Canada’s largest Polar Bear Dip goes virtual in a dip-at-home challenge

The Courage Polar Bear Dip, the largest and the longest-running charity event of its kind in Canada, is pivoting to a virtual event on New Year’s Day and aiming to achieve a milestone $2 million total funds to support World Vision’s clean water initiatives.

While hundreds of brave dippers usually come out to Coronation Park in Oakville for the annual January 1 plunge into the freezing waters of Lake Ontario, the Courage Family team will host a virtual experience that will include Dip Day traditions like the costume contest, live music, activities for the whole family, and videos of participants dipping safely from their own homes.

“COVID has not cancelled our Polar Bear Dip,” said Trent Courage. “2020 has definitely been a year full of change, but the need for clean water has not changed and is in fact even more critical for communities. That’s why we’re taking the Dip virtual. We invite those who dip with us every year and those across Canada who may be looking to dip for the first time to participate. Dip in your bathtub, kiddie pool, a snowbank. We’ve raised $1.9 million to date and are aiming for the $2 million mark!”

January 1, 2021 also marks the 26th consecutive year the Courage Polar Bear Dip has partnered with World Vision Canada to raise funds for clean water projects in Africa, with this year’s funds supporting projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.

“I’ll be ringing in this new year with a virtual Polar Bear Dip! What a fun and meaningful start to a year that we all pray will be one of hope after the challenges of 2020,” said Michael Messenger, President of World Vision Canada. “The coronavirus has gripped the world, and vulnerable children and their communities have strongly felt its reverberating effects. But by joining other dippers, we can help—providing girls and boys and their families with clean water, sanitation and hygiene, all essential tools to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The live experience dip will run virtually on Friday, January 1, 2021 starting at 11:30 am.

Canadians all across the country can register for the free event HERE.

This year’s sponsors include Blue North Corporation, BMO, Dent X Canada, Evolve Fitness, Intelligent Office, Popular Books Canada and Visit Oakville.