Gateway Gazette

Taking It to The Streets: Celebrating Recovery from Addiction

Throughout the month of September, Canadians in 30 cities will celebrate their recovery from addiction, joining with friends and family to build awareness, challenge societal stigma, and get loud about the role recovery plays in improving their lives at work, at home and in their communities. This weekend, rocker Bif Naked kicks off the proceedings in Vancouver, while in Calgary crowds will gather at Olympic Park. Next weekend, celebrations with take place in Toronto, Montreal, Peterborough, Moncton and Fredericton, to name a few—followed by events in Regina, Saskatoon, Ottawa and many more.

Throughout the year, Faces and Voices of Recovery Canada (FAVOR Canada) has offered support to Recovery Day organizers across the country. This movement has grown exponentially since 2012, when Canada’s first Recovery Day celebrations were held in Victoria and Vancouver. The landscape is shifting fast. Since FAVOR Canada’s launch in 2013, Canadians have held a National Summit on Recovery and signed a National Commitment to Recovery in Ottawa in January, 2015.

FAVOR Canada is championed by three dynamic women: Recovery Day co-founder Annie McCullough,  Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship between Women and Alcohol;  and Lisa Simone, national communications director at Fresh Start in Calgary. This year, as in the past, FAVOR Canada hosted national monthly calls, connecting volunteers to leads in a variety of cities, supporting and fostering the various celebrations.

Says McCullough: “ It has been incredible to watch as recovery community organizations- both formal and informal–have popped up across the country. This is a grass roots movement, and each community’s needs are unique.”

Says Dowsett Johnston: “Today, millions of Canadians live as I do, in long-term recovery. We are the invisible people, standing next to you at the grocery store, heading to work in the next lane. We’re your neighbours. We’re on TV, making news, winning awards, helping lead this country. We’re everywhere.”

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