In April 2020, Brooks will once again be the host site for the Rural Mental Health Conference and a conference headliner has just been signed. As a founding member of renowned Newfoundland band Great Big Sea - Séan McCann has sold over 2 million albums and traveled the world making every night of the week a Saturday night. 

Originally from Gull Island, Newfoundland, Séan and Great Big Sea played their first official gig in 1993 and the years that followed were full of performances, album releases, awards, filming DVDs, touring and all the excitement that comes with being in a rock band. But for Séan, he was dealing with demons and inner turmoil resulting from childhood sexual abuse by a priest. He used drinking to numb the pain and avoid facing his truth. 

After 20 years with Great Big Sea, Séan announced, much to the surprise of his fans and bandmates, that he would be leaving the band. This difficult decision was part of an overall attempt to make changes in his life and build a positive future. His new path now finds Séan connecting with people face to face by using his music as medicine as he continues his journey as a singer, songwriter, and now an acclaimed speaker and mental health and recovery advocate with a simple message: Sing. Share. Survive. 

Séan will be performing as part of the Rural Mental Health Conference and will also take the stage for a community event. 

He will be performing “One Good Reason: A Story of Addiction, Recovery, Music and Love”. After being abused by a priest at the age of 16, he spent 35 years drinking to hide the truth – he was living with a secret and hiding in plain sight. On November 9th, 2011, Séan put down the bottle and made a commitment to himself. 

“Music has been my medicine in recovery, helping me communicate and find clarity even in the most difficult moments. Now I share that medicine and message of hope with others through story and song,” says McCann on his new path. 

The Séan McCann community performance will be held on Wednesday, April 29th at 7 p.m. at the Heritage Inn and Convention Centre and is open to all members of the community. Tickets can be purchased for $30 each and are available through Eventbrite at: 

Conference registration opens February 1st, 2020. For more information about the Rural Mental Health Conference, please follow us on Facebook or contact:  Roberta Rogers, M.Ed., CCAC, RSW 

Conference Chair, Student Development Department, Medicine Hat College-Brooks Campus 403-362-1677 



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