The Air Canada Foundation has, at its core, the health and well-being of children as its guiding principle. This year, more than most, has been challenging for everyone in the philanthropic community and the Air Canada Foundation is pursuing its efforts to support communities and help Canadian families in need in new and innovative ways.
During this unprecedented time, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted individuals, industries, and communities around the world, including the cancellation of key charitable fundraising activities and the Air Canada Foundation’s ability to raise funds for the various programs it supports. Notwithstanding this challenge, the Foundation found a creative solution and rapidly switched gears to launch the inaugural Gift of Travel AuctionExternal site which may not meet accessibility guidelines..
“We are proud to continue to support communities in new and creative ways. Just in time for the holidays, our Gift of Travel Auction allows people to bring a special element of travel to their home. It is with sincerest gratitude that we acknowledge all our partners, Air Canada employees and retirees, other donors and supporters in bringing this auction to life, to help make a difference in children’s lives across the country,” said Valerie Durand of the Air Canada Foundation.
The auction features an array of over one hundred unique aviation items including special travel-related experiences such as the opportunity to own pieces of aviation history, fly on an aircraft simulator, launching a drone, enjoy a private dinner event with one of Air Canada’s celebrated Canadians Chefs, and more.
And while many of these items come from Air Canada, some were donated to the auction and each has their very own unique history.
Take, for example, a unique mailbox in the shape of airplane donated by Tanya Gitto in memory of her late husband, Captain Carl Gitto, who retired from Air Canada in 2005. He received it as a gift from their daughter in the 1990s, but the red and white airplane never did receive any mail.
“It kind of followed us around as we moved, but it was never used. Maybe it was destined for Air Canada as it is in the airline’s old colours. Carl would be very pleased to know that it will go toward this worthwhile initiative from the Air Canada Foundation. He always said flying wasn’t a job, but his passion. Flying is where his heart was from a very young age and knowing that this mailbox will be destined for another aviation enthusiast is a very fitting way to honour him,” Tanya Gitto said.
Another special item is a one-of-a-kind ride-on airplane for kids, which was donate by the Edmonton chapter of Dreams Take Flight, a charitable partner of the Air Canada Foundation.
With the help of our team at Air Canada Maintenance, the metal plane was shipped to AAR in Trois-Rivières, a company that specializes in aircraft maintenance. They repainted the unique plane in Air Canada’s colours and it is now ready for its next mission helping your little one dream of becoming an Air Canada pilot.
Some of the other items up for auction include:
- An all-inclusive trip in Business Class to Iberostar Selection Cancún, a resort renowned for its sustainable tourism approach;
- Exclusive packages including airline tickets, Aeroplan Elite Statuses and Aeroplan Points;
- The opportunity to fly an aircraft simulator or a drone;
- A virtual wine tasting with Air Canada’s Sommelier Véronique Rivest;
- A private dinner event with some of Air Canada's celebrated Canadian chefs;
- One-of-a-kind aircraft pieces including vintage original menus, fan blades and a full meal cart;
- Business Class and Economy Class seats;
- Model aircraft signed by Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada.
The auction will run from December 1-8 with 100 per cent of the proceeds to be redistributed by the Air Canada Foundation to Canadian charitable organizations focused on the health and well-being of children and youth.