MONTREAL — If there’s anyone who knows what it takes to make dreams come true, it’s Air Canada.
The airline has released a heartwarming new video that highlights its Dreams Take Flight non-profit organization, which provides once-in-a-lifetime trips for kids across Canada who may be facing mental, physical or social challenges.
Called ‘Every Kid Deserves a Day Off’, the video follows the stories of three extraordinary kids – eight-year-old Ariane, 11-year-old Jardie, and nine-year-old Trent – as they prepare to board an Air Canada flight to a dream destination. They’re welcomed at a specially-decorated Air Canada aircraft hangar where they board a plane filled with other special kids and a volunteer crew intent on giving them all a ‘day off’ from their daily hardships.
“We’ve seen how one special day leaves each child with lasting memories,” said Bev Watson, President of Dreams Take Flight Canada. “Air Canada volunteer crews host the children onboard, giving their days off to help children get theirs. The dreams made reality by our program would not be possible without them and the decades of support from Air Canada and the Air Canada Foundation. The experience is magical and helps children see new possibilities.”
The importance of the program is evident when seeing the smiles of Ariane, Jardie and Trent. Ariane was born with a congenital heart defect and had her first operation at two months old, with two more surgeries likely planned later in life. Jardie, who has Down syndrome, has trouble communicating verbally and does not always feel understood. And Trent, who lives with cystic fibrosis and requires daily treatments, may one day need a lung transplant.
Through Dreams Take Flight, all three kids were able to “forget their challenges for one day and just be kids,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO at Air Canada. “Air Canada has been committed to serving and giving back to Canadian communities for more than 80 years, and we’re immensely proud of our ongoing affiliation with the extraordinary Dreams Take Flight since it launched more than 30 years ago,” he added.
Since 1989, Air Canada has flown more than 40,000 children on Dreams Take Flight trips. A total of eight flights operate annually from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax; in 2019 alone, the airline transported over 1,000 children on a trip to Disney.
The video, which appears in 80-, 60- and 15-second versions, will be distributed across Canada via the airline’s social media and digital platforms from Dec. 18 to Jan. 3.