Despite an extreme weather warning, a full and enthusiastic house turned out to support Laing House and launch "Teens Gone Wired" in Halifax last Wednesday. Laing House is a remarkably successful peer-support organization for youth with mental illness that I profiled in the book. Since their founding a short ten years ago, they have proven the value of their youth-driven, community-based approach and gained a committed throng of supporters. Our evening was graced by musical performances from several Laing House members: violin selections by Gwen and Erin and an original guitar composition from Chris. In consummate Halifax style the plates of scrumptious brownies were whipped up in a baking bee, the space was donated by Leonard Preyra - MLA for Halifax Citadel-Sable Islands, and the Laing House community turned out in numbers to show their support. The event was held at the home of the National Council of Women, founded in 1894 to improve the lives of women and children. What a perfect location for the launch and what a great evening. You'll find photos from the event here.
What a joy it is to hang out with people who love what they do and want to share their enthusiasm. On Oct 13th we launched “Teens Gone Wired: Are You Ready?” with the amazing staff and inspiring young people of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. Anic and Apiew are teenagers and club participants and they used the themes of the book to create original works for the launch. Anic sang a capella her own beautiful composition that urges teens to look beyond appearance to discover each person’s unique and original gifts. Apiew drew a series of portraits to reflect the range of emotions that teens experience when confronted with life’s challenges. I’ll have a wonderful opportunity to dialogue with Anic, Apiew and their friends as they continue to explore the book’s ideas with Teresa, their senior youth worker. For 88 years, the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa has been providing supportive and stimulating programs for 4,500 young people per year. It is an awesome organization and it was a privilege to launch the book with them. Check out the photos here.
At last night's Vancouver launch of Teens Gone Wired: Are You Ready? we were treated to a preview of Green Thumb Theatre's latest production OUT IN THE OPEN. This play is further proof, if there is anyone left who needs convincing, that theatre is a powerful way to reach young people and nobody does it better, play after play, than Green Thumb. Teens have a built in Geiger counter for hypocrisy and can smell a false note of dialogue or a clichéd plot a mile off. Green Thumb's plays excel because they're the real deal. You're eavesdropping on awkward, painful moments in teen lives. By offering those moments up for dissection they force us to stare at our own bad behaviour. Bravo to Artistic Director, Patrick MacDonald and the Green Thumb team. The world needs more of them. Check out the event and our spectacular venue at the Creekside Community Centre.
Whether you missed the Toronto launch of “Teens Gone Wired: Are You Ready?” or just want to relive the experience, you’re in luck. Thanks to the marvels of videocams and YouTube and Steve Jobs’ brilliance you can play and replay AFCY’s dynamic performance again and again.
Calgarians proved once again that they know how to role out the red carpet. The Kerby Centre orchestrated two terrific events on Friday, Sept. 30 featuring “You Could Live a Long Time: Are You Ready?” In the afternoon about 80 people participated at the Centre in an animated discussion about aging well. That evening, the honey-toned Petroleum Club with its art-covered walls was the site for a sparkling event that combined the smooth sounds of the Shaken Not Stirred Jazz Band with fine food and lots of laughter. The full house was reluctant to bring the evening to a close. Check out the photos by clicking on the photo below.