In the Media


2012 ODD SQUAD Gala Fundraiser

We’re back on the beat as we prepare to go beyond the call of duty and celebrate 15 years ODD SQUAD style! A gourmet sit-down dinner, spirited Live Auction, unique Silent Auction and many magical surprises are in store for our guests.Your support of the annual Gala Fundraiser allows Odd Squad to continue funding outstanding educational presentations, peer mentoring workshops and documentaries for use in schools and communities. As a trusted resource and leader in prevention education Odd Squad empowers young people to learn the true value in making positive life choices. With more funding we can achieve more impact in reaching youth on the pitfalls of drug use and criminal behaviour. For 2012 make Odd Squad a smart investment to help keep kids on track. Join us this year as a Guest, Sponsor, Auction Item Donor or Volunteer & make a difference with our youth! The 2012 Odd Squad Gala Fundraiser is on Thursday, June 7th in the West Ballroom at the stunning Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place. A cocktail reception begins at 5:00 followed by the Dinner and Program at 6:30pm. Tickets are $225 each or $2250 for a table of 10. For sponsorship information please visit our […]


The Odd Squad comes to town

Non-profit group started by the Vancouver police visits schools to talk drugs and gangs by Katherine Hudson Northern News Services Students at Samuel Hearne Secondary School might not have thought there were any similarities between their small community of 3,400 and Vancouver’s Downtown East Side of 18,000 people, but after hearing from Odd Squad Productions members who visited their school last week, they figured the two places are a bit more alike than they realized. The non-profit group was started in 1997 by seven officers of the Vancouver Police Department and its mandate is to educate the public about crime prevention and community policing. In Inuvik, it made the message clear to a gym full of youth that in the end, there are only two choices, right and wrong. Const. Brian Hobbs said he went for a ride-along with the Inuvik RCMP detachment and saw some familiar sights. “They have the same problems here. They showed me where the crack houses are, they showed me where the bootleggers are, talked to me about the drugs and the alcohol that’s smuggled in, talked about the violence that goes on. I saw the violence that goes on in domestic situations. You guys […]


Work on The Beat Continues at OLN

OLN is in production on the second season of its original docu-soap series The Beat. Ten 10, 30-minute episodes were commissioned by OLN and are produced by Montreal-based Galafilm Inc. for airing this summer. The Beat II follows the intersecting stories of six police officers who patrol Vancouver’s roughest neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside. “After the success of the first season, we’re pleased to bring The Beat back with 10 new stirring episodes,” Claire Freeland, Director of Original Programming, Rogers Media Broadcasting, said in a release. “With new issues impacting the streets of Vancouver, The Beat II will convey timely and relevant storylines that will resonate with Canadian viewers.” Galafilm founder Arnie Gelbart (18 to Life; War of 1812) serves as executive producer.  Claire Freeland is Director of Original Programming, Rogers Media Broadcasting, and Carol Commisso is Production Executive for Rogers Original Programming. Galafilm is a board member of the CMPA (Canadian Media Producers Association) as well as of the APFTQ (Association des producteurs de film et de television du Québec). See the original MediaCaster article by clicking here


Odd Squad brings truth about gangs to local 100 Mile House youth

Odd Squad Productions Const. Doug Spencer didn’t pull any punches when he told Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO) students about his own experiences with youth whose lives were lost or otherwise destroyed by gang-related activities. Carole Rooney By Carole Rooney – 100 Mile House Free Press Published: March 21, 2012 8:00 AM Updated: March 21, 2012 9:44 AM Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO) gymnasium was packed, but you could almost hear a pin drop when hundreds of students watched real-life scenarios and learned how to buffer themselves from the gang violence and drug abuse. In their recent presentation, off-duty police officers Const. Doug Spencer and Const. Dawn Richards didn’t sugar-coat the shocking impacts of gang violence and drug addiction on youth and their families. The constables are members of Odd Squad Productionswhich is a non-profit group of law-enforcement officers based in Vancouver. The film and slideshow depicts real experiences of young people in British Columbia, and many are tragic, even grisly, tales. However, others tell the success stories of those who rose above similar obstacles, and how they overcame them to lead happy, prosperous lives. After the presentation, Spencer said the program not only educates youth on these extremely important issues, it […]


