June's Casey House

June’s: Canada’s first HIV+ eatery opens doors in Toronto

New campaign by Casey House to shine a light on stigma around HIV/AIDS

Press release

On November 6, Casey House opens the doors to June’s, Canada’s first pop-up restaurant run by HIV positive chefs. To ignite a conversation around the stigma that people living with HIV/AIDS experience, Chef Matt Basile of Fidel Gastro will lead a team of 14 HIV positive individuals-turned-cooks on November 7 and 8 in Toronto. Chef Basile collaborated with the cooks on menu to build a 4-course-meal featuring their favourite ingredients as well as led them through a training session on kitchen skills and food preparation fundamentals.

“We explored this stigma through a study we conducted as part of our campaign Break Bread. Smash Stigma. The study revealed that only half of Canadians would knowingly share or eat food prepared by someone who is HIV positive despite the fact you cannot transmit the disease through food preparation,” said Joanne Simons, CEO of Casey House. “My hope for June’s is that the experience leaves a lasting impression and will help to continue to break down barriers around stigma. We are so grateful to our partners and sponsors like RBC who are standing with us to help bring our vision of June’s to life.”

June’s is named after Casey House’s founder and prolific Canadian activist and journalist June Callwood and was created in partnership with Canada’s largest independent agency, Bensimon Byrne and is presented by RBC.

“This is a unique and thought-provoking event, and we are honoured to be a part of it,” said Lawrence Spicer, RBC Vice President, Audit. “Our hope is that the conversations it will ignite will help reduce the stigma faced by people living with HIV/AIDS.”

What:June’s HIV + Eatery
Where1090 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON
When:November 7-8, 2017 (VIP launch November 6)
Follow along here: #smashstigma
Photo Opp:Chef Matt Basile & members of June’s cooking team, CEO of Casey
House Joanne Simons, Lawrence Spicer from RBC and Joseph Bonnici
from Bensimon Byrne, Tommy Smythe and dinner guests

About Casey House:

Casey House is Canada’s first and only stand-alone hospital for people living with HIV/AIDS. Through our innovative and comprehensive approach to health care, we remain one of the few places where people with HIV/AIDS can seek care without judgment. We are more than a place that saves lives, we are a place that speaks up, shines understanding through compassion, and empowers our clients to get better.

Although many people who live with HIV can manage their disease effectively with a support network and access to treatment, Casey House clients are not part of that majority and fall into the category of the 40% of people in Ontario not on treatment. They are vulnerable, seeking safety and need nourishment. Casey House will continue to provide unequivocal compassion to clients in need providing them with a holistic approach to their care and treatment.

Survey Methodology:

A survey of 1,633 Canadians residents was completed online between October 10th to 13th using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.4%, 19 times out of 20.