PRESENTATION : Help Your Self  (the Séan McCann Story)

When I was 15 years old I was sexually assaulted by my priest. I spent the next 35 years drinking heavily to numb my pain and avoid my truth. 20 of those years were spent singing in the iconic Canadian party band Great Big Sea. I was high functioning and hiding in plain sight and everything was "fine" until one day it just wasn't.  On November 9th 2011 I put down the bottle and finally decided to Help My Self. I have been in Recovery ever since and I credit my work in communicating through music as being essential to my continued clarity and overall well being. Today Music is my Medicine and that is what I want to speak (and sing) to you about.

If you would like your audience fully engaged with music and truth please email Matt at : matt@seanmccannsings.com



To be in the audience for a Séan McCann performance is a gift to all listeners. Through story, music and the most intimate sharing, Séan opens his heart and connects with each person in a unique way. He allows for people to open up themselves and discover the purest forms of human potential: healing, loving, living and connecting as human beings, to our selves and one another. I can’t emphasize enough the power and influence of Séan on stage. He is a gift to all audiences.
— Clara Hughes, O.C., O.M., 6x Olympic Medalist, Founding spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk
Séan is such an inspiring individual with his unique ability to reach each of us through his music. I see that as a gift. I admire his courage and also knowing that, to be able to help others, we must be strong ourselves. Séan sincerely connects with people by speaking the TRUTH and I am so grateful for our friendship.
— Sheldon Kennedy fellow survivor, former NHL, founder of Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre Calgary
I really wanted to let you know just how impactful and amazing your presentation was at COYO. We had nothing but positive feedback regarding the way you presented, the information you presented and of course the music. A number of people in our audience attend a good many conferences in a year and see a great many speakers. Most people that I heard from ranked you among the best they had ever seen.
— Heather Truscott Special Programmes Consultant Muskoka Education Centre
Thanks again for an honest and engaging show yesterday. By all accounts it exceeded our expectations. I think yours is a message people need to hear.
— Alison Grenier Recovery Kelowna
It was everything we had hoped for – moving, engaging, inspiring and fun! I appreciate your honesty and your generosity – thank you for connecting with everyone at the reception and after the performance.
— Florence De Dominicis, Director- Community Engagement Oakville Public Library
We can’t say enough about the person and the performance of Séan McCann. Sean performed in front of a crowd of 500 and the room was hushed. Our guests just loved his music and his message. While it was a tough life story to deliver, it was ultimately an uplifting message shared with great personal conviction. By the end of the evening, guests, staff and persons recovering from addiction, all felt they had a connection with the man and his music. Séan’s talent, combined with his authenticity, endeared him to us all.
— John Neufeld – Executive Director, House of Friendship Kitchener ON
You really connected with us as a group and as individuals… your story was thought provoking and meaningful, your music inspiring…we work hard to have great conferences, but never have I been approached by so many people saying thank you for the opportunity of being there. So I’m reaching out to say thanks and best wishes from your friends at OMNI ...because we love you, and now you know!
— Pat McCarthy President and CEO of Omni Health Care
Séan, I cannot thank you enough for this weekend. You brought something to our small town and our hospital that was desperately needed. What you are doing is bringing people out of some very dark places. Thank You.
— Holly Archer Senior Development Officer Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care Penetanguishene ON
The buzz around campus and the feedback this morning has been overwhelming. Everyone who attended last night agrees that you need to be seen in more schools!!!
— Jenny Hodgson Algonquin College Pembroke
Sean and his music were a great addition to our event. His story and journey of perseverance is remarkable. The integration of music and speech compliments the message. I highly recommend Sean and would use him again in a heartbeat
— Lina Palotta coordinator Health Achieve (OHA) 2016
Authentic, down to earth, genuine, caring, .... He was freaking fantastic and loved by 300 participants!! Not sure how you do it, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This one was a home run, right out of the park. Love love this guy, he was born to do what he is now doing. The combo of telling and singing his journey.... WOW!
— Atlantic Psychiatric Conference
