2023 Impact Report

2023 Impact Report

2023 Impact Report

Bridging the distance between home and hospital for Canadians in need

When you live in a small, rural or remote community, travelling far from home for medical diagnosis and treatment is a major barrier on your path to wellness. At Hope Air we bridge the distance between home and hospital from coast to coast, helping 3,000 patients in over 560 communities across Canada.

In 2023 demand for Hope Air programs soared to an all-time high: 24,988 travel arrangements, including airline, hotel, ground transportation and meal support.

Hope Air’s mission has never been more needed or relevant for families and individuals required to travel to reach vital health care. Our universal healthcare system comes with a caveat; you may have to travel long distances, and incur significant expenses, to reach the care you need and deserve. The Hope Air community—government, industry, donors, volunteers, advocates and partners— stands together to ensure we continue to answer the call from the most vulnerable, ensuring better health, reduced poverty and strengthening small and rural communities across Canada.

Together, we rose to the challenge in 2023.

We acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, traditional territories of many Indigenous peoples. We are grateful for the privilege of being on lands that these peoples have nurtured since time immemorial.


Providing Canadians in financial need with free travel to access medical care far from home.


A world in which every Canadian has access to the healthcare they need, despite distance or cost of travel.


As a result of timely access to appointments, a decreased need for emergency care, and early treatment and diagnosis.

Reduced Poverty

For those living in remote and rural communities in financial need whose quality of care would suffer without our support.

Stronger Communities

Facilitated by travel support for patients living in small and under-served areas that helps them to miss fewer days at work and remain in their home communities.
graphic with stats about serving 24988 total travel arrangements

Hope Air travel arrangements soared to 24,988, increasing 144% over the prior year, ensuring no patient was left behind.

Hope Air travel arrangements soared to 24,988, increasing 144% over the prior year, ensuring no patient was left behind.

bar chart with plane graphic
bar chart with plane graphic


9424 flights
Free airline travel has been the core of our services since 1986. Hope Air provides free round-trip airline service for patients and escorts on national and regional commercial airlines such as WestJet, Porter, Pacific Coastal, Air Canada, Harbour Air, Bearskin Airlines, and many others. Hope Air also provides seasonal private airline travel programs through the Volunteer Pilot Program assisting patient living in more remote communities far from commercial airports.


The Hope Air accommodation program provides free hotel stays for patients in financial need travelling far from home to access medical care. Available for patients and their travel companions, our accommodation program ensures that patients have a place to stay close to their treatment.


3383 meals
The Hope Air meals program provides patients with free meal support delivered in hotel. This ensures that patients are well nourished during their travel and reduces meal costs when staying overnight as part of their medical care.


2150 rides
The Hope Air Rides program provides free ground transportation from arrival airport to hospital and back. As medical travel does not end when the flight lands, we offer transportation around busy city centres through Uber or Taxi providers. This reduces cost and provides ease of travel for patients who may be unfamiliar with navigating their treatment city.

Bridge & Ferry Passes

Hope Air provides free Confederation Bridge or Northumberland Ferry passes for residents of Prince Edward Island travelling out-of-province by private vehicle for medical care. PEI residents are further supported with a free gasoline voucher to defray the costs of auto travel out of province.

Connecting Patients to Care

We believe that where you live should not determine if you live.

In 2023, we served patients from over 560 small, remote, and rural communities. Wherever our patients reside, we work to ensure families stay in their communities to maintain a sense of normalcy which allows them to focus on the most important thing, their health.

Explore the impact in your community by zooming in or search using the fields on the side of the map.
Travel Arrangements
Communities Served
Patient & Caregiver Trips

Fill in the fields below or zoom in to see the impact across Canada.

Restoring Health in
British Columbia

Hope Air arrangements reached an all-time high in annual travel support for residents of British Columbia in 2023.

This milestone of 14,132 travel arrangements includes over 5,441 airline flights, 4,778 accommodation nights, 1,420 ground transportation trips and over 2,452 meals for patients in financial need, who travelling long distances to reach medical care far from home.

Hope Air assisted patients travelling for medical care from 196 communities across BC including Fort St. John, Terrace, Prince Rupert, Kelowna, Prince George and Cranbrook among many others.

In 2023, Hope Air announced a transformational funding partnership with the government of British Columbia. With a $10 million dollar investment by the Province, Hope Air launched enhanced travel support programs for cancer patients living in rural, remote and smaller communities.

In addition, in collaboration with the Canadian Cancer Society, cancer patients will receive unprecedented support for travel for cancer treatment and diagnosis including free airline, accommodation, ground transportation and meals supports. Both Hope Air and the Canadian Cancer Society will be working closely together to maximize awareness and impact of these programs.

