It’s a truth Séan McCann has dealt with in one way or another for nearly four decades.
Former Great Big Sea member McCann will share his music and story of abuse and addiction in a special intimate performance, put on by the Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon at Powerhouse Theatre, March 4 at 7 p.m., to raise funds and awareness about mental health in our community.
“When I was 15-years-old, I was sexually assaulted by my priest. I spent the next 35 years drinking heavily to numb my pain and avoid my truth. Twenty of those years were spent singing in the iconic Canadian party band Great Big Sea. I was high functioning and hiding in plain sight and everything was ‘fine,’ until one day it just wasn’t,” McCann said. “On Nov. 9, 2011, I put down the bottle and finally faced my past. I have been in recovery ever since and I credit my work in communicating through music as being essential to my continued clarity and overall well-being. A secret can kill you, but I know how a song can save your life and that is what I would like to speak about.”
He decided to leave the band in 2013 and re-invent his life. He is now a solo artist and advocate for mental health and addiction recovery. His story is about surviving abuse, becoming sober, leaving the band and making a real difference in the world.
“We are honoured to have Séan share his music and powerful story of survival. The stigma surrounding mental health and substance use is the biggest factor preventing people from seeking help. When brave individuals like Séan share their stories we encourage people in our community to get help earlier,” said Julia Payson, CMHA executive director. “Join us for an inspirational evening with Séan with all funds raised to support CMHA Vernon to continue to improve mental health in our community.”
Tickets are $35, available from visit www.vernon.cmha.bc.ca or call 250-542-3114.