Séan did not disappoint. He engaged with our attendees from the moment he hit the stage, inserting humour and personal stories between his music sets. Providing a mixture of solo material, Great Big Sea hits, and songs that got the crowd tapping their feet and singing along, our crowd was certainly entertained.
— Sarah Boutron Communications & Events Advisor Alberta Central
Séan was incredible. The perfect blend of amazing music, humour, and intensely personal and moving insights. The audience of 600 was rapt and blown away by Sean’s talent and courage. What more vital message to share than how we can all do the work to help ourselves and that we are all worthy of love and a fulfilling life? Séan was absolutely the perfect choice for our Mental Health Week event and one of the most gracious and inspiring people I have had the pleasure of meeting.
— Melanie McGregor director CMHA Halton Region
It was a privilege and an honour to witness the emotional and moving presentation of Sean McCann’s musical celebration of survival: to hear his voice delivering a message of encouragement and hope; his reaching out to connect with those needing to re-discover their inner strength, to know they are worthy, and that they are not alone, Is not only a message those struggling with addiction need to hear, but a reminder to all of humankind
— Sharon Deally-Grzybowski Program Manager Homewood Health
From heart wrenching to uplifting, Sean was overwhelmingly loved by the participants at our principal’s conference. Sean’s presentation, of music and stories, was personal, powerful and touching. He reminded us of the complexity of students’ lives and the compelling reason why we need to reach out to all students
— Paula Robinson Avon-Maitland District School Board
If anyone is looking for a speaker that combines music to their story of Recovery, Sean is the person you want. His honesty and openness to talk about his addiction was genuine. He was a pleasure to work with! He showed great courage today. His music, humour, presence, all heartwarming.
— London Mission Services
Séan McCann is REAL, an honest presenter with a life story that will impact every audience. You won’t find an easier person to work with than Séan McCann. He is accommodating, selfless and will go the extra mile to guarantee your event is a success.
— Kirk Leach Fund Development Manager, Easter Seals NL
Sean’s engagement with the audience made the evening so much fun. Many of our guests made comments about his energy and enthusiasm as well as his talent. His story-telling through music was magical.
— Manager, Events & Community Giving, Renascent
Séan was a highly engaging speaker and performer, and he connected with our audience in a truly meaningful way. Whether singing, laughing or crying, we thoroughly enjoy every moment of our time with Séan
— Beth Evans Special Events Coordinator Youth Services Bureau Ottawa
Your talk was phenomenal, and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback! Thank you so much for sharing your story with our Respiratory Therapists
— Lindsey Naddaf Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists
Séan shared his story with the audience. It is a difficult story to hear. Through his sincerity and genuine interest in helping others and sharing the music that helped him he engaged and inspired us all. Thank you Séan you are making a difference!
— Colleen MacPhee - Addictions and Mental Health Network of the Champlain
Sean’s openness about his history was striking. To share such a deeply personal story takes tremendous courage and he did it with such skill. The use of his music to share the story was nothing short of amazing, he has a beautiful and soothing voice. The lyrics are very thoughtful and so relevant to many in the audience.
— Laurie DeGrace Chair, Recovery Day Edmonton


His honest, authentic and courageous storytelling approach along with his ability to weave his musical selections to reinforce his message was so incredibly powerful. I have heard from many of our delegates who were so moved by Sean’s message. He is funny, humble, highly engaging, musically brilliant andso approachable. As much as we all know he is a tremendously talented musician, singer and song-writer, he truly has found his calling as an inspirational and motivational speaker/performer/storyteller with an important message that needs to be shared.
— Karen Tomlin Kitchener-Waterloo district schoolboard
Sean McCann is an incredibly talented artist, who is using his gift to share his personal journey with addiction and recovery.
He spoke and sang to us with honesty, rawness, and even humour, and our members, who provide services and supports for people living with mental illness and addiction issues, were touched by how his lyrics resonate with the people they serve.
To hear Sean’s moving story of recovery, alongside his beautiful music, is an experience our members will never forget.
Thank you Sean
— Gail Czukar, CEO Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
Séan McCann’s message of inspiration with song is a perfect combination that left us in a state of awe. For those of us in the front line of the helping field, Séan’s message of hope and recovery through song and story, reinforced our passion to continue to help others.
— Tom Gabriel President, Addiction Studies Forum Inc.