Brash and witty, Michael Landsberg has all the charisma of the veteran TV and radio host he is. A seasoned on-stage pro, he’s diverting, smart, and funny. But that’s not half of it. Not one to shy away from anything, Landsberg is also one of Canada’s most vocal advocates for mental health awareness. Relating his own struggle with depression, he explains why mental illness isn’t a weakness—and how, together, we can beat stigma, fight back, and save lives.
“Imagine if you had the power to change lives just by talking. Imagine if you knew you could save lives by simply telling your story … Together, we can change the stigma that surrounds this disease.”— Michael Landsberg, CTV News
The phrase “off the record” connotes a hushed conversation. TSN’s Off the Record, formerly hosted by Michael Landsberg—the 18-season series that ended its storied run in December, 2015—was anything but. The popular talk show, full of personality, humor, healthy argument, sports talk, pop culture allusions, and big name personalities was one of the most entertaining half hours on Canadian television. On stage, Landsberg is intelligent, candid, and funny, speaking about his personal battle with depression—and considers his ability to help reduce the stigma of mental illness as his most important professional calling.
Landsberg is an ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk, an initiative focused on raising awareness and encouraging dialogue about mental health, and the founder of #SickNotWeak, a charity that helps people understand that mental illness is a sickness, not a weakness, and creates a community around the subject of mental health. His documentary, Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports and Me, was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best History or Biography Documentary Program or Series. The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health also named Landsberg one of its Champions of Mental Health. For his longstanding dedication to promoting mental health awareness, Landsberg was honoured with the Humanitarian Award at the Canadian Screen Awards.
One of the best-known personalities in Canadian broadcasting, Landsberg has been with TSN since the network’s inception in 1984. He hosted Off the Record from its debut in 1997 to its finale in 2015 and is currently the co-host of TSN’s First Up. Twice nominated for the Gemini Award for Best Host or Interviewer in a Sports Program or Sportscast, Landsberg was the Whistler Host for Olympic Daytime on CTV during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. During the London 2012 Olympic Games, he anchored TSN’s Olympic Daytime.
“We were beyond thrilled with Michael! He was an incredible speaker and had such an impact on our community. He was engaging, down to earth, humorous, and inspirational. The schools where he presented had very positive feedback, and the attendees at our sold-out gala were so impressed. He spent time speaking with our guests, our sponsors, and our youth. Thanks again!”Bluewater Health Foundation
“Michael was a great choice in highlighting the importance of being honest and open about mental health, reducing stigma and reaching out for help when you need it. At Red River College we have a diverse community of students, staff and faculty and he was relatable to all! It was critical for Michael to know in advance who would be his audience so he could customize his delivery. He was spot on! His genuine and engaging delivery had everyone’s attention and we are still benefiting from the impact his powerful story and message. He was all that, and so much fun too!”Red River College
Darkness and Hope Depression, Sports, and Me
Michael Landsberg was the charismatic and outspoken host of TSN's Off the Record—and from watching his show, you'd never guess that he has been battling mental illness and depression for most of his life. Lifting the stigma from this topic, Landsberg delivers a powerful and personal keynote on the dangerously misunderstood issues of depression and mental health. Depression can affect even the most successful of athletes—from Clara Hughes, one of the great amateur athletes in Canada, to four-time World Series winner Darryl Strawberry. Landsberg shares the story of his own battle with mental illness, as well as the unexplored stories of some of the world's most recognizable sports figures, to show us that recovery, strength and hope are possible in some of our darkest times.
Off the Record Live and Customized for Your Audience
Take the host of one of the most interesting and innovative shows ever produced in Canada. Add in your choice of audience members. Toss in some interesting questions and provocative issues, and what do you have? A session sure to create a buzz and be remembered with fondness long after your conference is over. In his live, customized version of his hit show, Off The Record, Michael Landsberg uses his skills as an interviewer and moderator to get a hand-picked group of your attendees on stage to discuss events of the day. Like only he can, Michael keeps things moving, injects a large dose of humour, and makes sure everyone—but especially, the audience—has a great time. Off the Record Live can be pure entertainment, or an innovative way to get across key messages and themes. You decide, and Michael can make it happen.