Be Brave Luncheon
On Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 more than 800 community leaders and Little Warriors friends came together at the Edmonton Convention Centre for the 7th Annual Be Brave Luncheon support of the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch. In total, just under $600,000 was raised in essential funding to long-term, trauma informed treatment for children who have been sexually abused.
Delivering this year’s keynote address, “Songs Without Secrets”, Séan McCann captivated attendees with a mix of storytelling and song. He spoke openly about being sexually abused as a boy by a parish priest and the decades he spent trying to bury the childhood trauma with alcohol. After leaving the Canadian folk-rock group Great Big Sea, Séan found the courage to face his truth, conquer his addiction and speak openly about the secret he had held onto for so long.
“We’re so grateful to Séan for sharing his story and spreading his message of hope and healing—not only at the luncheon, but also at the Be Brave Ranch, where he spent time with some of the children receiving treatment,” says Glori Meldrum, Founder and Chair of Little Warriors. “It’s so important for the kids to see that he experienced the same kind of trauma as them and overcame it. It’s genuinely inspiring.”
Keynote Speaker: Sean McCann
As a founding member of acclaimed Newfoundland band Great Big Sea, Séan McCann has sold over 2 million albums and travelled the world making every night of the week a Saturday night for the legions of music lovers who propelled the band to fame. Despite the success however, it was a very unhealthy place for Séan to be. Music is supposed to connect, heal, and bring happiness, and while Séan was giving that to tens of thousands of people a night, he himself was lost. Instead of finding truth in his music he was using it to hide, which wasn’t fair to his fans or himself. So he left the band and started over.
After exiting Great Big Sea and publicly admitting a secret past in which he used alcohol to mask the pain of sexual abuse by a priest, Séan stopped lying to himself and found his truth and his own voice. His 2014 album “Help Your Self” was his personal battle cry as he decided to share the secrets that had been haunting him for 30 years. Music became his medicine.
Performing ‘songs without secrets’ was a starting point for Séan and a rallying point for other survivors of sexual abuse. Séan’s courage to confront his truth and share his journey of healing with the world is an inspiration to survivors everywhere and has set him on a new path in which he uses his experiences to help others confront their own truth. Our luncheon title, “Songs Without Secrets” recognizes Séan’s accomplishments as a musician, songwriter and performer and his commitment to share his story with passion and honesty.