Coldest Night of the Year 2023 Recap

Date 1 Mar, 2023

With snow falling and near-freezing temperature, hundreds of walkers took to the streets of the Downtown Eastside on Saturday for the Coldest Night of the Year. It’s been a few days since, but we’re still buzzing from the excitement of the event and blown away by the support we received from our determined Team Captains and walkers.

It was a record-breaking CNOY event for us at FIRST UNITED, with more teams, more walkers and more donors than ever before raising an astounding $104,114 and counting! That’s the highest amount we’ve ever raised for CNOY! We are only $6,000 short of our goal and there’s still time for us to get there. Will you help us reach our goal?

Help us reach our goal

The night wasn’t just cold. The feeling at 312 Main was electric! We could feel the hype and excitement in the air and it was great to see everyone having fun while showing up for our neighbours in the DTES.

Compared to last year, we had DOUBLE the number of walkers come out to brave the cold for the DTES—359 walkers to be exact! We also had 40 teams registered, which was a record number for us. As Amanda Burrows, Interim Executive Director, mentioned, the DTES deserves our attention and support. And we’re so grateful that through the snow and slush, you bundled up and walked with us to do just that. Hundreds of you walked together, sending a message that you care about the most vulnerable in our community. You sent the message that systemic changes need to happen so that we can have a more just and equitable society. Because nobody should have to stay out in extreme weather conditions.


None of this could have been done without our amazing volunteers who helped with registration, food service, rest stops, and route marshalling. We’re so grateful. We couldn’t have pulled it off without your hard work and dedication.

Our food truck also played a role in CNOY. We were excited that it served as the new rest stop, which was loved by many.


We also want to acknowledge Christine Boyle, Vancouver City Councillor, and Jenny Kwan, MP for Vancouver East, who once again showed up to say a few words before joining the walk. Thank you for showing support for the neighbourhood.

After the walk, walkers were treated to some delicious chilli, which received rave reviews! We’re grateful for the kitchen team who prepared it and we’re glad that folks got the opportunity to taste exactly what we serve to community members.

Special thanks to our supporting sponsors, BC Housing and Strathcona BIA, for sponsoring the event again this year. And thank you to Starbucks for in kind support at our food truck rest stop.

Once again, thank you to everyone who participated. We know our supportive community is compassionate and dedicated to making a difference. Just look at everything we’ve been able to accomplish together!

Don’t forget that there’s still time to help us reach our goal. We’re less than $6,000 away from $110,000!

Photos by Avi Feinberg 

View photos here.

FIRST UNITED CNOY 2023 Teams and Captains

  • Altea Active: West 6- Dave Rhodes
  • Broho- Rossana Ho
  • Canadian Memorial Walkers- Karen Vanderheyden
  • Crossroads- Eileen Noullett
  • Eastside Walking Crew- Talia Schieber
  • Feast & Fallow- Oakridge United Church
  • First Things First- Amanda Burrows
  • Fossil Vancouver- Amy Huang
  • Goldbeck Recruiting- Henry Goldbeck
  • Horizons- Rob Vandermey
  • Jubilee United- Gabrielle McLarty
  • Lauren Telford & Co.- Lauren Telford
  • Lynn Valley Amblers- Judith Clark
  • Mount Seymour United Walkers- Carla Wilks
  • On the Verge- Alice Frances
  • Pacific Mountaineers- Alexandra Barr
  • Pacific Spirit UC Youth Group- Lindsay Veenstra
  • Robert Allan Ltd.- Kylie Donaldson
  • SFU Global Humanities- Jason Brown
  • SHUC Walkers- Deb Walker
  • Andrew’s Wesley United- Diane Jones
  • David’s Strollers- Leslie Buerschaper
  • Starbucks Downtown Vancouver- Juan Villela
  • Stepping Up and Stepping Out- Julie Alava
  • Stepping Up for the DTES- Amber Tugwood
  • Stigma Stompers- Chelsea Lee
  • TCS Empowers Vancouver- Moumita Choudhury
  • Turner – Preconstruction- Lillian Ching
  • Turner Construction Company- Abigail Thom
  • Turner-Confidential Gaming Client- Debora Cornejo Vera
  • UBC Walkers- Kaylan Mah
  • UHill United & Friends- Sandra Willing
  • Vancouver Kaifong Association- Henry Lam
  • Visier- Heather Van Tassel
  • Walk and Roll- Duncan Furniss
  • Walkin’ the Talkin’- L. Marie Nixon
  • Walkingboldts- Russell Warneboldt
  • West Coasters- Bruce Frankard
  • West Van Walkers- ALF Filbert
  • Will Of The People- Will Goldbeck

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