Actif Epica is a fun event that “celebrates human resilience” in part, by having people make a substantial trek across the prairies to Winnipeg. We also encourage people to participate along the route by getting out and having fun or by joining in Green Action Centre’s Jack Frost Challenge.
This year, we’ve added a route for Cyclists that begins in Emerson— a whole 200km stretch, the first part right along the Canada-US border, and in the process earned ourselves the distinction of being the only Canadian event that serves as a qualifier for the ITI invitational.
As organizers, we had no idea that we’d be witnessing an entirely different display of human resilience right along our newly extended route. People who’ve survived things most of us can’t imagine and who are making a similar journey as our “tough” cyclists. But they’re doing it for survival. Out of pure resilience. We’ve all been a little sobered by these folks crossing the prairies out of desperation and uncertainty in conditions that are challenging for athletes who have trained to do so. Some have lost fingers. Needless to say, they wouldn’t pass our gear check.
As a form of acknowledgement, and as a way of honouring our slogan, we’re encouraging donations to Hospitality House. A non-profit organization based out of Winnipeg, that believes it is our responsibility to make sure that all refugees arriving to Canada have adequate living conditions and equal opportunities to flourish. They are one of several organizations who have been assisting and housing the refugees arriving through Emerson and are completely donation-based. You can learn more about their work and mandate at their website.
You can submit donations through Canada Helps here.
This morning, we issued the following joint media release. Please consider supporting their work and help us “Celebrate Human Resilience” by spreading the word.
February 14, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORGANIZERS OF WINTER ULTRAMARATHON RAISING FUNDS TO SUPPORT ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES
Winnipeg / Emerson, MB – Actif Epica, Manitoba’s most gruelling ultra endurance event, has added a new course extension for 2017 that starts in Emerson, MB – which has become the focal point of a recent influx of asylum seekers crossing the border into Canada.
Consistent with Actif Epica’s motto: ‘Celebrate Human Resilience’, race organizers are asking participants and the public to make donations to Hospitality House Refugee Ministry, one of a number of local front-line organizations directly helping asylum seekers and refugees as they start new lives here.
According to race organizer David Pensato, “given our race’s new connection with the community of Emerson and to show solidarity – in a small way – to those coming across the border under extreme conditions, we felt it was important to offer our support”.
“A human tragedy is unfolding on the very doorstep of Canada. These people are desperate. We’ve got to help”, said Tom Denton, spokesperson for Hospitality House.
This year’s race takes place on February 18, 2017. Actif Epica has earned several distinctions, including being named as one of Canada’s 10 Big Rides (Canadian Cycling Magazine, 2013), a Manitoba Tourism Award for Event of the Year (2014), a qualifier in Alaska’s internationally-renowned Iditarod Trail Invitational, and one of Canada’s ultimate adventures (Impact Magazine, 2016).
Hospitality House Refugee Ministry is a non-profit organization, and has for many years been Winnipeg’s leading sponsor of refugees. Thousands have been sponsored from appalling refugee circumstances, into new hope and productive lives in Canada. Hospitality House’s ability to sponsor new refugees is reliant on donations.
Donations can be made online at: https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/8351
David Pensato, Co-Organizer
Tom Denton, Executive Director
Hospitality House Refugee Ministry