The seventh annual Recovery Day celebration is going to be bigger than ever, with a live concert by Matthew Good and shows by Royal City Wrestling. That’s in addition to a TEDx-style speaker stage, a free kids’ zone, a sharing and healing circle, a memorial site, vendors, and food trucks.
It takes place from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday (September 8) along 6th Street in the Uptown area of New Westminster.
Organized by the Recovery Day Vancouver Society, it began in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery and has since spread to many other Canadian cities. The president, Giuseppe Ganci, is the director of community development at the New Westminster–based Last Door Recovery Society; the vice president, Lorinda Strang, is executive director of Orchard Recovery Center on Bowen Island.
Earlier this year, the cofounder of Last Door, Louise Cooksey, told the Straight that New Westminster is an ideal location because the city has been extremely supportive of the recovery movement. The goal of Recovery Day is to eradicate the stigma around addiction and generate awareness about recovery, as well as to celebrate people’s success in freeing themselves from drugs and alcohol.
“I think one of the biggest overlooked resources we have in our fight against these overdoses and addiction is people with lived experience that are successfully clean,” Cooksey said. “You don’t hear from them very often.”
Anyone who’s willing to share their story of overcoming addiction and mental illness in a 15-minute presentation is being invited to apply to be a speaker at Recovery Day. For more information, visit the Recovery Day B.C. website.
In the past, people attending Recovery Day have held a march in downtown Vancouver to raise awareness about the importance of countering stigma and celebrating staying clean.
Photo Credit: CHARLIE SMITH