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Hudson Players Club actors will volunteer their time for the Défi Canderel fundraising campaign

By John Jantak


Hudson Players Club member Kyle Shillibeer will be taking part in an upcoming fundraising campaign to for the Défi Canderel charitable organization collecting donations for cancer research centres in Montreal. Shillibeer is no stranger to fundraising, having started at the young age of six to raise $4,600 for the Alberta Lung Association (pictured left with his mother, Beth Shillibeer).

The annual Défi Canderel fundraising drive is taking a new approach this year with the help of local actors from the Hudson Players Club who are ready to donate their time and talent to star in a short film that will be one of the focal points as the charitable organization strives to raise donations amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Hudson resident, Louise Lafleur, who is the Défi Canderel Executive Director, has helped to steer the charitable organization into even greater returns annually. This year, Lafleur commissioned Julia Schroeder, a writer and successful Hudson business owner, to make a creative (or filmic) ad to use for their fundraising efforts.

Will be filmed in Hudson

The Hudson Players Club helped Schroeder recruit local actors and the ‘mini film’ has been cast. While some rehearsals have taken place, a last-minute change in crew has delayed filming. The project will be shot at a Hudson location and donated to Défi Canderel for social media and public relations use.

“In a nutshell, the project is to film a short, fun, heartfelt ad/appeal, with the aim of helping to raise money for the Défi Candere,” said Schroeder. “I don’t want to reveal the plot of the ad but let’s just say there is magic involved.”

The Journal has two stars currently cast in the film – Kyle Shillibeer, who is part of our distribution team and the adorable Kaïa, the pampered pooch of Keri Underdown, our executive administrator.


The Journal’s executive administrator Keri Underdown’s dog Kaïa will also play a role in the upcoming film and will no doubt steal the show.

‘I’ve always loved fundraising’

Shillibeer says he’s thrilled to donate his time for the charitable cause. “I’m a member of the Hudson Players Club and I heard about the call out for volunteers. I’ve always loved fundraising. When I was six, I actually helped raise money for the Alberta Lung Association during a Bike for Breath event. I raised $4,600 with the help of my mom. I enjoy fundraising for good causes. It’s a fun and useful thing to do with our time.”

Founded by Jonathan and Susan Wener, the Défi Canderel is an annual fundraising challenge within the Montreal business community that’s gone on for over 30 years. To date over $20 million has been raised for local cancer research centres (namely The Goodman Cancer Research Centre at McGill University and the ICM (Institut du cancer de Montréal) at the Université de Montréal.

‘Incredibly worthy cause’

“It’s an incredibly worthy cause that supports some of the truly brightest minds. Usually the fundraising activities culminate in a fun run hosted by McGill, but because of COVID, this aspect is on hold,” said Schroeder. “Raising money in times of uncertainty is really tough too, so we’re trying to find a novel approach that is humane and is also highlighting the importance of science.”

The goal of this year’s campaign is to raise $2.3 million so the researchers at McGill and Institut du cancer de Montréal can continue their projects. With almost $1.7 million raised so far, there’s still room to add your name to the growing list of contributors. For more information about the Défi Canderel, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/deficanderelmontreal.

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