What is Recovery Day?
Our MISSION is to build awareness, challenge social stigma and celebrate the role recovery plays in improving lives for individuals, families and communities. We believe that recovery saves lives. We envision a world in which full recovery from addiction is a common and celebrated reality. We want to open this conversation so individuals will not experience shame when seeking help.
Recovery Day all started with an e-mail that was sent on July 30th, 2012 to AnnMarie McCullough and Lorinda Strang. It contained an eight-minute trailer for the movie which at the time was still being produced by Greg Williams – known as ‘The Anonymous People’. The film documents the emerging “new recovery advocacy movement” with footage of the rallies and marches that have been happening all over the US for over a decade. After seeing the trailer, the decision was made to immediately start planning Canada’s first “Rally for Recovery” in Vancouver – with less than 8 weeks to prepare.
Before September 2012, no one had even heard the term “Recovery Day” in Canada but in a matter of weeks, we witnessed the birth- of not only a ‘Recovery Day’ in Vancouver, but also a Recovery Day in Victoria with proclamations in both cities that held events as well as a proclamation in Ottawa.
In September 2013, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Victoria, Regina, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Kelowna, Ottawa and Fredericton all hosted “Recovery Days” on September the 8th. The cities all had proclamations from their respective City’s mayors. There were letters of support from the CCSA, CACCF, CASW and the health minister of BC. BC also received an unexpected proclamation from the premier declaring Recovery Day for the entire province.
Also, that month, Lorinda and AnnMarie were in Washington, DC to receive the “rally of the year” award from SAMHSA for Vancouver’s Recovery Day in 2012. It was a great honor as well as an amazing opportunity to meet with recovery advocates and government officials that have been working in the field for many years. While there, it was announced that the UN was looking at passing a resolution to declare September “International Recovery” month. This has since come to pass!
In April of 2013, members of the Recovery Day initiatives – AnnMarie McCullough, Lisa Simone and Lorinda Strang formed a new organization-Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) Canada- modeled after the organization that has been helping organize the recovery movement in the US since 2001.
Faces and Voices of Recovery or “FAVOR” Canada is dedicated to organizing and mobilizing the 5 million Canadians in recovery from addiction, along with our families, friends and allies.
Our goals: to build networks and foster recovery community organizations; to reduce stigma; to raise awareness and bring people together in celebration of recovery. Together, we will demonstrate the power and proof of recovery from addiction and its value to individuals, families and communities across Canada. We support all pathways to recovery and we STRONGLY support initiatives such as Recovery Day and Recovery Month.
In September 2018, over 25 cities celebrated Recovery Day events and this year, we hope to continue to get even more cities joining in. The movement is gaining momentum!