Balmoral Hall students to take action to prevent cancer

22 October 2013

Winnipeg, Manitoba -

Grade 12 students at Balmoral Hall School are taking cancer head-on this year, encouraging their classmates to forego the “prom tan” and rock it in the skin they’re in instead.   

The Canadian Cancer Society is challenging students in other schools to demonstrate similar leadership by signing up for the Tan Free Grad Challenge and educating their friends about the serious health risks associated with indoor tanning.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about the effects of harmful UV rays,” says Julia White, who is coordinating Tan Free Grad efforts at Balmoral Hall. “I look forward to pledging my support for Canadian Cancer Society’s Tan Free Grad alongside my friends.”

Melanoma skin cancer – the most deadly form of skin cancer, but also very preventable – is the third most common form of cancer for people between the ages of 15 and 29. Those who start using indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 have a 59% increased risk of melanoma.

In an effort to prevent skin cancer, Grade 12 students are leading the Tan Free Grad by educating their peers on the dangers of ultraviolet radiation from both the sun and indoor tanning equipment and collecting pledges from classmates to be tan free for their graduation.

If even one student in Manitoba takes action and reduces their risk of developing skin cancer throughout their lives, the Cancer Society will consider the campaign a success. The Cancer Society sends a photographer to the grad dinner and dance of the Winnipeg school with the highest percentage of pledges.  Last year, Collège Jeanne-Sauvé won the Tan Free Grad Challenge with 63% of Grade 12 students pledging to be tan free for graduation.  

“Through the Tan Free Grad, students will be letting others in their school know that there is no safe way to get a tan,” says Kyra Moshtaghi-Nia of the Canadian Cancer Society. “The tanning industry would have you believe there is such thing as a healthy glow, but there is no such thing. Tanned skin is damaged skin, and tanning beds have been definitively proven to cause skin cancer.”

In 2011, the Cancer Society called for tougher regulations governing the indoor tanning industry that included a ban on Manitobans under 18 using the devices. In 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that ultraviolet rays from indoor tanning equipment are a known carcinogen – that is, they are known to cause cancer, just as tobacco is known to cause cancer.

The provincial government responded by enacting legislation that requires parents of Manitobans under 16 to accompany their children while using indoor tanning equipment and children 16 to 18 to have parental consent before using indoor tanning equipment.

Media are invited to Balmoral Hall School at 630 Westminster Ave. on Wednesday, October 23 from 12:15 - 12:45 p.m. when students will be signing up and taking the pledge to be tan free for grad.  Interviews can be conducted with Julia White (student coordinator), Kyra Moshtaghi-Nia (Canadian Cancer Society) and Joanne Kamins (Balmoral Hall).

If you plan on attending, the school must be informed in advance so please RSVP to either of the contacts listed below.


About the Canadian Cancer Society

For 75 years the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.

About Balmoral Hall School

Balmoral Hall School, a university preparatory school, inspires girls to excel, to reach, to lead. An independent day and boarding school for girls aged two through Grade 12, Balmoral Hall welcomes students from around the world, encouraging them to discover their passions in academics, athletics, and the arts. At BH, girls find a place of belonging through a shared love of learning.

For more information, please contact:

Jason Permanand

Communications Manager

Canadian Cancer Society


Phone: 204-990-4310