My good friends know that during the month of February I worked my absolute hardest, along with a team of independent others, to ensure that Ottawa experienced an event like no other: Fuck Cancer. With the help of some incredible people around Ottawa and from Montreal, we were able to exceed even our own expectations, and FUCK CANCER UP!
These two words may offend some, may trigger some questions for others, may have raised an eyebrow for a few, but get real – THIS IS 2012 AND EVERYONE USES THE F WORD! If you’re offended two words that have been raising thousands upon thousands of dollars for cancer over the past two years, I have two more words for you- Bitch, please.
In my opinion, the marketing behind the INWYKIWYK brand is genius. Not only are the shirts attractive with the contrast of huge colourful letters representing their respective cancers on black shirts, but also, they’re geared toward one huge population: the youth of today, and moreover, students. To me, there’s no better way to engage the student population in something really amazing than this. Using the word FUCK to get the message across isn’t always negative, and in the past, the Montreal parties have raised over $50,000 doing so. Ottawa, with a much smaller population (but no less eager to take a stand) was able to raise $15,000. For an event that culminated in one night, that’s an impressive feat.
Clearly, the message cannot be missed; it’s right up in your grill, in bright and colourful letters. Left to right are Pancreatic Cancer, Leukemia (for my grandfather who died of AML, in my case), and Colon Cancer. These were just 3 of 7 of the big cancers represented by the shirts. So, $20 to not only get an awesome shirt, which acted as the ticket to the event, an individual donation, and a stand against the disease that affects us ALL in some way. I cannot even begin to express the pride that comes with wearing this shirt and being part of not only an event, but a movement.
Photo: Martin Banoon Photography
Left to right: Lung, Ovarian, Breast, Leukemia, Colon, Pancreatic, Lymphoma… and a new sky blue for Prostate is on its way to the next party… in Los Angeles.
Now you don’t have to imagine the crowd at this event. Here’s a small glimpse of what the incredibly energetic FUCK CANCER crowd looked like at the event at Mansion Nightclub, Ottawa. People always say that our age group are the ‘leaders of tomorrow’, well, that doesn’t only apply to the work force. We’ll make a difference for sure, but these events will eventually make their way around North America, and these t-shirts will constantly remind the public that there’s a bigger monster to fight than the word Fuck: Cancer.
Finally, the story behind the creation of INWYKIWYK (It’s Not What You Know It’s Who You Know) is not my own to tell, but I’ll just say that an incredible family was deeply and closely affected by Ovarian cancer, which led them to take a triumphant stand against cancer as a whole, and to pass it on in a huge way. With the backing of outstanding committees, promoters, and shirt sellers in each city the party goes to, there will be tons of money raised, awareness created, and moments to bond through a passionate hatred we share something that’s taken or affected our loved ones. Eventually, we’ll make it history.
Swag for a cause… FUCK yes.