Monday, 23 December 2019

Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight Help Make Magical Memories for Children Through Once-in-a-Lifetime Flights

Air Canada has unveiled a heartwarming video featuring three children from a plane full of kids with different challenges called Every Kid Deserves a Day Off. Thanks to the numerous Air Canada employee volunteers, support of the Air Canada Foundation and the work by the Dreams Take Flight organization, eight flights operate annually and in 2019, transported over 1000 children on a trip-of-a-lifetime to Disney. Dreams Take Flight has given more than 40,000 Canadian children a Dreams flight since 1989.






"Air Canada has been committed to serving and giving back to Canadian communities for more than 80 years, and we're immensely proud of our ongoing affiliation with the extraordinary Dreams Take Flight since it launched more than 30 years ago. Every year, eight Dreams flights depart from cities across Canada onboard Air Canada aircraft operated by our pilots, flight attendants, maintenance engineers along with numerous other employees on the ground and behind the scenes who all donate their time for these flights. Dreams Take Flight is a powerful example of our employees generously giving their time to help children forget their challenges for one day and just be kids," said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer at Air Canada.

"We salute the volunteers for their unwavering support and tireless work in making each Dreams flight memorable and magical for every child onboard. Together, we continue to make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of children across Canada," said Priscille LeBlanc, Chair of the Air Canada Foundation.

"We've seen how one special day leaves each child with lasting memories," said Bev Watson, President of Dreams Take Flight Canada. "Air Canada volunteer crews host the children onboard, giving their days off to help children get theirs. The dreams made reality by our program would not be possible without them and the decades of support from Air Canada and the Air Canada Foundation. The experience is magical and helps children see new possibilities." 

Dreams Take Flight is a non-profit primarily made up of current and retired Air Canada employees who volunteer to make these flights a reality. Each year, the organization provides once-in-a-lifetime trips from eight cities across Canada for kids who may be facing mental, physical or social challenges, giving them a break from their everyday. Over the past 30 years, Air Canada, as exclusive carrier and now through the Air Canada Foundation, has flown more than forty thousand children on Dreams Take Flight trips.

Visit dreamstakeflight.ca to donate or volunteer.

About Every Kid Deserves a Day Off


The video begins with an awe-inspiring, early morning send-off for the kids at a specially-decorated Air Canada aircraft hangar, followed by a peek at the in-flight fun with airline employees. Also featured are three young Canadians, Ariane, Jardie and Trent, who talk about the significance of the trip to them. Their moving stories highlight the importance of the program in giving children time away from their challenging daily lives to follow their dreams, have fun, and just be kids for the day.

Who's who?


Ariane: Charming and friendly, eight-year-old Ariane was born with a congenital heart defect. She had her first operation at two months old and will likely need two more surgeries later in life. Ariane must monitor her health on a daily basis and misses school regularly for doctor's visits. The Dreams Take Flight trip offers Ariane a chance to forget about medical appointments for a day and spend time with other kids.

Jardie: Eleven-year-old Jardie is a sweet little girl living with Down syndrome. Jardie has trouble communicating verbally and does not always feel understood. Because of her developmental challenges, she must closely follow her parents' and educators' instructions and guidance. For Jardie, the Dreams Take Flight trip is a chance to forget the rules and to have a day just for herself.

Trent: The youngest of seven siblings, nine-year-old Trent lives with Cystic Fibrosis, a respiratory disease requiring regular hospital visits and daily treatments with specialized equipment. It also means Trent may one day need a lung transplant. Despite this, Trent remains brave and energetic. The Dreams Take Flight trip is a wonderful opportunity for him to trade treatment for a lifetime of memories.

The video, which appears in 80-, 60- and 15-second versions, will be distributed across Canada via the airline's social media and digital platforms from December 18 to January 3.

About Dreams Take Flight


Dreams Take Flight is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing the trip of a lifetime to children who may be physically, mentally or socially challenged. With the aid of Air Canada, the Air Canada Foundation and other national and local organizations and businesses, money is raised to fund the program in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax. Funds not required for its primary purpose can be gifted by Dreams Take Flight to other registered charities that benefit physically, mentally or socially challenged children and are within the policies adopted by Dreams Take Flight Canada. The first Dreams Take Flight station was founded in Toronto in 1989. Since then, the organization has taken over 40,000 special children to Florida and California.

About the Air Canada Foundation


The Air Canada Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on the health and well-being of children and youth, was launched in 2012. It offers both financial and in-kind support to Canadian registered charities. Core programs include the Hospital Transportation Program, which donates Aeroplan Miles to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada, enabling sick children to access the medical care they need but which are unavailable locally. The Air Canada Foundation, in collaboration with the airline, also engages directly in fundraising activities, such as the Every Bit Counts program, which encourages Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge customers to donate loose change of all denominations aboard flights or through collection containers available in Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges. The Foundation also offers continued support to major health-related causes that benefit Canadians and is an active participant in international humanitarian relief activity as the need arises. For more information about the Air Canada Foundation, please visit www.aircanada.com/foundation or the 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report, Citizens of the World, online at www.aircanada.com/citizensoftheworld.



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