Release: A Different Stage of Mind sees record-breaking year with over $400,000 raised for mental health

February 20th marked a record-breaking night of fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. The 12th annual BMO Bank of Montreal A Different Stage of Mind event featured performances from five “star” groups made up of Nova Scotian business leaders.

Each group was committed to raising $50,000 for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia through ticket sales, fundraisers, and high end sponsorships, as well as live donations during, and following, the show. Gross revenue for the event was over $400,000.

"The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is overwhelmed by this incredible outpouring of support. Our groups began this mission as stars and have ended it as friends. Funds raised will make a real difference to the more than 200,000 Nova Scotians who are living with mental illness," said Starr Dobson, Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia President & CEO on Monday.

Hosted by Mayor Mike Savage, the Vegas-themed show drew a sold out crowd of over 600 guests to the World Trade & Convention Centre.

The final tally positioned the Spice Girls as the Top Fundraising Award winner for the night. A friendly rivalry found the Grease Group in close pursuit with over $100,000 raised. All groups met or exceeded their fundraising goals.

Lindsay Construction’s Kirby Putnam as James Taylor had fans chanting his name as winner of the People’s Choice Award. Kirby’s final song “Faith” was an original musical tribute to his brother, the late Dr. Andrew Putnam. Dr. Putnam had struggled his whole life with mental illness, and passed away in summer 2014. The entire cast joined Kirby onstage in chorus to end the song.

Following Kirby’s performance, Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia President & CEO Starr Dobson called on audience members to extend the impact of the event by becoming monthly donors. Dobson also announced a new partnership with Dalhousie University in Andrew’s memory; a surprise to Kirby and Putnam family members in attendance.

Dr. Andrew Putnam was a graduate of Dalhousie Medical School. The Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation and Dalhousie Medical School will be funding a 3-4 year studentship for mental health research in Andrew’s name. The Dr. Andrew Putnam Studentship will provide a stipend to a Dalhousie Medical Student to continue their research endeavours throughout the summer. A visibly moved Putnam received the announcement with appreciation.

In keeping with the Vegas theme, the lucky Air Canada Foundation Viva Las Vegas raffle prize winner took home airfare for two to Vegas (or anywhere in North America Air Canada flies).

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia extends gratitude to all sponsors and supporters. Special thanks to presenting sponsor BMO Bank of Montreal; A/V Sponsor, Sound Systems Plus; Branding Sponsor, Revolve; Event Sponsor, ZedEvents great productions; Media Sponsor, CTV News Atlantic; and Video & Animation Sponsor, Egg Studios. 

More information about A Different Stage of Mind can be found at

View the A Different Stage of Mind Photo Gallery at

Photos by Scott Munn, PhotoMunn

A Different Stage of Mind Cast

Copacabana: A theatrical troupe of singers, dancers and actors from Cape Breton, led by Cambridge Suites Sydney General Manager, Michele Bianchini.
Agents: Kiki Kachafanas, Colleen Tobin.

James Taylor: Lindsay Construction Executive Vice President, Kirby Putnam.
Agents: David and Keith Dexter.

The Grease Group:  Spa-Dee-Da Founder & Partner, Jody McComb MacDonald; BMO Nesbitt Burns Vice President & Wealth Advisor, Marc Champoux;  Mills Halifax Co-Owner and Partner, Stewart McKelvey, Lisa Gallivan; Himmelman & Associates President, Brian Himmelman; All Nova Scotia Reporter Eva Hoare; DHX Media Executive Vice President Corporate Development & IR, David Regan; Sacred Heart School of Halifax Director of Advancement, Miriam Regan;  Stuart & Davidson Orthodontics’ Dr. Dan Stuart; Theriault Financial Owner, Jeff Theriault.
Agents: Catherine Campbell, Grant Machum and Margo Mosher Swain.

The Old Spice Girls: Bullfrog Power Inc. National Sales Director, Holly Bond; Mondia Alliance Territory Sales Representative, Nancy Johnston; LimeLight Group President & Founder, Kim King; CBC Radio Health Reporter, Diane Paquette; Revolve Senior Brand Strategist, Carol Ritchie.
Agents: Darrell Johnston, Bruce Marchand, Phil Otto.

The Women for Mental Health: A 29-member women’s choir composed of Nova Scotia business leaders and mental health advocates, led by Jane Davies.

Story updated April 28, 2015

About the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is a registered charity dedicated to improving the lives of Nova Scotians living with mental illness and their loved ones.  We raise funds for vital programs and services that help make this possible, province-wide.





Colleen Fraser, Communications Coordinator
Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia

T: (902) 464-3210

Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia

Suite 1120, 300 Pleasant Street

Dartmouth, NS   B2Y 3Z9