Odd Squad to visit Tetlit’Zheh/Fort McPherson

Odd Squad to visit Tetlit’Zheh/Fort McPherson Members of the Odd Squad Productions Society, a nonprofit organization founded by Vancouver Police Department officers, will be meeting with students in Fort McPherson this month to discuss the dangers of drug addictions and gangs. They are scheduled to arrive in the community at 11 a.m. on March 27 and present at 1:30 p.m. A sporting event is also scheduled for 3:30 p.m. which is set to include members of the production team and students. The Odd Squad is also scheduled to make presentations in Ulukhaktok on March 26, Tuktoyaktuk and Aklavik on March 28, and Inuvik on March 29 and 30. – Nathalie Heiberg-Harrison Link to Northern News Services Online – Click here


Working Diligently At Keeping Kids Safe and Drug Free

Odd Squad Productions Society Celebrates 15 years with a Gala Fundraiser    For Immediate Release  (Vancouver, BC) – Vancouver’s Odd Squad Productions Society (OSP) is proud to announce the celebration of its 15th anniversary this year. A prestigious Gala Fundraiser will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Thursday, June 7th at 5:00 pm. Presented by CIBC Wood Gundy At Bental, and at the time of press supported by more than 25 corporate sponsors, the evening consists of a formal sit-down dinner, Live Auction, Silent Auction, and a few hidden surprises that have yet to be revealed. All proceeds fund Odd Squad’s efforts to keep youth gang-safe and drug-free. With disturbing statistics, such as “60% of illicit drug users are between 15 to 24 years old”, there is a critical need to be proactive and protect youth. The OSP educates young adults through film, presentations and workshops, and by providing peer mentoring support. In 2011, 1,000 guests supported OSP by attending the annual gala and contributing to OSP’s most successful fundraising effort ever. Fifty corporate sponsors jumped on board alongside sport celebrities Chris Le Bihan (2010 Olympic Bronze Medallist), and Sonja Gaudet (2010 Paralympic Gold Medallist).The evening ended with Holly Cole […]


Blog post @hummingbird604: OSP Celebrates 15 Years with a Gala Fundraiser

I first heard about Vancouver’s Odd Squad Productions Society (OSP) through both my friend Summer Dhillon and Jeremy Szafron. I recently found out that the Odd Squad Productions Society will be celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. A fabulous Gala Fundraiser will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre onThursday, June 7th at 5:00 pm at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Presented by CIBC Wood Gundy At Bental, and at the time of press supported by more than 25 corporate sponsors, the evening consists of a formal sit-down dinner, Live Auction, Silent Auction, and a few hidden surprises that have yet to be revealed. All proceeds fund Odd Squad’s efforts to keep youth gang-safe and drug-free. I just looked at some of the statistics they provided me, such as “60% of illicit drug users are between 15 to 24 years old”. It is definitely important to be proactive and empower and protect youth. The OSP educates young adults through film, presentations and workshops, and by providing peer mentoring support. Odd Squad’s vision is to design programs that honour and motivate youth, encourage them to set positive goals, lay their own path and stay On Track by keeping drug-free for a long and healthy life. The […]


Eastside Stories: Diary of a Vancouver Beat Cop – A (very) thin blue line

I could hear my heart thumping in my inner ear, like it was about to explode. My palms were slick with sweat. Perspiration had dripped from my forehead into my eyes, making me partially blind. It was almost as bad as that time I accidentally pepper-sprayed myelf. I struggled to focus, adjusting my grip and locking my fingers under foot to control the left leg, which was contorted and kicking toward the back of my head. I looked around for some guidance, but found none. It was clear nobody was coming Code Three to bail me out of this one. I could see Constable Tyler Urquhart, my good friend and former partner, out of my blurry left eye. He was in rough shape. To my left was Sergeant Mark Steinkampf, doubled over and panting, with both hands on his knees. In front of me, the Great Toby Hinton —  judo master — looked like he was about to lose his lunch. Here were two of the toughest street cops I know, reduced to trembling legs and pools of sweat. In one last effort, I adjusted my grip and regained my balance.  I leaned forward and kicked my right leg back while stretching my left […]


STA students learn about the grim reality of drug addiction

North Vancouver RCMP Const. Christy Mohr escorted senior students from Saint Thomas Aquinas high school on a tour of the Downtown Eastside last month.   By Maria Spitale-Leisk – North Shore Outlook Published: December 07, 2011 1:00 PM Updated: December 07, 2011 4:54 PM When parents and educators preach to teens about the perils of drug abuse it often fosters curiosity. Armed with this information, seven Vancouver Police Department​ officers developed a program 14 years ago that exposes teens to the raw side of drug addiction by immersing them on the streets of the Downtown Eastside for an afternoon. The intent is that students will then report their experience to classmates and peers. VPD Const. David Steverding is a member of the volunteer-run Odd Squad Productions Society that runs the program. His niece attends Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in North Vancouver. This fall, Steverding approached the school’s administration to gauge their interest in participating in a pilot project for North Shore schools. They bit. STA law teacher Greg McCaffery helped handpick a dozen Grade 11 and 12 students for the program. On a Saturday morning in early November the students ditched a hallmark of their Catholic school education. There […]


OSP WINS A 2011 WebAward!