Hope Air’s programs in the province of British Columbia are supported by a diverse and committed group of partners and donors working to ensure equitable access to health care for all.

These partners include the Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver International Airport, Pacific Coastal Airlines, Harbour Air, Odlum Brown, Columbia Basin Trust, Prince George Community Foundation and Haida Gwaii Community Foundation, together with volunteer pilots and private donors. Facilitated through our collaboration with the BC Rural Health Network, we’ve also reached deeper into rural and under-served communities such as Fort Nelson and Cranbrook to better understand and address the unique challenges of these communities.

Lutrecia, a Hope Air patient travelling from Prince George to Vancouver for cancer treatment is one of the 1,437 patients we supported in B.C. 2023.

Read her story below.
The Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health & Mark Rubinstein, Chief Hope Officer
MLA Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health, Dr. Sandra Krueckl, EVP Canadian Cancer Society, Hon. Adrian Dix/Minister of Health, Floyd Hill/Pilot, Steve Drinkwater/Pilot, Mark Rubinstein


From Prince George, BC to Vancouver

I think it’s important that people know that there is help out there when they’re in crisis.

Dramatic Impact in Newfoundland & Labrador

In 2023, Hope Air provided over 1500 travel arrangements for patients in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Like many Canadians living in urban centres, Hope Air’s co-founders Joan Rogers and Jinnie Bradshaw were unaware of the challenges faced by those who must travel for medical care. While volunteering at a Toronto cancer centre, Joan learned about patients enduring a 30-hour bus ride from St. John’s to Toronto then having to take the long journey home post treatment. This propelled them into founding Hope Air in 1986. Since that day the province has been an important part of the Hope Air story. The need to support residents of the province was clear then, and with a record breaking number of travel arrangements provided in 2023, it has never been greater.

The unique geography of Newfoundland and Labrador creates significant travel costs for patients travelling long distance to reach medical care including travel both within and outside of the province.

Hope Air programs in the province are generously supported through the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the International Grenfell Association, Cal Legrow Foundation, Emera and countless individual contributors.

The impact of Hope Air in the province has been driven through the efforts of remarkable volunteers including Jim Burton, of St. John’s Newfoundland. Jim founded the annual Ham, Eggs and Hope fundraising event, raising $200,000 over the past 8 years.

Logan and Jayden, brothers, have been travelling with Hope Air since 2012, from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador to Toronto to treat an extremely rare immune system disorder.

Read their story below.
Jim Burton, Order of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Honourable Dr. Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

Logan & Jayden

From St. John’s, NL to Toronto

It really helped our mental health and well-being to have our support system close to home.

Bridging the gap for
Prince Edward Island

The unique geography of this beautiful country with mountains, oceans and rough terrain are all symbols of the barriers faced by Hope Air patients travelling for care. In Prince Edward Island, the gap is best symbolized by a 13 km bridge connecting the province to the continent.

Hope Air helps residents overcome this barrier through free bridge and ferry passes. In partnership with Health PEI, a gas card program was launched in 2023 for those traveling by car to reach treatment far from home.

Hope Air provided 3,820 travel arrangements for patients in Prince Edward Island last year.

Our community of supporters and stakeholders continued to step up to support Islanders, including 13-year-old Owen, whose enthusiasm for aviation led to him raising $1,387 to support Give Hope Wings.

When baby Scarlett was born, she was diagnosed with Retinopathy of Prematurity and began travelling with Hope Air immediately from Charlottetown, PEI to Halifax, NS.

Read her story below.


From Charlottetown, PEI to Halifax

It was a huge relief for us to have received support and I think it’s great that it exists out there for families because it’s hard always financing your own travels.


Together we created extraordinary impact for patients in need, working to ensure Better Health, Reduced Poverty and Stronger Communities.

When faced with a life changing diagnosis, the barriers of distance and cost can feel insurmountable. It takes all members of the Hope Air community coming together to show them they are not alone, and to provide hope at a challenging time.


Our network of volunteer pilots are the face of compassion and humanity, during a patient’s healthcare journey. These pilots also work as event hosts and participants who rally together with our community of supporters including donors, foundations, government and other funders.

Hope Air’s volunteer pilots serve as a vital link between home and hospital, creating a profound connection with patients. Venturing into underserved communities, they eliminate the need for arduous drives to larger airports, landing in places many Canadians may never see.

In 2023, 28 dedicated pilots undertook missions, offering patients a once in a lifetime flight experience and a cherished distraction for those navigating healthcare challenges.

“Picked up in a private plane by Hope Air, I felt on top of the world. It’s not just a flight; these people are part of my medical team, offering support, help and hope. It’s phenomenal.” Travelling from Sudbury to Hamilton for interstitial cystitis, Sabrina’s story echoes the profound connection and transformative experiences forged by our volunteer pilots.




