The Drive Foundation’s mission is to employ music, the arts, and technology in its programs to accelerate the world’s transition to removing the stigma of mental illness and addiction and taking a holistic approach to the provision of care and prevention.

About Us

Latest News:

18 September 2022 – Take a short peak at the first wave of artists on Future Echoes 2023.

12 September 2022 – The Drive Foundation welcomes Kayleigh Lebak to the Advisory Board. Kayleigh Lebak is a graphic designer and illustrator with nearly two decades’ experience.  American by birth and international by choice, she and her trusty laptop have circled the globe, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to independent upstarts.  She first cut her teeth working with non-profit organizations and to this day has a special love for working with charities and festivals.  Together with her partner Boyan Pinter, she is one of the forces behind SPIKE – Bulgarian Music Showcase, Bulgaria’s first showcase festival and music conference, and its precursor SIMC – Sofia International Music Showcase.

The Drive Foundation is the perfect partner for this designer to use her skills and connections in service of the greater good.

“I am excited to join the Drive Foundation as an advisory board member and put my skills and passion to work in sharing the Drive Foundation’s powerful message about the importance of speaking openly about mental health and addiction and supporting each other on our journeys.”

12 September 2022 – The Drive Foundation welcomes Boyan Pinter to the Advisory Board. Boyan Pinter (né Boiadjiev) has been working in Music for 22 years. He was formally trained as guitarist and composer under the tutelage of Allyson Applebaum (Wells) Ph.D. in Houston, Texas. Jumping from being a stage performer to a production coordinator, Boyan wanted to get involved on a deeper level with the programming and organization of large-scale events, which led him to work with the Lotus World Music And Arts Festival in Bloomington, IN under Lee Williams and LuAnne Holladay. In the early 2010s Boyan was called to work as an event production specialist in Bulgaria where he worked with some of the biggest names in music including Aerosmith, Mark Knopfler, Nigel Kennedy, Hans Zimmer, Cirque Du Soleil, Iron Maiden, Roger Waters, Queen + Adam Lambert, etc.

Boyan is a regular attendee and speaker at music conferences where he talks, among other things, about the grueling behind the scenes schedule that production crew members face on a daily basis. He currently books international shows for venues in Bulgaria and the wider Eastern European region and is the founder of SPIKE – Bulgarian Music Showcase: a platform for networking, education, and showcasing young artists and songwriters. His commitment to production has earned Boyan a place in the crew of the Green Futures Field at Glastonbury Festival, the largest and most prestigious event in Europe, which welcomes the biggest names in music to an audience of 175 000 people.

“It is a real privilege for me to be joining the Drive Foundation as an honorary board member. Mental Health is truly the proverbial elephant in the room that we never properly address when dealing with the stresses of the industry. I see many examples of the impact it has on both seasoned and developing music professionals across the industry. I am excited to share my knowledge and experiences and use my network to raise awareness of these issues. I look forward to developing workshops and programs that help our people recognize triggering situations and help them cope and recover from the inherent mental imbalance that our work brings about.”

6-8 September 2022 (Bucharest, Romania) – The Drive Foundation is proud to present “Mental Health In The Music Industry” at the annual “Mastering The Music Business” in Bucharest, Romania.

27 August 2022 (Kristianstad, Sweden) – Lilla By Festivalen – Drive Foundation is represented by Sandy Graham and Peter Åstedt (Drive Foundation Advisory Board Members) and Michelle Titian (Drive Foundation Co-Founder)

Lilla By Festivalen happens 27 of august in Rinkaby just outside Kristianstad in Sweden and is a product that Sweden opened up last summer and suddenly the craving for events was back. With two weeks’ notice, the festival was set up. The event was so successful that they wanted to do it this year again. At the same time, they wanted to give back to the local community. After visiting Future Echoes Lilla By Festivalen teamed up with Norrköping Music Day and share speakers and artists. The focus of the festival is to teach the local music community how to network and follow their dreams by meeting global industry professionals in a smaller setting. 

 25 August 2022 (Norrköping, Sweden) Drive – The Road to Recovery! @ Norrköping Music Day

Drive – The Road to Recovery!  A panel about mental health in the music industry and tools how to get recovery. Moderator: Peter Åstedt. (Drive Foundation Advisory Board Member) Speakers: Michelle Titian Drive Foundation Co-Founder), Don Graham, Jeff Bova, Tony Valcic, Boyan Pinter.

Norrköping Music Day was invented during Covid last year and is a smaller version of Future Echoes that takes place in February 2023.  Norrköping Music Day was last year two days and had 20 acts on two stages. This year it’s one day with 4 acts and 10 speakers on 4 panels. The purpose of Norrköping Music Day which is a free event is to teach and inform how a showcase festival works. Here you can easy start a network and learn what is important to do on a showcase festival. 

