First responders form a unique and resilient workforce, able to cope with some of society’s most complex and critical situations. As such, tools, resources and programs must be adapted for the unique culture and operational realities of first responder organizations.
Routinely exposed to traumatic events in the course of their duties, they also encounter people who are in vulnerable situations, including regular interaction with people living with mental health problems and illnesses. Collectively, these experiences can take a significant toll, both in human and financial costs.
Featuring Comedy Legend and Headliner - Mike MacDonald
Mike MacDonald is a Canadian Stand-Up Comedian and Actor who is considered by many as the “King of Canadian Comedy”
Mike MacDonald has been performing on stages across North America for more than 30 years. As the son of a career Canadian Air Force officer, MacDonald learned at an early age that humour would make him popular. Born in Metz France, MacDonald grew up on military bases in Western Europe and Canada. Upon his father’s retirement, the MacDonald family moved to Ottawa. After high school, Mike MacDonald toured across Canada as one of two drummers in the band MapleRidge who were sponsored by the Canadian government to perform their rock opera entitled, The Life and Times of Louie Riel. In 1978, at the age of 23, MacDonald tried his own brand of stand-up comedy at some of the local clubs before moving to Toronto, and eventually performing throughout Canada and the United States.
As Mike MacDonald’s fame grew, he appeared on many TV shows including Late Night with David Letterman, The Arsenio Hall Show, and Just For Laughs. He has also written and starred in three nominated and critically acclaimed CBC/Showtime specials of his own: Mike MacDonald; On Target; My House! My Rules; and Happy As I Can Be. He has hosted both the Gemini Awards and the “Just For Laughs 10th Anniversary Special” for the CBC and starred in a sitcom on that network called “Mosquito Lake.”
In 2011, Mike MacDonald was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and moved back to Ottawa from Glendale CA. In April 2012, his illness progressed to the point where his liver and his kidneys shut down and he was immediately put on the waiting list for a liver transplant. Friends organized a campaign to collect donations to support MacDonald and to help cover his medical expenses. On March 17, 2013 MacDonald underwent a successful seven-hour liver transplant operation. Right now, family, especially his wife Bonnie, is central to his continued recovery and renewed sense of just how important life really is. MacDonald has since become an advocate for the Canadian Liver Foundation and mental health
Rick Lemieux has been doing comedy for over 15 years. High energy and a fantastic wit make this act a hard one to follow. The jokes come hard and fast at the expense of his family, friends and better half – all feel Rick’s comedic wrath!
For several years, Rick has been organizing various comedy shows to raise much needed funds for many non-profit organizations. The shows have proven to be very successful and have raised over $100,000. In 2014, Rick started the Timmins Comedy Festival, which has featured many of Canada’s top comedians. Rick is also a well established comedian and has worked throughout Canada. He’s shared the stage with comedy greats, Gerry Dee, Brent Butt, Derek Edwards, Mike MacDonald, Pete Zedlacher and many others!
Since graduating from the National School of Humor in 2006, Nadine has participated in the 2009 Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, at a Changing Gala hosted by Stéphane Fallu. During the Girly Show, as part of the Zoofest, she played for three years as a comedian, founder, author and co-producer with three other female comedians. The girls presented an award at the Gala Les Olivier 2010 and participated in the JMP event of the same year, as part of the Festival Juste Pour Rire. She starred in the show Ben and Jarrod for a while in 2009. We also saw her on the show En Route To My First Gala 2009, as a semi-finalist. It was also seen, in character, during a number on the show Ben and Jarrod, in 2008, and in stand-up on the French site YouHumour. We see Nadine at the Grand Laugh Comedy Club since 2011. She participated in the show Biodegradable, the writings remain as a substitute. She is an official member of the show Cher journal (a Spectra production) in several festivals (including JPR), 2011-2012 editions. Nadine also lent her pen during the HAHAHaïti show during Juste Pour Rire in July 2013, as well as at the Avenir Lac-Mégantic show at the Bell Center, in August 2013. She writes for the webzine Boucle Magazine. Many projects are in development, visit the News tab to find out more! Nadine has continued her training by adding Danielle Fichaud's workshops to her experience with, among other things, this year, a course of play in front of the camera
Robbie Stevenson started comedy in Kingston, Ontario in 2010. However, in 2012 he suffered a set back when he was hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia. Not to be deterred, Robbie came roaring back on to the comedy scene post-diagnosis with an original and hard-hitting comedy style. Unfiltered honesty and a positive attitude, Robbie embraces the darker side of life.