THE WEB MARKETING ASSOCIATION IS PROUD TO PRESENT THIS 2011 WEBAWARD For Outstanding Achievement in Web Development WINNER NAME Cowie and Fox http://www.cowieandfox.com/ WINNING ENTRY Odd Squad Productions AWARD Outstanding Website TEAM Creative Direction and Production: Lance Cummings Creative Direction and Content Management: Dani Elias ABOUT THE CLIENT Odd Squad Productions empowers youth to make positive life choices about drug use and criminal behaviour through documentaries and education. Click to visit our website: http://www.webaward.org/ Since 1997, the Web Marketing Association’s annual WebAward Competition has been setting the standard of excellence for Website development. Independent expert judges from around the world review sites in 96 industries. The best are recognized with a WebAward which helps interactive professionals promote themselves, their companies, and their best work to the outside world. The WebAward Competition is the premier award recognition program for Web developers and marketers worldwide.


True grit

– Let Me Up!, a gritty look at the world of gang violence and addiction, May 26-28 at 7 p.m. at Sutherland secondary. Free. Tickets: letmeup@nvsd44.bc.ca.Info: yobroyouthinitiative.wordpress.com. When Joe Calendino talks, youth listen. A former full-patch member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club — Nomads chapter — he’s also overcome addiction. Working with staff at his old high school, Vancouver’s Templeton secondary, the 44-year-old Surrey resident turned his life around and now shares his personal story of downward spiral, recovery and redemption in an effort to inspire and empower youth to cope positively with peer pressure. Calendino is the founder of the Yo Bro Youth Initiative, a prevention-based program focused on helping youth say “no” and make safe and healthy choices for the benefit of themselves, their families and communities. Through speaking engagements, martial arts programs, a classroom curriculum, and ongoing work with youth groups, he’s interacted with thousands of both at-risk and general population students throughout the Lower Mainland. Let Me Up!, a play inspired by his life, is being presented at North Vancouver’s Sutherland secondary this week. Students from North and West Vancouver will attend two matinees. Students, parents, teachers and other community members are invited to attend […]


Rotary conference aimed at caring, inspiring

Rotarians from across the province converged on the River Rock Casino Resort for the annual Rotary District 5040 Conference 2011. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate the year with fellow Rotarians and to recognize the successes of the individual clubs,” said Penny Offer, District 5040 governor. “More than 230 members came to network, listen to some great guest speakers and to acknowledge some Rotary milestones.” The weekend-long conference is a long-standing tradition for Rotarians and besides being a great opportunity to gather together with friends from across B.C., it also serves to motivate club members to continue their good work, said Offer. The conference’s theme this year was “I care, I inspire, I act, I Rotary,” and key to this was to highlight the many good deeds carried out on behalf of Rotary International, including its “extremely successful polio eradication project.” “Our local Rotary clubs have raised more than $140,000 for the polio campaign,” she added. “It’s an ongoing annual campaign.” Danny Catt, Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar at the College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania (1991-92), shared his stories and photographs from his travels around the globe. “He is a world traveller and renowned photographer, whose pictures have been published […]


Vancouver Police officers honoured

Three Vancouver Police officers will receive the Governor General’s Order of Merit of the Police Forces awards. The Governor General’s office Monday announced that 44 officers from municipal, regional and RCMP forces will receive the awards created in 2000 to recognize merit and exceptional service by police officers whose contributions to policing extended beyond protection of their communities. Vancouver Deputy Police Chief Warren Lemcke will be made an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces. Sgt. Tobin Hinton and Superintendent Andrew Hobbs will be made Members of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces. The announcement comes at the beginning of National Police Week. gbellett@vancouversun.com © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Vancouver+police+officers+honoured/4792262/story.html#ixzz1NOieYRo1