Accreditations and memberships

The On the Tip of the Toes Foundation not only meets but exceeds the highest industry norms and standards. We are proud members of :

  • Aventure Écotourisme Québec
  • Regroupement des organisations communautaires en oncologie
  • COCA


We’re also accredited:

  • AEQ Qualité sécurité
  • COCA Gold Ribbon

Our distinctions

The Connexion project: fly fishing for the well-being of young adults with cancer, is the recipient of one of the prestigious Excellence Award presented by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. The award was presented during the annual conference of the Quebec Oncology Program on November 17th.

The Connexion project is a pilot project carried out in the context of a pandemic with fly fishing as the main activity. It also included a fly tying workshop, a day of hiking and a forest bathing activity. This seven-day intervention program was developed for young adults aged between 30 and 39 with cancer. This expedition took place in the wilderness on the North Shore, more precisely on the Escoumins River in July 2021.

The pandemic led the foundation to be creative and to push its limits. It is by pursuing its rigorous and methodological work that the organization has allowed the Connexion project to be born. This project fills a gap in services for young adults with cancer. There are very few programs for people in their 30s. Through a virtual questionnaire and an analysis of the scientific literature, the Foundation was able to paint a picture of the specific needs of this age group and develop an adapted intervention program.

Far from sitting down with arms folded while facing the COVID-19 health measures, the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation has been bending backwards to support young people with cancer from a distance, with as much care as when on an expedition, thanks to a new concept. Instead of feeling the disappointment of a cancelled expedition, each participant was able to experience their expedition remotely by means of a surprise package that contained activities to do for each day of the expedition.

The concept was a huge success. The Ministère de la Santé du Québec has also shown great interest in this alternative approach by inviting the Foundation to present this concept to more than 500 health professionals during its annual conference. There is something extraordinary about helping young people with cancer find their bearings, during a pandemic, when just about everyone has lost theirs!

The On the Tip of the Toes Foundation charmed the jury during the last annual Gala of Economic Merit of the Chamber of Commerce, Saguenay-le-fjord. At the presentation of the Dubuc prizes on April 21, 2016, the jury awarded the “Coup de Cœur” distinction to the Foundation for its laudable mission as well as for being a Canadian pioneer in therapeutic adventure in oncological settings. Filled with a strong feeling of accomplishment, Mario Bilodeau, co-founder and board member of the Foundation, and Jean-Charles Fortin, general manager, accepted the honorary plaque together with the warm applause of over 650 representatives of the business community of the Saguenay region.

On November 19th 2015, the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation received a prestigious award for its remarkable work in the Quebec oncology network. The Oncology Prize, highly esteemed in this domain, was conferred by the “Direction québécoise de cancérologie”, part of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (Quebec). Officials of this organization emphasized the considerable added value of our programs in the following way: “The therapeutic adventure (…) an innovative approach, effective and efficient in the holistic healing process of young people living with cancer.” The On the Tip of the Toes Foundation is immensely proud to have received widespread recognition after almost 20 years in existence.

The On the Tip of the Toes Foundation is an accredited member of Adventure Ecotourism Quebec (AEQ) which is comprised of almost 150 businesses working in the sector of adventure and ecotourism. During its audit, AEQ observed that the risk management tools and procedures of the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation are exemplary and exceed what is expected of its members. Further, they noted the quality of internal procedures, the extremely personalized care of the participants, the documentation provided, the quality of staff members as well as the close bonds formed with the health network, with the regional population, and with academic partners. Our organization is dedicated to providing an adventure with positive effects on the participants and therefore puts major emphasis on the management, control, and reduction of risk. In addition, the On the Tip of the Toes Foundation promotes therapeutic adventure to the general public and in medical settings, thus enlarging the concept of adventure tourism with beneficial consequences on other businesses in the sector. It was a tremendous honour for us to receive this award from AEQ as it is the highest distinction awarded by this organization.

Recognition of founding members and administrators

The pioneering work of some of our founders and the involvement of our administrators have also been recognized by their peers:

  • Dr. Sylvain Baruchel, co-founder of the Foundation
    Officier de la Légion d’honneur, 2010
    Membre de l’Ordre national du Mérite, 2006
  • Mario Bilodeau, co-founder and current member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation
    Recipient of the Prix Hommage Bénévolat-Québec 2022
    Recipient of the very first Canadian Adventure Therapy Symposium homage award – “Life long contribution to adventure therapy in Canada”, 2009
  • Annick Dufresne, co-founder and first general manager of the Foundation
    Personnalité La Presse de l’année – Humanisme, courage et dépassement de soi, 2007
    Recipient of the very first Femme Dynamisante Clarins Canada prize, 2006
    Prix Femmes de mérites – YWCA Québec, Social Engagement 2007
  • Linda Hershon, member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation
    Recipient of the “Camp Spirit Award” at the Northwestern Mutual COCA-I Excellence Awards, 2021