WHERE WE STARTED
Our organization was formed to carry on the late brilliant Canadian comedian Matt Billon's passion for helping people.
Matt, like many other comedians, suffered from mental health and addiction. This organization aims to help as many humans as we can in these struggles, through comedy, awareness, societal partnerships, fundraising and donations.
Our mission is simple; to be comedians connecting artists struggling with mental health and addiction with support, resources, and subsidized rehabilitation.
Our goal is to raise funds and awareness through comedy and connections, proving laughter is the best medicine.
WHAT WE DO
The Billon Foundation aims to:
Provide financial support for counselling, rehabilitation, and post-recovery support.
Introduce artists to support groups and networking to provide stability and connection within the lives of those affected with mental health and addiction.
Teach healthy constructive outlets and avenues of healing for pent up emotions and past traumas through creativity and the arts.
Spread awareness through live shows, social media, the press, and whatever means we find essential to support our cause.
We offer a safe place for comedians, musicians, and performance artists who struggle with their mental health and addictions to come forward and engage in a path to true healing and recovery.
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY
We have a unique opportunity to create a meaningful change in our our entertainment industry. Too often we, as artists, focus on enhancing the joy of others, at the expense of our own mental health and wellbeing. This is a chance to change a sometimes negative stigma within the industry into a kindhearted one that takes care of their own.
Mental health issues and self-treatment through drug and alcohol abuse have become commonplace for artists, and we generally do not have the insurance benefits, personal support, or motivation and direction to take the timely steps necessary to become mentally healthy and happy.
The core group starting this organization knows the impact of inaction when it comes to mental health and addiction, and are motivated to ease and prevent further suffering of others. We know there are many more who will engage in this movement and make an incredible difference in saving lives.
45,851 deaths Canada-wide between 2010-2020, due to suicide.*
Approximately 4,000 people die by suicide each year in Canada.
An additional 2,336 Canadians were lost in 2021 alone due to illicit drug overdoses.
Donate to our cause!
If you'd like to help us make a difference, you can send an e-transfer to: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can use paypal below
All donations go directly to support our mission of connecting artists who are ready to make a change in their lives.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
We would love to have you on board!
Email us with your name, city you live in, what this cause means to you, and how you'd like to be involved- we can't wait to hear from you! email@example.com
Co-Founder, Events & Media Lead
Peter is one of Matt Billon’s best friends. He is also a headline standup comedian/producer. Peter is a proud father and community mental health advocate. His experience and skills related to the comedy industry, paired with his newly acquired certification in Mental Health Support and Crisis Response, along with his love for Matt makes him an invaluable co-founder of this project.
Co-Founder, Administrator, Subsidy Management Lead
Kim is Matt Billon’s sister. From her 20 years of experience in the federal government and in the local advisory committee of assistance programs, Kim’s strengths include organizational and administrative skills, and experience in facilitating information sessions and connecting people to resources related to mental health and addiction. Kim’s educational background of Business Administration, Fine Arts, and Education, along with her close connection and dedication to her brother’s memory, are at the disposal of this group to ensure its success, while having a laugh.
Co-Founder, Grants & Partnerships Lead
Ryan is one of Matt’s closest friends and has had over 20 years of experience in standup comedy and public speaking. Ryan has been hired multiple times as a keynote speaker in Canada and the US, and has a degree in International Business and Trade and Logistics.
Fundraisers & Merchandise Team
Chris is Matt's older brother. He is passionate about the entertainment business and he's been working in the film industry for 12 years. He has worked in many different areas of the industry. Chris has had roles as a production assistant, locations manager, background coordinator and currently as a 3rd assistant director. He also worked in hospitality for over 20 years in a wide range of positions. Chris is a kind and thoughtful person who loves helping people in need. He brings a smile to people's faces with his funny humour and friendly personality.
Fundraisers & Merchandise Team
Spencer is one of Matt Billon’s two nephews. He is currently going to school trying to figure out the right career choice, but has experience in almost all trade related careers, which has developed great trouble-shooting skills and is here to keep things running smoothly in any way shape or form. He also has many business connections in Matt's family's home town of Penticton BC, and his youth presence will help contribute and bring awareness of mental health and addiction to our younger crowds.
