members Emily Babiak, Christine Biggar, Sara Street, and Susan Culver draw upon their passion to support cancer research. In 2006, they launch Read for the Cure, a unique literary event where bibliophiles meet renowned authors for an evening. Thanks to a generous partnership with Penguin Random House of Canada, Read for the Cure is now held in numerous major Canadian cities, and has donated nearly $1.5 million to the Environment Cancer Fund of the Cancer Research Society.

  • 2010
    Challenge SRC


    The CRS Challenge invites people from the general public to take meaningful action against cancer by challenging their physical limits and raising money for the cause. These challenges are carefully organized and can last multiple days, from hiking remote trails to climbing iconic mountains across the planet. Since its inception in 2010, the CRS Challenge has attracted more than a thousand participants and raised more than $7 million for research.

  • 2013


    In 2013, our first urban BBQ is organized. Since this first edition, the Urban BBQ has gone on to become the largest BBQ in the world, with nearly 1,500 guests at its last edition. Thanks to the massive participation of public and corporate partners, the Urban BBQ has raised nearly $3 million for cancer research. The event has been catered by renowned guest chefs, including Louis-François Marcotte, Ricardo, and Marc-André Jetté.

  • Stephane Rousseau


    Stéphane Rousseau is celebrating 10 years of standing by our side to outsmart cancer. Hit hard by the disease at a very young age, the cause of the Cancer Research Society is near to his heart. For the past 10 years, Stéphane has served as a volunteer spokesperson to help raise public awareness about the importance of actively supporting cancer research. In addition to participating in numerous Society events, Stéphane will embark on his fourth CRS Challenge in 2020. His motivation? To help create a world where cancer no longer separates us from our loved ones.


    The fight against cancer is a long-term battle. It requires determination and courage, and the invaluable contributions of our presidents and partners must not go unnoticed.

  • Manon Pepin

    Manon Pepin, current president of the CRS


    Our presidents have played a pivotal role by taking the reins of the Society and instilling the vision that inspires our team to achieve our objectives.

    1945 – 1954 : Betty Caplan
    1954 – 1958 : Mrs. Ben Sternthal
    1958 – 1962 : Mrs. Nathan Kozloff
    1962 – 1964 : Mrs. Sydney Hodess
    1964 – 1966 : Mrs. David Ornstein
    1966 – 1967 : Lilian Naimark
    1967 – 1971 : Ruth Lenetsky
    1972 – 1973 : Isa Millman
    1974 – 1975 : Tamara Pascal
    1975 – 1976 : Rebecca Rosenblat
    1976 – 1979 : Clara Steinberg
    1979 – 1995 : Caplan
    1995 – 2001 : Ivy Steinberg
    2001 – 2003 : Louise Langlois
    2003 – 2008 : Gilles Léveillée
    2008 – 2017 : Andy Chabot
    2017 – 2019 : Max Fehlmann
    2019 – Current : Manon Pepin

  • Nadine Renaud-Tinker,
    President, Quebec Headquarters, RBC Royal Bank
    Honorary Chair of the 6th Urban BBQ


    Support from our corporate partners is essential to advancing research. Although our list of partners is long, some have stand out for their commitment and loyalty to the cause.

    BMO Mastercard
    Scotia Bank and Peter Clair
    RBC Royal Bank
    McKesson Telus and Monique Mercier (current board member)
    Johnson & Johnson
    The Randles—First endowment fund
    ALRE Properties—Robert Di Giorgio
    Dunton Rainville Lawyers
    Wellington Laboratories


    In its 75 years of making a difference, the Cancer Research Society has never deviated from its 100%-research mission. The CRS is widely respected within the Canadian scientific community for its unique funding programs and the exceptional quality of the research projects it supports. It also has the support of hundreds of thousands of donors, partners, and foundations across the country. The colossal work accomplished so far would not have been possible without the help of all those who believed and continue to believe in its mission.