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The conference held during the day was followed by a VIP Cocktail reception, which Premier John Horgan attended. The evening continued with the gala fundraiser and keynote speaker Scott Oake from Hockey Night in Canada with his wife Anne. Click here or scroll down to see the photo gallery.
The conference featured experts in the fields of school safety, substance abuse, social media addiction, drug addiction and youth issues. Click here to see a full list of speakers with short bios.
Hockey Night in Canada host Scott Oake and his wife Anne brought a personal perspective to the keynote speech at our 20th anniversary gala, capping a day-long drug and gang prevention conference. Scott and Anne lost their 25-year-old son Bruce to a heroin overdose in 2011, and since then have been committed to making the tragic loss of their child into positive opportunities for others struggling with addiction.
Global TV anchor Chris Gailus was the gala’s master of ceremonies, while auctioneer extraordinaire Howard Blank conducted our live auction. Three-time Juno award-winning blues artist Jim Byrnes, special guest Paul Pigat, and All the Kings Men performed throughout the evening.
Police Judo team demonstrated for the guests at the beginning of the evening. Some of them were also volunteers at this event.
Odd Squad has partnered with Police Judo and for the past several years has delivered numerous combined drug and gang education presentations for First Nations communities. OSP has followed up with these presentations by providing “Introduction to Judo” training sessions. By introducing structured judo training, Odd Squad finds that youth appreciate the opportunity to build on what they learn from the drug/gang education lectures, and they quickly pick up on the ethos of taking care of one’s partner, start developing interpersonal skills, goal-setting and learn resiliency skills.
A MESSAGE FROM
PREMIER JOHN HORGAN
“As Premier of the Province of British Columbia, I am honoured to welcome everyone to Back On Track, the 20th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser for Odd Squad Productions (OSP).
Since 1997, OSP has been committed to empowering and educating our youth about critical issues impacting our communities. Through innovative outreach programs and powerful documentary work, OSP has now reached hundreds of thousands of youth. By guiding them to come to their own understanding of risks and boundaries, it encourages them to make positive lifestyle choices. The skillsets offered by OSP programs are transferrable and can benefit youth in all areas of life.
I would like to acknowledge the inaugural Community Prevention Education Conference being held this year. OSP has built an outstanding line-up of speakers and I would like to welcome everyone who has traveled from near and far to be here to share their expertise. I would also like to extend my gratitude for the exemplary work that makes OSP the great foundation that it is. For everyone involved – you are doing an incredible service for the betterment of our communities. From those who work fearlessly on the frontlines to the many amazing volunteers who give so tirelessly for this important cause – I commend you! Thank you for twenty great years of service. I wish you every success in meeting your fundraising goals and for a productive conference.”
HONOURABLE JOHN HORGAN
PREMIER OF BRITISH COLUMBIA