$100,000 Reward Announced!
With the announcement that we were searching for the Live Right Now Capital of Canada, towns across the country used creativity and community spirit to get active and prove that they were truly Living Right Now.
On the line? A reward to last a lifetime: a Bienenstock Natural Playground valued at $100,000.
Using our Facebook app, active Canadians formed Live Right Now-themed groups, joined events and took part in challenges to earn points for their communities.
As more and more people got active in each town, we watched the leaderboards heat up with a constantly rotating top ten.
We saw more and more photos of active events from coast to coa. We heard more and more stories of people changing their lives for the better.
On March 20 we announced our 13 semifinalists, the top-earning communities in every province. We issued them a final challenge: to throw a Live Right Now-themed event promoting active living, healthier lifestyles and community spirit.
We knew that our 13 semifinalists would plan incredible festivities, but we were blown away by the reports that came back.
We heard thrilling summaries from across the country of full days dedicated to the Live Right Now movement.
During their packed itineraries, our semifinalists participated in events like a giant Tug o' War in Edmonton; a healthy dessert contest in Corner Brook; a cultural dance flash mob in Dauphin; a humongous zumba class in Charlottetown; county-wide cheerleading in Pictou and a parade in Edmundston!
After all the points were tallied, the photos collected and event reports submitted, our panel of judges sat down to discuss what so many communities have been working for: who would become the Live Right Now Capital of Canada?
The winner is: Edmundston, New Brunswick!
Our semifinalists have done some amazing things, so it was a close finish. Our top communities were only points apart but in the end, the judges concluded that Edmundston went above and beyond to show that the changes they've made are truly for the long-term and are changing the health of their community.
"The final decision was very difficult given the commitment of so many to living healthy, active lives. In the end, we are delighted to celebrate the people of Edmundston, New Brunswick who have inspired us to recognize their community as the Live Right Now Capital of Canada!" Scott Haldane, President and CEO, YMCA Canada; Garfield Wilson, Owner Forward Fitness and expert on CBC's Village on a Diet; Catherine Paiement-Paradis, CBC/Radio-Canada representative.
In 2010, New Brunswick was deemed Canada's most overweight province, but - from day one of our quest - Edmundston organized itself through a group of doctors called "Prescription: Action" to prescribe healthy living and reverse the tide.
When they were asked to organize a Live Right Now bash as a semifinalist, they took it to the next level.
1500 people and 40 organizations attended their rally, which brought residents to the streets for a parade and later offered free fitness classes. Health and wellness booths were set up to spread a wealth of information and their regional sports complex opened its doors for free swimming, rock climbing and more.
"This must be one of the most positive community-based initiatives that we've seen in Edmundston in a while. What's fantastic about Live Right Now is that it's more than a national title or a beautiful park. It's about a community coming together and realizing its full potential. Our citizens have worked hard and have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Edmundston deserved to win and that makes us extremely proud. Congratulations to all the volunteers, the doctors of Prescription:Action! and to each and every resident who decided to Live Right Now!", says Mayor Jacques P. Martin.
Edmundston will soon begin collaborating with Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, Canadian Wildlife Federation and Parks Canadas to plan and build their new park, which will be unveiled in the fall and emulate Fundy National Park.
Congratulations Edmundston! You've been an inspiration from the start and we know you will wear the Live Right Now Capital of Canada crown with pride!
Thank you to all the wonderful communities across Canada who participated in our search. Please note that the app will close as of 11:59 ET Friday, April 13th, but we know that you will continue to foster your healthy living groups and lifestyles as you continue on your journey to change the health of our country!