Recovery Day

Recovery Day: A Free Event to Celebrate Overcoming Addition

September 8th, 2018 @ 6th Street and 6th Avenue, New Westminster BC

The Orchard Recovery Center is proudly joining forces with our allies across the recovery community to bring you the 7th annual Recovery Day in BC! Check out Recovery Day BC’s Facebook page for all the latest news

The 2018 Event:
Whether you are in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction, an ally to someone who is in recovery, looking for addiction recovery resources, or you just think that sobriety is awesome – come on out! Everyone is welcome to celebrate recovery. 

Now in its 7th year, we are once again shutting down the streets of New West for this substance-free, wicked-awesome and family-friendly event. Part music festival, part carnival, and part educational event: Recovery Day BC is a celebration, a rally, a rememberence for those lost, and a tool to raise awareness for recovery while reducing the stigma of addiction.

The Goal: Recovery Day aims to celebrate recovery while remembering those lost due to overdoses. With over 10,000 people who attended the 2017 event, we want to organize Canadians in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions – alongside our families, friends, and allies, to speak with one voice, that we do recover. Our gathering will help change public perception of what recovery looks like, and promote public policy change across the country. 

Recovery Day in Canada started in BC! From humble roots in Vancouver, Recovery Day has grown into a national phenomena with events taking place all across the country. For more information, head to

Our Part – Recovery Day’s History:

In July of 2012, Executive Director Lorinda Strang and her team at the Orchard Recovery Center were researching films for their upcoming film festival about raising awareness and sharing stories of hope in recovery. They were sent a link to filmmaker Greg William’s page on Kickstarter, a website that facilitates fundraising through online donations.

Williams’ project, The Anonymous People, aimed 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.  Struck immediately by the filmmaker’s vision and eager to become involved with the project, the Orchard Recovery Center pledged $3000 to the project.  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.  Williams was invited to speak at the Orchard’s 2nd Annual REEL Recovery Film Festival in October 2012.

Lorinda and her then communications director Anne Marie McCullough were aware that the US Government recognizes September as “Recovery Month” however, they found that Canada had no equivalent, and decided to start planning a local and public celebration of recovery.  Putting together a team with history in Canadian recovery was key to strengthening the movement – so the Orchard partnered with David Berner and Chuck Doucette of the Drug Prevention Network of Canada and Giuseppe Ganci of the Last Door Recovery Society.  They  obtained a permit for the event and David Berner wrote the proclamation that was officially issued by the mayor. This inspirational document signed by 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 (a personal dream of Lorinda’s that would be tricky to get permits for) 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. He came back to Vancouver in May 2013 to show the completed film to 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 throughout the month of September.

The Orchard is proud to have been a part of a team that initiated the Recovery Day movement across Canada, and continues to support the movement year after year with Executive Director Lorinda Strang serving on the Recovery Day Vancouver Society board as Treasurer. One day, Lorinda hopes the movement can evolve into joining hands across the Canadian/American border – bringing together our friends in the recovery across North America, to further give hope to those in recovery everywhere.