SUDBURY -- A group of six friends are travelling 2,000 kilometres in two canoes and sleeping in one tent, all while raising funds for Food Banks Canada this summer.

“This will be going to people and communities that have been affected by the virus, like someone in their family having it or affected financially by losing their job or a loss of income in some way,” Georges Kirijian, with Canoe 4 COVID, said Tuesday.

The group says 50 per cent of the funds they raise will be going to Indigenous communities.

“Since we're canoe tripping across Indigenous land, we thought it would be best to give back to the communities in some sort of way,” said Cailan Robinson, also with Canoe 4 COVID.

On June 26, Kirijian, Robinson, Will Vyse, Jacob Heisey, Nolan Aziz and Tim Mulligan embarked on their two-month canoe trip starting in Wabakimi Provincial Park north of Thunder Bay.

The group said at times, it has not been smooth sailing.

“We’ve faced plenty of challenges so far on our trip," said Vyse. "The biggest challenge was Lake Superior -- the wind and the waves behave quite differently there than on any normal lake. A 5 km/h wind can create massive waves, which can flood the boats, but we did a good 80 kilometres along there.”

The Canoe 4 COVID group aimed to raise $60,000 and within a month, more than 90 per cent of the target has been met.

“It’s a crazy feeling because, especially at our age, that’s a large amount of money," Kirijian said. "$55,000 is more money than I can think of spending, so it’s quite a shocking feeling.”

The team's next stop will be in Espanola on Aug. 4.

On Aug. 14, they will be stopping in North Bay and their final stop will be in Ottawa on Aug. 24. 



Tim Mulligan's first name was originally published as Tom.