2023 marked the inaugural year for Hope Air’s Haul for Hope fundraising events in Toronto and Vancouver. Twenty teams (12 in Toronto and 8 in Vancouver) raised $100,000 for patients in need.

Haul for Hope is a test of teamwork, determination and fundraising. The teams involved proved this in every step of the 100 meter pull of a 60,000 lb Dash-8 Porter aircraft at YTZ in Toronto and 50,000 lb Red 9 fire truck at YVR in Vancouver.

Give Hope Wings

Give Hope Wings launched for the sixth time, engaging 31 pilots in one of Canada’s most unique fundraising events raising $501,565 while touching down in 39 communities across Western Canada, Eastern Canada and the Prairies.

Pilots and patients came together to celebrate the work of this incredible group and acknowledge the effort put into providing over 24,988 travel arrangements for patients in need.

Special thanks to our Give Hope Wings organizing committee (Rupert Robin, Steve Drinkwater, Ed Johnston, John Thompson and Doug McNair), our Haul for Hope Hosts at Vancouver International Airport and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, CAA Club Group, NAV Canada (Gander FIR), CBAA and all of our event hosts.

Give Hope Wings

Funding Impact

Your support in 2023 made a profound difference to Hope Air patients reaching their critical destination.

Funding Impact

Your support in 2023 made a profound difference to Hope Air patients reaching their critical destination.
Hope Air programs are designed to maximize impact and efficiency. Through partnerships with airline, airport, hotels and other providers we make sure that each dollar we receive goes as far as it can. We believe in accountability. In 2023, Hope Air proudly achieved accreditation from Imagine Canada representing the highest level of governance and financial transparency in the charitable sector.
pi chart showing program expenses
pichart showing total revenue
pi chart showing how expenses are allocated
pi chart showing program expenses
pichart showing total revenue
We believe in accountability. In 2023, 80 cents of every dollar spent by the charity was directed to supporting patient travel.

None of this happens without the support of our generous community of grantors, fundraisers and donors. Because of you, Hope Air patients have a place to turn in their time of need. Thank you to our 2023 supporters.

Message from the Chair

With the impact of COVID-19 still working its way through the fabric of this country, 2023 commenced with uncertainty and trepidation. It also began with the same Hope that has existed for over 35 years: Hope that all patients would have equitable access to health care and Hope that stakeholders and supporters would continue to rise to the challenges created by scarce resources. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that Hope flourished in 2023.

This past year saw a reconnection with longtime supporters, but as detailed in this Impact Report, it also saw the creation of meaningful new relationships. Recognizing the critical service that Hope Air provides, the government of British Columbia selected Hope Air, alongside the Canadian Cancer Society, to develop and administer an unprecedented program of healthcare access for patients travelling long distances for cancer diagnosis and treatment. It was an affirmation that Hope Air efficiently and effectively connects patients to their healthcare, reducing barriers of distance and cost.

While it was a year of many new beginnings, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the departure of two of our longstanding board members: Alec Zimmerman and Sam Barone. Together, they have given many years of continued and valued support and guidance to the Board. I wish to extend my gratitude to them and to the other Board Members who have generously given of their talents and abilities to help Hope Air reach its potential. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff, stakeholders, supporters and volunteers for cultivating an environment in which the mission of Hope Air could thrive in 2023. It is because of all of you that I look towards the future with renewed Hope! – Auriol Marasco, Chair

Board of Directors

Auriol Marasco


Toronto, Ontario

Tahir Ayub

Vice Chair

Vancouver, British Columbia

Alec Zimmerman


Oakville, Ontario

Vanessa Thomas


Ottawa, Ontario

David Garner


Collingwood, Ontario

Rohit Joshi


Calgary, Alberta

James Elian


Calgary, Alberta

Jody Peck


Edmonton, Alberta

John Mullally


Vancouver, British Columbia

Sam Barone


Vancouver, British Columbia

Heather Tobin


Toronto, Ontario

Gerd Wengler


Toronto, Ontario

Gwyneth Pryse-Phillips


Toronto, Ontario

team members

Hope Air is led by a dedicated and diverse staff, committed to the mission of our charity. We strive to deliver our programs and services with compassion, empathy and care.

Mark Rubinstein

Chief Executive Officer

Jon Collins

Chief Development Officer

Faith Bacolod

Chief Financial Officer

Stephanie Aldridge

Executive Director

Bhavini Solanki

Client Care

Omar Khattab

Development and Systems Coordinator

Cali Odorizzi

Director of Events

Tanya Hunter


Kristina De Marzio

Manager, Community Engagement

Download the full 2023 Impact Report as a PDF

We acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded, traditional territories of many Indigenous peoples. We are grateful for the privilege of being on lands that these peoples have nurtured since time immemorial.
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