Fundraisers & Merchandise Team
Ethan is Matt Billon's youngest nephew. Ethan has a passion for fitness and nutrition, and is currently obtaining his Personal Trainer license. Ethan's love for his uncle, and like-minded compassion for others, has motivated him to be involved in this organization. Ethan and Spencer are co-creating and managing The Billon Foundation merchandise, and look forward to attending as many events as possible to connect with others.
Fundraisers & Merchandise Lead
Tanya was Matt’s girlfriend over the last 2 years and shared many wonderful and fun memories with him. Tanya’s strengths include 20 years of professional sales in the medical field, experience putting on large events, presentations and having a strong business background.
Tanya’s educational background includes a degree in Management. Her loving dedication to Matt’s memory and a passion for helping make a difference, makes her enthusiastic to be part of this project.
Marketing, Web & Design
Creation has always been the driving force behind all of Brennan’s ventures. A graduated graphic designer from Vancouver Island University, Brennan has offered his skills to a vast range of projects including web design, brand revitalization, marketing management, and business restoration. Brennan got his start in Nanaimo restoring, rebranding and managing the popular LevelTwo Nightclub, later achieving similar success in assisting in the restoration of The Queen’s. While managing these venues, simultaneously going to VIU, and taking on odd design jobs, Brennan started up Mindsai Creative, and within a few months what was once a part-time gig had grown into a full 6 person team. Since then, the Mindsai team has run several online marketing campaigns and rebranding initiatives, and helped many local businesses get a leap forward in the digital world.
Grants & Partnerships, Fundraisers & Merchandise Teams
Emma is a Continuing Care Assistant who moved to BC from Saskatchewan a few years ago and has been working with Ryan Lachance. Through her and Ryan’s friendship she met Matt and became good friends with him as well. She has fallen in love with the comedy industry from watching Ryan at his shows and has become a part of the Vancouver comedy scene. Emma is good at kindling strong connections and friendships which will be an asset for when the Billon Foundation is fundraising and doing comedy tours. She is very passionate about helping others and is ready to help when wherever she is needed.
Events & Media Team
Jesse is a Hip-Hop entrepreneur, spoken word artist, and stand up comedian. Together with Andrew Pahl they formed the group Katch 22”. Jesse brings to the group strong writing, communication, and relationship building along with a passion for his craft that can not be substituted. His dedication to this project. The members involved, and all those struggling with mental health and addictions are strong and unsurmountable.
Admin & Media Coordinator
Laurah-Lee Christie’s first introduction to the Nanaimo Comedy scene was when she ended up attending a show with both Matt Billon & Peter Hudson over 7 years ago. She quickly became friends with them and many other comics across the country as she continuously attended every show she could. She has been a fan of stand-up comedy since she was a child and often credits comedians for helping her through her own mental health struggles and firmly believes laughter is the best medicine!
With almost 30 years' experience in various Administrative and Management roles over her career, she founded her own business, LL Yoga & Wellness in 2009. She runs the business as a sole proprietor handling the bookkeeping, all technology related to having an online business, that she transitioned over to in early 2020. She created and manages her website and all social media platforms, as well as other administrative duties and teaching weekly online Yoga/Meditation classes.
She describes herself as an Energetic Alignment Coach, using all the same healing modalities she practices which helped her overcome her own depression, PTSD, anxiety and insomnia 20 years ago. She is a registered Yoga/Meditation Teacher, Reiki Master, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/tapping) and Law Of Attraction (LOA) practitioner. She teaches and coaches all her clients on how to use these practices and techniques to deal with all of life’s challenges and eliminate fears, self-doubt and limiting beliefs standing in your way of achieving your goals in your personal life or as an entrepreneur.
Matt Billon was the one who inspired her to transition her business to a completely online format & he was one of the first people to find out that she had started this new venture in focusing on creating a program specifically to help others through their mental health struggles. His support for her own venture has fueled her passion and motivation to carry out this mission within The Billon Foundation.
TBF's next event is December 5, 2022 at the Laugh Shop in Calgary, AB!
Stay tuned for more details soon! If you'd like to be involved, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org!
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
A huge heartfelt thank you to
TOGETHER WE CAN
For providing our very first full treatment sponsorship for a comedian in the Lower Mainland as a result of TBF's inaugural event- SoberFest 2022!