EARLY STORY OF A GREAT INITIATIVE… FOR 20 YEARS NOW!
Since the first edition of the Challenge in 2001, nearly 95,000 individuals dared to have their turn under the shaving blade to collect donations for Leucan but also to show their solidarity with cancer-stricken children in perhaps the most significant way possible.
Since 2001, the Challenge raised close to $60 million in support of cancer-stricken children and their families.
Here is an overview of the evolution of the Challenge over the years.
Organisation of the first Leucan Shaved Head Challenge
Primarily addressed to the people of Granby and its surroundings, the Challenge brought together 65 participants and $ 10,500 were collected.
Unprecedented media coverage for the second edition
The Challenge gets unprecedented media coverage thanks to honorary president Éric Lucas (professional boxer and dad of Leucan) and to the collaboration of Ms. Diane St-Jacques, deputy for Shefford who agreed to shave her head for cancer-stricken children. 125 participants raise $83,000.
The Leucan Shaved Head Challenge now takes place in six regions. 600 participants collect $238,000.
The Challenge becomes bigger and spreads to 9 regions of Quebec.
Playmobil characters become branding headliners for the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge. Leucan launches www.tetesrasees.com.
5,100 participants collect $2.5 million.
“Défi têtes rasées” is officially registered as a trademark of Leucan inc. and the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge website becomes transactional (registration and online donations). 6500 participants collect $3.4 million.
For the 10th edition, the Challenge launched a new logo, a new slogan (Hats off to my hero) and the Jean Coutu Group becomes the official sponsor of the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge. 9015 participants collect $ 4.5 million.
The Challenge’s Facebook page is created and 10,000 people click “Like”.
The new slogan of the Challenge is “Your head is worth more than you think!”. The visual identity and logo are graciously developed by the professional team of the Taxi agency. A television ad is also produced by Jean-Marc Vallée, director and screenwriter. A prominent advertising for the Challenge.
The breakthrough point of $ 5 million in donations was reached in 2013 and 40,000 Likes on the Challenge’s Facebook page in 2014.
2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge. To highlight this important event and the ever-present generosity after 15 years, this edition revolved around a year of all the records. A website and a multitude of records to be achieved on social media were elaborated to recognize the participant’s commitment and sense of belonging towards the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge.
In 2016, a new campaign was launched thanks to the remarkable work of TAMTAM/TWBA agency. A campaign centered on the participants to recognize their generosity and the difficult yet gratifying choice they make of having their heads shaved. Proxim becomes the new official presenter of the Challenge for the next three years.
To bring forward the idea of strength in numbers, two new visuals were added to the promotional material launched in 2016 to showcase the feeling of team spirit participants experience when they take on the Challenge as a team. As a complement to those two new posters, Leucan also posted a short video online starring a group of cheerleaders getting their heads shaved to show their support for their cancer-stricken teammate.
The 20th edition of the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge was launched with great fanfare in January 2020 with stand-up comedian and host Jay Du Temple. In front of a feverish crowd of 10,000 people, Jay bravely said goodbye to his famous locks and raised $23,700 for Leucan.
Two months later, in March, Marie-Mai took her turn under the razor blade to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Challenge and to mark the end of her first year as official godmother of the Association. She unveiled her new look on the cover of Elle Québec Magazine. Said Marie-Mai, “I had my head shaved in solidarity with those who do not have the privilege of making that choice, and thanks to them, I now know that courage, beauty, and strength have nothing to do with the length of your hair.”
On March 12, three short days after Marie-Mai’s big announcement, Leucan had to cancel the shaving sites planned for the spring to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, this cancellation did not hamper the creativity of the Leucan team who quickly initiated a virtual version of the Challenge on March 27, “Quarantined but connected in solidarity.”
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Challenge and all participants who made this incredible gesture of solidarity, Leucan hosted the biggest virtual shaving event on May 31. Hosted by the team of Leucan, the event began in the afternoon with more than 350 people getting their heads shaved live on Zoom. Participants were paired with people from across Quebec. Marie-Mai, Leucan’s godmother, and Dominic Paquet, spokesperson of the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge, took part in the virtual events to cheer on participants and thank them for taking action.
Starting at 5pm, Jay Du Temple hosted the second part of this Great Virtual Gathering live on Facebook. The audience enjoyed a touching acoustic performance from Marie-Mai. Adamo premiered his new song “Libre” exclusively for Leucan, in addition to getting his head shaved live. Dominic Paquet and Arnaud Soly also joined in the fun and entertained the audience. Finally, DJ and model Ève Salvail had her turn under the shaving blade while actor and host André Robitaille announced that he would be taking on the Challenge later this year.