The Story

On July 24th 2012, filmmaker Greg Williams created a page on “Kickstarter”, a website that facilitates fundraising through online donations. The page contained a video less than 9 minutes long and a write up of less than a thousand words. However succinct, these few hundred words and few minutes of video carry a power great enough to change the lives of many millions across the world. Williams’ project, The Anonymous People, aims to publicize "the emerging Addiction Recovery Advocacy Movement" in order to break the stigma of addiction and shift the focus from the problem to the solution. Over the next month, The Anonymous People surpassed its $45,000 fundraising goal through the donations of 272 backers to the sum of $70,061.


On July 30th, while researching films for their upcoming film festival aimed at raising awareness and sharing stories of hope in recovery, the Orchard Recovery Center’s Lorinda Strang and Annie McCullough were sent a link to Williams’ “Kickstarter” page by Janine Mayhew, their design and branding consultant.  Struck immediately by the filmmaker’s vision and eager to become involved with a movement so dear to their hearts, the Orchard pledged $3000 to the project. Williams was also invited to speak at the Orchard’s 2nd Annual REEL Recovery Film Festival at District 319 in October 2012.Through Williams, Lorinda and Annie were reacquainted with "Faces and Voices of Recovery", an organization that aims to create a movement in the manner of other high profile advocacy groups. 

from left: Ann Marie McCulough, Lorinda Strang, David Berner 


The growing advocacy movement for recovery likens itself in part to the AIDS awareness movement, in the way this marginalized group spread awareness and education about AIDS with an advocacy group formed in 1987 with the motto "Silence=Death". Similarly, recovery from drugs and alcohol should not be a taboo issue and there is a need for people to acknowledge there is a way out and millions of people live happy and productive lives in recovery. “Faces and Voices of Recovery” and The Anonymous People are part of a movement to give alcoholics and addicts a voice – an identity – a pride in being able to speak our truths.


Lorinda and Annie were aware that the US Government, through its Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, recognizes September as “Recovery Month”. However, they found that again, Canada had no equivalent, and decided to immediately start planning a local and public celebration of recovery.  In order to build a strong team to lead their initiative, Lorinda and AnnMarie joined with  David Berner and Chuck Doucette of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada as well as Giuseppe Ganci of the Last Door. They obtained a permit for the event and wrote the proclamation that was officially issued by the mayor. This inspirational document from Mayor Gregor Robertson officially recognized September 30th, 2012 as Recovery Day in Vancouver.

An early idea for the event was to hold hands across the Lions Gate Bridge but the day evolved into an afternoon celebration including the proclamation being read by City Councilor Geoff Meggs with a rally and march on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery.


The 2012 Recovery Day event and the Orchard’s 2012 REEL Recovery Film Festival were both documented by Williams for his film who came back to Vancouver on May 24th, 2013 to show the completed film. It was a full house at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts theatre.  That night, it was announced that 12 cities across Canada would be hosting Recovery Day events on September 8th, 2013.


We are proud to have initiated the first ever "Recovery Day" and to have founded Faces and Voices of Recovery Canada, a federally incorporated nonprofit dedicated to organizing and mobilizing the recovery community.


Recovery Day just completed its fourth year with close to 30 cities participating across the country throughout the entire month of September. 


To get involved, please contact info@recoverydaycanada.com

Behind the First Recovery Day Event in Canada

September 30, 2012

© 2017 Recovery Day Canada. All rights reserved.

Original website developed by Philippe Cartel.
Second generation developed by Jason Miller.