May 9, 2014


1,200 people gathered in the Vancouver Convention Centre’s ballroom last night and collectively raised almost $2.2 million for Coast Mental Health.

“We will all leave tonight with our souls nourished,” Lorne Segal said at the close of the gala. “By giving, caring, faith, hope and endurance, we will find the strength to face our own fears and achieve our own dreams. These [award winners] are symbols of the possibility that lies within us all.”

The gala saluted the six award winners – Brenda Gardiner, Paul Caune, Joe Calendino, Kennedy Baker, Kristine Stanbra and Jackie Hooper and raised money for the evening’s host, the Coast Mental Health Foundation. Segal, whose father Joe is a long-time Coast supporter, is the chairman of the annual event which, this year, had a record-breaking sold-out crowd.

Among the attendees were several provincial cabinet members and mayors. At one point, Terry Lake, minister of health, “spontaneously” got up to whisper into the ear of finance minister Mike de Jong. Lake then announced that de Jong had approved of a $1-million commitment to Coast Mental Health’s at-risk youth program, which provides housing and support for youth between the ages of 18 and 25 who are living with mental illness. “Make sure you get a receipt,” de Jong quipped.

Infinity Films has been producing the Courage to Come Back awards since 1999.