In recognition of our
7th Annual Sponsors
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It has been an incredible journey and experience that began with a slow glowing dream of pride and a vision that inspired and touched not only my heart but continues to touch the hearts of many. That dream became Comedy Courage, a successful Gala Dinner and Showcase that is in the midst of planning it’s 8th Annual Gala and is now “Canada’s Largest Comedy Benefit Concert in Support of Mental Health Wellness"
The support from the corporate and private community has been nothing short of fantastic! What means the most to me, is watching the smiles grow into miracles as we help people with mental health issues, “namely our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th GENERATION COURAGEOUS COMICS become Shining STARS!” I want to personally thank all of our generous supporters, volunteers and sponsors from the bottom of my heart.
Comedy Courage started as a proprietorship in 2003 and in summer of 2007 I applied to the Canadian Government for a National Non-Profit Status. We were granted the status in a record 7 weeks. I was told by our philanthropy law firm Benefic Group that we made Canadian History. Next was applying for BC Society Status and in 2 days we were granted the status in 2 days. Yes 2 days.
I am frequently asked,
It all started when I woke up one day realizing I had been crying for 10 years solid over my mental health diagnoses and issues, recognizing that I needed to change my outlook. I inevitably took a writing course in comedy back in the Spring of 2002. I did not know a thing about laughing or writing so I wrote about me and the challenges I had with my own mental health issues. I took to stage on July 9, 2002 in a small club on Commercial Drive in Vancouver with my routine on the traumas and challenges I experienced. Low and behold I was cheered and applauded for my courage to do stand-up comedy on my real life experiences in mental health - namely my mental health!
Years later, I now realize how important that first performance was by being Canada's first comedian that used my personal experience in mental health as the act. Laughter is the best medicine!
One of my dearest friends and supporters George Roshko introduced me through a client of his to renown advocate and columnist Joey Thompson of the Province Newspaper. That was a break of a lifetime for me and to this day I cherish the break and pass on the good that the article has done for mental health. I have been so blessed with the support of good friends, associates, our wonderful media and the corporate community to pursue my dream of helping others through what I saw as the healing power of “laughter, comedy and courage.” We won first place for Best Soireé Vancouver twice under the header "The Right Stuff" in 24hrs News thanks to man about town journalist Michael Schratter.
After the two articles broke in The Province Newspaper in September of 2002 I was approached by a comedic teacher and the Canadian Mental Health Association to help others with real mental health diagnosis and issues through my experience. I immediately saw a great opportunity to do this as a major annual fundraiser. The first thing I realized is we needed a roof over our heads to do a show. I called on a long time friend and associate, Andrea Gaglardi and we met in her downtown Vancouver Sandman Hotel. I simply asked for use of the Sandman Ballroom and the Sandman staff in-kind and her answer was, “OK Darcy as long as it is big!” Next was finding an MC to Host Comedy Courage and I immediately thought of John L. Daly senior reporter with BCTV news on Global TV. His answer was “sure I’ll do it and I would be honoured.” There was one more piece to the glowing dream and that was Teresa Englmann from Urban Circle who volunteered her time professionally as our Event Coordinator who inevitably always had a Plan “B” in her back pocket.
To me that was the green light, once again in my life, that gave me the leap of faith and courage that “I could prove what I could do and what I set out to do!” With my talents as a commercial artist I approached Staples Business Depot in Langley for office supplies and explained that I have this talent and I can make my passion presentable with a few reams of paper and some ink for my inkjet printer. Their support turned into a commercial colour laser printer and toner and much, much, more. I made a sponsorship package to take out. Shortly after that Moxie’s Restaurant committed to the catering and at the same time MarketPlace IGA in Langley with the help of their generous suppliers guaranteed we would be fed. Within weeks Peller Estates Winery in Port Moody committed to supplying the wine. The stage was set and the show would go on! There was no stopping it!
My deepest passion has and will be to give people with real mental health diagnosis and issues the opportunity to “prove what they can do” thus dispelling the myth behind the mental health diagnoses and issues to the general public which intern reduces the “stigmas and the no’s” in life for many.
I personally invite British Columbians, Canadians and our friends in Bellingham & Seattle to participate in the healing power of laughter and courage at this year's 8th Annual Comedy Courage Reception & Really Big Showcase at our host hotel,
on the spectacular
at the Surrey Arts Centre
Working together we can all take great pride and have the courage in “PROVING WHAT WE CAN DO!
Comedy Courage focuses on the TALENT.... turning TRAGEDY into TRIUMPH"
Chief Opportunity Engineer - COE
Very Special Thanks to