Victoria Cool Aid Society | September 2015 - Victoria Cool Aid Society


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Medicated – A Cool Night of Comedy with Mike MacDonald

poster-Medicated-Victoria-2015Medicated Raises over $1,400 for Cool Aid’s REES Programs

Hecklers Comedy Club
Tuesday, October 13th at 8PM

Mike MacDonald came to Victoria on October 13th for a sold-out night of comedy for a great cause. Mike has appeared on HBO, Showtime, the Comedy Network, and Late Night With David Letterman. He holds the record for 25 appearances on CBC’s Just For Laughs and has also starred in three critically acclaimed television specials, and his full talents were on display this Tuesday as he inspired support for a cause that is close to his heart.

Mike has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and hepatitis C, and in 2013 underwent a successful seven-hour liver transplant operation. Besides trying to entertain and educate audiences about the prevention of liver related illnesses he has also spoken out from personal experience about addiction, and the stigma attached to mental illness.

Melanie Rose, Mark Robertson and Paul Oppers also took the stage to support Cool Aid’s REES program and fill the room with laughter.

Melanie Rose has been performing since 2007, and in 2014 was featured on the APTN show She Kills Me. In addition to her standup comedy, Melanie is dedicated to working with mental health organizations to remove the stigma of mental illness. She works for a community housing and shelter society in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, and has performed for Pacific Blue Cross, Correctional Services and numerous medical health professional associations.

Mark Robertson has been performing standup comedy for 7 years, currently producer as and host of his own weekly show, RATFISH.

Paul Oppers can be seen all over town performing comedy, music and theatre. He finds time around his busy performance schedule to work with the Victoria Cool Aid Society. Last august he performed at the 2014 Canadian Comedy Awards, and Paul Co-Produces a number of comedy shows in Victoria working hard to build a sense of community through collaboration and mutual respect within disenfranchised groups. Paul is grateful to be a part of such a worthwhile show and hopes to see you all there!

This very special event benefits the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s REES Program, supporting people struggling with mental health and addictions challenges. It was also a terrific night of entertainment for everyone.

Thank you so much Mike, Mark, Melanie, and Paul for this great event!


Three Apartment Buildings Planned to House 185 People

The Society’s “Help End Homelessness” campaign is working to build 360 more supportive housing apartments for people who are homeless in the Capital Region. We are currently developing three properties with room for 185 people to live (51% of the campaign target of 360).

“This is a very exciting time for Cool Aid and the community, as we work towards actually ending homelessness, with Victoria and the Capital Region potentially leading the country in a new direction,” said executive director Kathy Stinson. “The fact that ending homelessness costs less than leaving people to suffer in our streets and parks can give everyone great hope and confidence that together we will succeed.”

“I am delighted that Victoria’s Planning & Governance committee has recommended taking its bold plan for funding the construction of 367 apartments to the CRD,” she continued. “As well, we will need to secure ongoing, operational funding to ensure adequate support services are in place.”

Cool Aid recently had its conditional offer on an unoccupied building accepted. If the deal can be completed by mid-November, 101 people who are homeless could be housed in the “Dr. Joe Haegert Centre”, which will also offer support and health services on site for tenants. The Society is currently undertaking engineering, architectural and fundraising work before it can sign off on the deal.

Cool Aid also plans to redevelop its Cedar Grove property, with the goal of adding an additional 39 apartments to the 21 currently on site. Pre-development work is currently underway.

City-of-Vic-Campaign-Gift-2015-main-page-BannerThe CRD’s Regional Housing Trust Fund added the final $675,000 in funding for Cottage Grove – a multi-million project to house 45 seniors in Saanich who are currently homeless. With this final piece of funding, Cool Aid hopes to break ground before the year’s end with its partners, including Victoria, Saanich and the CRD.

“Taken together, these three properties, if acted upon quickly, could house 185 people who are currently homeless, by the end of 2018,” said Kathy Stinson. “Cool Aid continues to actively look for other suitable properties, funding to support the ongoing operations, and $5 million in gifts, to build a total of 360 apartments during our campaign.”

Interested persons, businesses and organizations who wish to get involved in the Help End Homelessness campaign are invited to contact Kathy Stinson at:

  • or 250-414-4792
  • Or #buildhomes and VicCoolAid on social media

– END –


Kathy Stinson, 250-414-4792,


The Victoria Cool Aid Society builds homes, lives and community. We create opportunities for people who are homeless or living in poverty. We make a difference through housing, health care, support and emergency shelters. Founded in 1968, Cool Aid helps over 9,000 people in the Capital Region every year, at 14 locations in Langford, Victoria and Saanich. The Society’s major new campaign is “Help End Homelessness”, to build an additional 360 apartments for people in the community who have no home. #buildhomes

Victoria Cool Aid Society currently operates 374 supportive housing apartments, in ten apartment buildings, for people who have been homeless. Each property has on-site housing support workers to ensure that the tenants succeed in staying housed and healthy.

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