Bishop’s students embark on cross-Canada tour

SHERBROOKE — Bishop’s University students Richard Lavoie, Shayne Cowan-Cholette and Benjamin Tracey will be embarking on the Purple Canada Tour, a 7,000 km coast to coast road trip that kicks off on June 14 in Halifax, with a target end date of August 1 on the Pacific coast.

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Lavoie, a native of La Malbaie, QC, recently graduated with his teaching degree and also finished his football career with the Gaiters after the 2015 season. Cowan-Cholette is from Ottawa and although he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama he will return to complete his Bachelor of Education. Tracy is a third year Marketing student and a native of Sherbrooke.

“I thought it would be a nice idea to cross the country to celebrate our recent graduations,” said Lavoie. “We realized we couldn’t afford such a trip even though we had saved a bit of money. Shayne said if we put our heads together we could figure something out.”

The students will visit nine provinces on this trip, and make stops in more than thirty cities along the route.

“It all started as a trip across Canada with my best friend,” added Cowan-Cholette, who will return to his linebacker position in the fall with the Gaiters. “It turned into a tribute to the university we both love so much. Once we realized we couldn’t do it on our own, we reached out to the student recruitment department. We wanted to give back to the institution that taught us what it meant to be part of a community. After our discussions we grew the project into something we think people can connect with across the country. We hope this tour becomes a social movement.”

Along the way, the Purple Canada Tour will aim to do more than just give these three students a trip of a lifetime.

“We want to give back to the communities we will visit,” Lavoie said. “Our hope is that by the end of our travels we will have created a national movement that inspires local change across the country through small and impactful actions.”

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