Alterna Savings Cracks up the capital

Alterna bands together with local comedians to help Mental Health agencies in Ottawa.

For 13 years the comedy festival, Alterna Savings Crackup (formerly Cracking-up the Capital) has served-up hilarious comedy events which have shone a light on the need for increased access to mental health services in Canada’s Capital Region in a fun and entertaining way. This year the festival included, one Guinness World Record attempt that engaged hundreds of people, a star-studded gala in tribute to John Candy, and nine shows in which we filled nearly 8,000 seats – a ‘personal best’ we are already gearing up to break in 2018!

Over the years we have been honoured to partner with many local businesses and agencies to help raise awareness and funds for mental health in Ottawa. In 2017, Alterna Savings joined as our title sponsor and the United Way of Ottawa and the Mental Health Commission of Canada partnered with us, helping to raise the festival’s profile. Their contributions made it possible to raise more funds and offer more shows and events for mental health than ever before! We are pleased to announce that in 2017 we raised over $22,000 for Ottawa mental health agencies, bringing the festival total to over $212,000!

Fundraising has always been a fundamental component of the comedy festival but this year’s new partnership with the United Way of Ottawa made it possible for us to do and receive more. In addition, they extended a great effort that went far beyond fundraising – they played an important planning role in our Snowmania Challenge and Crackup Comedy Gala. United Way President and CEO, Michael Allen says, “It was an honour to be part of the Alterna Savings Crackup comedy festival and to partner with such a well-respected and well-attended event in our community. Funds raised through the festival will play an important role in helping our city’s most vulnerable access mental health support when they need it most. These donations are truly making a difference and we’re grateful to Crackup and its donors for their generosity.”|

On Saturday Team Alterna was hard at work volunteering and building snowmen in an attempt to break the world record for the most snowmen built in one hour. We didn’t break the record, but considering the icy conditions, we were quite proud to produce 1057 Inukshuk style snowmen!

On Sunday, we attended the Alterna Savings Crackup Comedy Gala where comedians and celebrities came together to pay tribute to John Candy, our beloved Canadian Comedy Legend. Margaret Trudeau joined comedians like Patrick McKenna, Ron James, Mary Walsh and Andrea Martin to share heartfelt stories and laughter. Our CEO, Rob Paterson also cracked a few jokes before announcing an additional $5,000 donation to the cause. Organized by Alterna Savings Crackup, these events are raising money for Mental Health agencies in Ottawa and helping to end stigma associated with Mental Health.