OTTAWA, Feb. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - Following the outstanding human gestures of Canadian Olympic athletes at Sochi, an unknown Canadian artist and grieving father has stepped up with his own gesture of peace and hope for those suffering with mental health illness in Canada and around the world. With it's main message of hope and hockey, Larry Pegg has created a unique Hockey-meets-Mental-Health music video called Don't Stop Stompin'. In part, it's a tribute to the late Stompin' Tom Connors, Canada's and the world's hockey-song hero, but primarily it is sending the message of love and to "Never give up on LIFE."
Filmed in early February at the Canadian International Hockey Academy (CIHA) in Rockland, Ontario, the music video's cast of film makers and eighty (80) young hockey athletes from eleven (11) countries are all trying to send the world a mental health awareness message wrapped in the metaphors of hockey and love under the campaign banner Hockey is Great. LIFE is BIGGER!
A "first-cut" of the music video was publicly previewed on Valentine's Day (February 14th), in Perth, Ontario for the local hockey team's home game. As a community, Perth is still reeling after a rash of young men died by suicide in 2010. Pegg says, "Perth is representative of communities across Canada and around the world. Like anyone, I want these terrible and tragic stories to end, especially for our young people, sons and daughters who we lose so senselessly and in an instant." The final-cut version will be available in broadcast quality and on YouTube on February 20th.
The powerful and emotional pre-release promo video can be found at the project's website. www.TheHockeyProject.ca. The promo captures preparations for the shoot and images of the CIHA students sharing Pegg's moving story of losing his daughter to suicide. His presentation took place on January 28th (Bell Let's Talk day).
The 1 in 5
One in five Canadians will be affected by a mental health (MH) illness during their lifetime. For Pegg the metaphor is glaring. "That's like putting 1 in every 5 Canadians in the penalty box. As a nation we're permanently short-handed and we'll never win with this endless deficit. For Canada, or any nation, to be at our most healthy and efficient we need that extra player out of the penalty box and back into the game of life." Pegg goes on, "This is a global issue." Pegg adds, "While no death is easy or acceptable, most of Canada has an average suicide rate, but our Northern peoples suffer one of the highest rates in the world, so this MH story is also about Canada's failure in protecting its northern and native peoples, and not to stop there, it includes our armed forces and front-line responders such as fire fighters, police, paramedics, nurses and doctors who are all showing high rates of PTSD, and of course our young people for whom suicide is the second leading cause of death. This is an epidemic."
Don't Stop Stompin' combines the joys of music and sport, even drawing on the messages of The Beatles when the announcer wearing a Beatles 1964 replica suit references "Across the Universe" later brandishing a heart poster on the ice, as if saying "All you need is Love." Pegg's daughter loved the Beatles and he is consciously acknowledging this connection, believing in the universe of hockey (that she loved) taking lead on this issue. Pegg points out, "the community of hockey is already strong and motivated to drop the gloves and help in their respective communities."
Reaching Out to Sochi
As "the" globally-recognized nation of hockey, and because of the Sochi worldstage, Pegg believes there is real potential for Canada's athletes to reach out to and engage many at Sochi. He's asking Canada's athletes and the "world of hockey" to lead on this issue.
We need to get Canadians stomping for our teams, for Stompin' Tom's legacy, for our collective hockey passion, and to show the world not only how crazy we are about hockey, but how concerned we are for all people. We need to do this in arenas, pubs, theatres and homes across the nation and throughout the world of hockey, and we can do it now to this music."
Video with caption: "Video: The Hockey Project Music Video". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20140220_C5896_VIDEO_EN_36952.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20140220_C5896_PHOTO_EN_36952.jpg&clientName=The%20Hockey%20Project&caption=Video%3A%20The%20Hockey%20Project%20Music%20Video&title=THE%20HOCKEY%20PROJECT%20%2D%20Canadian%20singer%2Dsongwriter%20releases%20%26quot%3Bhockey%2Dmeets%2Dmental%2Dhealth%26quot%3B%20music%20video%20in%20support%20of%20suicide%20prevention%20%2D%20his%20message%20is%20aimed%20at%20hearts%20in%20Sochi&headline=Canadian%20singer%2Dsongwriter%20releases%20%26quot%3Bhockey%2Dmeets%2Dmental%2Dhealth%26quot%3B%20music%20video%20in%20support%20of%20suicide%20prevention%20%2D%20his%20message%20is%20aimed%20at%20hearts%20in%20Sochi
Image with caption: "Canadian singer-songwriter releases "hockey-meets-mental-health" music video in support of suicide prevention (CNW Group/The Hockey Project)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140220_C5896_PHOTO_EN_36937.jpg
SOURCE: The Hockey Project
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