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Victoria, BC (ISN) – Over 90 Dragon Boat teams will compete this weekend on a 500 meter course in Victoria’s Inner Harbour at the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival.  Festivities begin Friday night with the Lights of Courage Lantern Celebration, with racing beginning Saturday morning at 8:30 am.

The Festival and in particular the Lights of Courage Lantern Campaign is a proud supporter of the BC Cancer Foundation and this year they hope to raise over $20,000 for the Foundation.  Thus far, the Festival is pleased to announce that it has raised over $16,000 toward that goal.

If you would like to donate and participate in the Lantern Celebration Friday evening, Chinese paper lanterns are now available at all local Fairway Market stores, Denny’s Restaurant and The Bay Centre for a small donation of $2. People can write a message on the lantern’s tag to someone they know who has been diagnosed with or affected by cancer.

The lanterns will also be on sale in the BC Cancer Foundation Tent at the Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival from August 17th to 19th, an event over 80,000 people attend every year to enjoy the cultural entertainment and watch the thrilling dragon boat races.

All lantern owners are invited to bring their lanterns to the 2012 Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival site, starting Friday, August 17th at 5pm, to display their lanterns among thousands of others along the pier of the Victoria Inner Harbour. At 9pm Friday, the lanterns will officially be lit by a local cancer survivor team, the Island Breaststrokers.

In addition to lantern sales, proceeds from specially marked products in Fairway Market stores will be donated to the BC Cancer Foundation. Suppliers such as Canada Bread, Island Farms, Lilydale Meats, Maple Leaf Foods, Canada Dry and Coca-Cola help make this additional fundraising initiative possible.

For details on the Festival and a full schedule of events and activities, please visit the Dragon Boat Festival Website at http://www.victoriadragonboat.com