Walk, Race, Volunteer or Play Bingo with Drag Performers to Support People Living with HIV in Vancouver


By Kendell Yan

Over the past three decades much has changed for the HIV+ members of our communities. Life expectancy has increased with greater access to anti-HIV treatments and community support resources; however, the challenges that HIV+ people face remain as palpable as ever, and there are many ways to help in Vancouver that bring people together in ways that are both meaningful and fun.

Scotiabank AIDS Walk to Thrive

September 25th marks the 31st annual Scotiabank AIDS Walk to Thrive where you can walk in solidarity to help end stigma and discrimination, socialize with your community, and raise funds to support low-income HIV+ members. This year the walk will begin at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown and continue along the Seawall for 5.5 km.

The walk will end at the Malkin Bowl in Stanley park and will culminate in the Thrive Music and Wellness Festival, featuring 6 musical acts as well as food and beverage services. Admittance is $30, or free for those walkers who raise $150 or more ($100 for youth under 25).

All net proceeds from the AIDS Walk to Thrive are directed to Positive Living BC’s Community Health Fund, which reimburses low-income HIV+ members for health expenses not covered by other plans, up to $25/month. Positive Living BC is Western Canada’s largest registered non-profit AIDS service organization with a membership of over 5,700 HIV+ members.

Register ahead of time, or get to the Roundhouse on the 25th of September for 11am! Walk begins at 12pm.

What: Scotiabank AIDS Walk to Thrive

Where: Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC / Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park, Rose Garden Ln, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2

When: September 25th, 11-12pm / Thrive @ Malkin Bowl 1-6pm

A Loving Spoonful’s The Awesome Race

Also on September 25th, A Loving Spoonful will be hosting a new event called The Awesome Race, a team-based scavenger hunt in the style of the Amazing Race to raise funds for their services. Register as a team of two, or solo and the team will set you up with another racer.

A Loving Spoonful is a volunteer-driven support society that delivers more than 1200 meals and 250 snack packs to over 250 adults and children living with HIV/AIDS in the Greater Vancouver Area. Through a variety of different programs, A Loving Spoonful has aimed to improve the lives of HIV+ members of the community since 1989 by providing adequate nutrition and accessible meals. To volunteer or to learn more, visit alovingspoonful.org.

Teams can register for $50 per person, and must fundraise for a minimum of $500 for the event. The grand prize winners will receive a $2400 cash prize sponsored by Dignity Memorial.

The race begins at 12pm, includes breakfast, and a dinner ceremony following the race!

What: A Loving Spoonful’s The Awesome Race

Where: Location TBA

When: September 25th, 11am check-in

Bingo for Life


If you’re inclined to go out for a few drinks while also doing some good, Bingo for Life is a fabulous night of fun and prizes. Bingo for Life is hosted every Wednesday by DJ Del Stamp and a series of rotating drag queen hostesses at Celebrities night club from 8-10pm. Bingo for Life has raised over $300,000 for the Friends for Life society, which provides comprehensive and holistic health and wellness treatments to those living with chronic illnesses, including HIV and Cancer.

Vancouver Friends for Life are also volunteer driven if you would like to lend your time to a great cause, visit friendsforlife.ca to learn more.

Kendell Yan is a queer, second-generation POC who navigates the hyphen of mixed ethnicity LGBTQ2+ living in Vancouver. Kendell has a penchant for drag Queens and Kings that borders on obsession, and he favours events that encourage free expression, inclusivity, and love in all flavours.

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