(Aug. 1, 2022) Artist Michelle Titian’s story of hope and saving power

Anxiety, depression, alcohol, drug abuse or addiction, lack of sleep are some of the most common problems that those working in the music industry are prone to. Mental health is still a taboo subject, and the personal price paid by those who fail to find an escape from these problems is huge. We all know what it feels like to be unable to escape your own demons, but that’s far from true, and artist Michelle Titian is proof that there are solutions.

Michelle Titian is a world-class Canadian artist with a complicated life story of alcohol addiction. After years of alcoholism slowly destroying her relationships with others, her career and her own life, Michelle called it quits and took control of her own destiny. Now, in addition to her inspiring music, Titian has also created the Drive Foundation, a charity that inspires and helps people struggling with depression and addiction.

(May 9, 2022) – The Drive Foundation welcomes Sandy Graham to the Advisory Board. Quoted as having one of the most diversified and interesting careers in the Canadian music industry, Sandy Graham is known as a trailblazer, who relishes in using her decade long career to uphold integrity and maintain a moral compass in a business that is known to have challenges on that level.

Various accolades in her career include being one of the first female Music Directors in Canadian radio, being the first female a major label hired in the Quebec market (RCA), a celebrated choreographer both in film and stage, a nightclub owner, an event producer, manager, strategist and consultant, the Drive Foundation is the perfect initiative for this driven and focused professional to help create awareness and exposure to a growing concern for mental health and addictions.

Currently an owner of two legendary music magazines, Cashbox Canada and Record World International, an on-air Host and Program Director of Cashbox Radio, and the founder and CEO of Entertainment Music Group (EMG CANADA), Sandy sees and experiences the daily challenges of working in a business that has one of the highest stress levels imaginable.

“Having been personally affected by loved ones suffering from alcoholism, mental health challenges along with my own personal anxiety, the Drive Foundation is such a wonderful opportunity for me to spread the word in my personal and professional world to shed light on this fast growing affliction on so many levels. The Drive Foundation, unlike so many other organizations, has a platform to address these issues while providing support and solutions. It is time to shake the stigma attached to these traits and issues that I feel most creative people (and others) suffer in silence. Together we can change that, moving forward to healthier happier lives through healing and support. I am honoured and humbled to join the Advisory Board of the Drive Foundation.

 

(May 9, 2022) – The Drive Foundation welcomes Peter Åstedt to the Advisory Board. Peter has been working in the music industry for over 35 years and has developed a global community of colleagues through his extensive career. He has started record labels, distribution systems, publishing companies, developed promotional and marketing for artists, managed campaigns, having worked with the Top Ten most-streamed songs as well as had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter currently runs several major showcase festivals while being an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation, with Future Echoes in Norrköping, Sweden, while holding the position of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio and journalist/managing partner for the legendary Record World International magazine.

“This is one of the biggest things that we never talk about in the music business, and how mental health and its effects on the creative world of not just the artists but the music professionals. I am excited to join the Advisory Board of the Drive Foundation to share my knowledge and contacts to further develop awareness of not just the growing concern of mental health and addiction, but the goal to provide tools for recovery and mental health.”

(February 1, 2022) – Nicole Brown Faulknor Welcomed to Board of Directors. The Drive Foundation is pleased to welcome Nicole Brown Faulknor to the Board of Directors. Nicole is both the Founder & CEO of Wounds 2 Wings Trauma + Psychotherapy Services www.wounds2wings.com and TEAO Canada (Trauma and Embodiment Association of Ontario) www.teaocanada.com, a Yoga Instructor, Registered Psychotherapist, Child and Youth Counsellor, Trauma Consultant, Author and Trauma Survivor. She is also a member of both the Colleges of Registered Psychotherapists in Ontario and the Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy with over 18 years of professional experience working with marginalized, vulnerable and oppressed communities, individuals, families and children. She has worked extensively with individuals and communities suffering from mental health, addictions, systemic poverty and profiling in order to therapeutically improve relationships with government programs and services.   


Programs:

The Drive Foundation takes a 360-degree, holistic approach to support mental health to fight addiction through 3 programs:

driveMEDIA driveAIDdriveACADEMY


driveMEDIA

Harnessing the Healing Power Music and Art

Working with 12 Star Entertainment in a strategic partnership, driveMEDIA delivers programs geared to artists in recovery by offering the opportunity to showcase their work. The programs offered include:

  • Publicity, promotional and content creation programs to allow them to develop their talent as a vocation
  • Emerging Artists Exhibits
  • In-Studio Performances
  • A Symposium series to provide a forum for discussion and discovery among industry professionals and recovering addicts.

driveAID

#reachforhelp

driveAID is a program designed to provide direct support for people, and/or their families, suffering from mental health and addiction issues.

You can contribute to driveAID by making a donation.


driveACADEMY

#reachforhelp

Identifying the important role that educated professionals have in curbing and assisting those suffering from mental health and addiction, the driveACADEMY was developed to support professional development in these fields.

Access to training and networking for health care and addiction professionals is offered to encourage continuing education. Applicants may apply for bursaries, be included in recruitment campaigns and enroll in accredited courses.