‘Back on Track’ event celebrates society’s 20th anniversary – still with the same VPD beat cops who started the society with a hard-hitting video on the reality of addiction
Hockey Night in Canada host Scott Oake and his wife Anne will bring a personal perspective to the keynote speech at the Odd Squad Production Society’s 20th anniversary gala December 1, 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 will be the gala’s master of ceremonies, auctioneer extraordinaire Howard Blank will conduct our live auction, while three-time Juno award-winning blues artist Jim Byrnes, special guest Paul Pigat, and All the Kings Men will perform. Funds will be raised for Odd Squad’s important drug education work.
“We’ve come a long way from a group of seven VPD beat cops working the Downtown Eastside putting out our first film about the stark realities of drug addiction 20 years ago. We had no idea how to even use a video camera, but still out got an important message about prevention,” said Odd Squad founding member and Executive Director Toby Hinton. “The December 1 conference and gala are an opportunity to celebrate where we’ve come to, but also to continue our mission of education and awareness through presentations, peer-to-peer programs, and documentary film work. For 20 years we’ve focused on helping prepare youth to make better decisions around high-risk behaviours, and are looking at how we can best continue that important work for the next 20 years.”
As a grass-roots organization, Odd Squad has connected millions of people around the world with education about the importance of making healthy choices when it comes to avoiding the pitfalls of drug addiction, gang involvement, and other issues such as bullying and social media addiction. Currently, Odd Squad is delivering drug and gang education presentations to youth in schools throughout the Lower Mainland and BC; working with youth representatives from local schools, First Nations communities, and Junior Hockey Teams across Western Canada to deliver youth peer-to-peer education; and preparing documentary films on the Fentanyl crisis, police use of force, and on how law enforcement can better deal individuals with autism. Promoting the health and wellness of Canada’s younger generation is the foundation of Odd Squad’s work.
The society has several powerful speakers lined up for the conference, and is inviting police and other law enforcement officers, parents, educators, healthcare workers, politicians, and anyone else serving on the frontlines of these issues – or with an interest in the issues. The conference will be followed by the evening gala fundraiser.
The Odd Squad is a not-for-profit Charitable Foundation committed to educating youth about the perils of drug and substance abuse, the truth about gangs, the consequences of social media applications and other important community issues. Donations are not absorbed by bureaucratic overhead but go directly back into film productions, peer-to-peer programs and prevention education presentations that have been some of the most urgent clarion calls for societal change. The proceeds from the Conference and Gala Fundraising event will assist the Odd Squad in continuing this important work.
For tickets and more information about the
TV, Radio, Print, Online Media wishing to arrange interviews, video, audio or stills with Odd Squad members are requested to contact:
John L. Daly