A win for wildlife as WWF’s Climb for Nature scores BC Place’s first stadium climb

Climb for Nature x BC Place

British Columbians of all ages participated in the inaugural climb on Sunday to protect BC’s biodiversity.

VANCOUVER, BC, May 27, 2024 – Hundreds of people, from five to 70 years old, climbed up, down and around the stands of BC Place stadium on Sunday when World Wildlife Fund Canada brought its famous Climb for Nature event to Vancouver for the first time in the event’s history.

The fundraiser attracted families, nature-lovers and fitness enthusiasts, including Olympic silver medalist Jason Burnett, to help conserve biodiversity by climbing the 3,000-step single bowl or 6,000-step double bowl.

“We had hundreds of people show up, we raised tens of thousands of dollars, and we made a lot of new friends here. It was a really inspiring day and we’re already thinking about next year,” says Megan Leslie, WWF-Canada president and CEO who climbed the stadium stands alongside supporters.

“We’re working to protect and restore habitat throughout the province, from the north coast to the Lower Fraser to interior BC. We’re working to help southern resident killer whales, we’re restoring habitat for salmon and that helps bears, sea wolves and eagles. We’re so proud of the work that we’re doing in BC, and we’re really proud of how many people showed up today to support it.”

Cheering them all on was Don Andrews, voice of the Vancouver Whitecaps and BC Lions. WWF’s giant panda mascot was also in attendance, energizing the crowd and taking photos with excited participants.

The WWF Climb for Nature x BC Place is an expansion of the famous CN Tower Climb for Nature, which began 32 years ago. Over the course of the event’s history, tens of thousands of people have climbed the skyscraper’s 1,776 steps and raised millions of dollars for wildlife conservation. In its first year, B.C. climbers raised $50,000 and counting.

“Conservation is a collaborative sport, and every dollar counts,” Scott Sandison, WWF-Canada’s VP of Community & Legacy Giving and former Team Canada Olympian. “The support of climbers, donors and our volunteers will make a significant impact on the conservation of wildlife and habitats — both here in BC and throughout Canada.”

Shaun Stephens-Whale, a tower runner and obstacle course racer from Squamish, B.C., had the fastest time of the day, completing the 3,000-step single bowl climb in 11 minutes and 23 seconds. Stephens-Whale also holds the record for WWF’s CN Tower Climb for Nature with 9 minutes and 54 seconds.

Learn more about WWF-Canada’s Climb for Nature, or to donate to WWF-Canada’s conservation efforts here.

What the WWF Climb for Nature funds

Funds raised for the WWF-Canada Climb for Nature support efforts in BC, and throughout Canada, to bring back nature, reverse wildlife loss, and fight climate change. Learn more about WWF-Canada’s 10-year plan to Regenerate Canada here.

Photos, footage and interviews available upon request

About World Wildlife Fund Canada

WWF-Canada is committed to equitable and effective conservation actions that restore nature, reverse wildlife loss, and fight climate change. We draw on scientific analysis and Indigenous guidance to ensure all our efforts connect to a single goal: a future where wildlife, nature, and people thrive. For more information visit wwf.ca