shauna specht


Singer/songwriter, Shauna Specht, hopes she is evidence that it is never too late to start a music career. Last year, at age 44, she has released her first album of original songs, built and layered on an alt/folk/pop canvas, to enthusiastic response. Drawing from life experience, personal insight and a deep fascination for the human condition, Tail of a Comet is an engaging album, rich in emotion and meaning

2016 Speakers & Entertainers  

Chris Kelly - on air host, 104.9 Virgin Radio


Catch Chris Kelly on 104.9 VIRGIN Radio
Mon-Fri 2PM-6PM

Jessica Ward-King


Jessica Ward-King has a PhD in Psychology, but took years to finally accept that she was struggling with chronic mental illness.  Hospital admissions, a couple dozen shocks, a million medications, weight gain, libido loss, years spent on the therapist's couch, a pile of self-help books, a gaggle of supporters, two medical trials, and one surgery later...Jessica is still struggling.  But after all of these years she finally accepts that she always will be.  And that's OK. That's what living well in recovery looks like for her.

Clayton CasTEL


Clayton Castel has been playing bagpipes since he was 12. He takes requests, but it's no use, he'll just keep playing anyway. He is currently working on his bachelor in physics, which makes his favorite meal FISSION chips. In any case, he's proud to be here supporting mental health awareness and hopes you all enjoy the event.

Marcus fung drumming 


A student of life. He channels his passion, creativity and learnings into his work and play. A professional facilitator, educator, and emissary of the Inclusive, expressive arts.  Championing the virtues of harmony, inclusitivity and co-operation. Self-empowerment, through natural learning, creativity, compassion, deep listening, infinite potential, focus and playfulness. 

FORM 10


Feature performers and platinum sponsors, Form 10 often include themes of mental health as inspiration for their music. Drawing off of personal experiences working in the emergency services field, band members Greg, Aaron, and Richard have seen first hand the adverse effects of being "first on scene"; as well as the possible post traumatic ramifications that may present themselves. On the flip side, drummer CJ knows all too well the detriment that the "home and away" lifestyle of the oil and gas sector can have on a person's state of wellbeing. Together they stand as advocates in awareness,as a way to bring to the public eye the need for mental health programming. For more info on Form 10 visit www.form10.ca.

ENTERTAINERS

NISHA PATEL


Nisha Patel is a spoken word poet from Edmonton, Alberta. She was a member of the 2015 Edmonton Slam Team, and has performed and competed at numerous events, including the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, Next Fest, and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. She was shortlisted for the position of City of Edmonton Youth Poet Laureate in 2015. She is a graduate of the Alberta School of Business.

SIMON GORSAK


Simon Gorsak is an Edmonton comedian who confronts depression and suicide through comedy. “Simon has been many things in his 26 years: An actor in plays at the Citadel, manager of a popular Edmonton music venue and now a rising figure in Edmonton’s comedy scene. He’s been dogged by depression the whole way. His mission is comedy, but wants to use the megaphone that he’s been given,” he says. “I feel like I have a social responsibility to talk about the struggle that I’m going through.“I think the fact that I’m able to talk about these things is why I’m still here.”

Kane Blacque


Kane Blacque is a 40 year old gay, aboriginal survivor of major depression, child abuse, sexual abuse & sexual exploitation, homophobic bullying, suicide, addiction, PTSD, bulimia, and sex trafficking. His life has been far from easy and at 36 years old, he decided that it was time to change everything. And he did just that.

Alyssa Strand


Alyssa Strand is a singer/songwriter and recording artist from Spruce Grove, Alberta. Her unique genre of country-rock music, including her latest single, "Spinning" can be found on ITunes. Alyssa is passionate about mental health awareness, and is delighted to be a part of #yegsemicolon

DIRT ROAD ANGELS 


This female quintet of spunky singer-songwriters and kindred spirits formed their band in May 2013, released a compilation album in September 2013, and released their brand new album "Paint The Town Red" in September 2014. These five talented, creative and seasoned recording artists that make up the Dirt Road Angels are: Shawna Lynne from the Cold Lake, AB, Shila Marie from Tofield, AB, Danita from Plamondon, AB, Karen Claypool from Spruce Grove, AB and Dahlia Wakefield from Maidstone, SK.  

IMAN BOUSSAADA


Iman Boussaada is an entrepreneur, life and business coach, soon to be published author and transformational speaker who helps people go from unfulfilled to living with joy, self-love and confidence.

Sean Swaby


Sean M. Swaby lives in Edmonton and has worked in the Mental Health and Addictions field for over 20 years. He aims to thrive, despite his depression and anxiety. His passion is to write in the areas of mental health and addiction, family, leadership, and anything that demonstrates the power of story. He is an Editor at The Good Men Project and a contributing writer to the Real Edition recovery magazine. 

Mat GardnER


Mat is a 35 year old single father that has suffered from mental illness for as long as he can remember. He encountered sexual abuse as a child, battled depression, addictions of various kinds and has been afflicted by suicidal attempts and tendencies throughout his life. "I believe we are not alone, and I am working hard to realize that message. Through sharing my experience via public speaking, event participation and creation with EMHAC truly believe I can make a difference."

OPENING CEREMONIES EMCEES

SPEAKERS

DAVE JAMIESON - ON AIR HOST, TSN 1260 


Catch Dave Jamieson on TSN 1260
Mon-Fri Noon-2PM

TYLER COLLINS


Tyler Collins is an Edmonton based singer/songwriter. He has been playing since he was 9 and writing since age 10. He is currently trying to get out of a music slump and finish his next cd. Tyler is a pretty creative guy…he makes makes remarkable bowties and can play guitar while riding a unicycle.

KATHLEEN SMITH


Kathleen Smith is a well-known blogger and Twitter user under the name @KikkiPlanet, she’s used to openly discussing everything from politics to movies and food with her 19,000 followers. So when her son committed suicide, she knew she wasn’t going to keep his cause of death quiet. While families of victims of suicide often choose to mourn quietly, Kathleen has since become an active participant in the discussion surrounding mental health and suicide.