A local non-profit foundation that advocates for breaking down barriers around mental health is spearheading a music festival in Nose Creek Regional Park to showcase helpers, healers, and heroes on June 26.
The live music event will feature local musicians including headliner Nice Horse, local acts Flaysher, Steve Jevne, and Christian Hudson, along with food trucks, raffles, and a variety of unique vendors that are passionate about bringing whole-body wellness to the masses. It will last all day, running from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
According to Kim Titus, director of the Thumbs Up Foundation, the upcoming festival has been an evolution over many years as the next step to honour the spirit of the Titus’ son Jesse Braden “Brady” Titus, who passed away as a result of suicide in 2015.
“[The festival] is in the spirit of how Braden lived, which is with music and food and good energy,” Titus said. “We fundamentally believe that’s how we’re going to change the world.
“[It’s about] creating that kind of energy and enthusiasm that draws people in so we can have conversations [around mental health and addiction].”
According to Titus, the foundation has held music events in the past, but this will be the biggest undertaking for the organization “in this arena.”
She added the event has been a work in progress for some time, but the stars ultimately aligned this year to make the event a reality.
“We changed our focus from addiction and mental health, which we think is focusing on the problem, to resiliency awareness,” Titus said. “Which we think focuses on the opportunities and the solutions.”
The family-friendly event is free to attend, according to Titus. She added the essence of Sunday's festival is to bring diversity to the community and bridge different demographics together.
“We were limited in our success in that because we had a short period of time and we were limited in our own connections, but we have youth represented, and the Indigenous community,” she said.
“This is just a starting point and we’re hoping to build on it next year – our aspirations are to have this become a yearly event.”
Titus said the event will aim to focus on opportunities and solutions for mental health and addictions rather than the problem, which “opens up the whole aperture” and brings people together.
“We say all the time we are only as healthy as the least healthy among us, and that’s the individual,” she said. “That’s the family and the community, and society.
“This is coming together as a community, removing the barriers, and saying, ‘How can we be better together? How can we be in the same boat rowing in the same direction? Each doing our part as a healer, a helper, or a hero.
“We focus on putting unity in community, connect in connection, and human in humanity.”
She said the focus on community combined with music, food, and good energy will help to build momentum, interest and the attraction in mental health awareness, and might ultimately kick-start some important conversations.
“If we focus there, that in itself brings all the communities together,” she said.
Titus added the event, put together in a short time span thanks to a large number of volunteers, will be going ahead rain or shine.
“We’re committed to it,” she said. “There’s going to be something for everyone – we've got magicians, we’ve got vendors – It's [going to be] a good day”
Those interested in attending the event can find more information on thethumbsupfoundation.com or on the organization’s Facebook page, along with info on the foundation’s latest raffles.