Algonquin Commons Theatre was visited by the humor — and the offspring — of the legendary John Candy on March 23, as his film Uncle Buck played in support of mental health awareness.
Hosted by Candy’s adult children, Jen and Chris, who took part in a Q&A before the film played, the pair shared a few heartwarming stories of their father and his sense of humour, as well as giving some insight into behind-the-scenes details of Uncle Buck.
After opening the conversation to the floor, the Candy siblings listened to members of the audience talk about the love for their father’s films.
“It’s always nice to hear what people thought of him,” Chris Candy said after the show. “It means a lot to us.”
The event was promoted by Ottawa-based charity Alterna Savings Crackup, an organization that uses laughter to raise funds and spread knowledge on mental illness and health. The Candy siblings became involved with the charity last year during the Canada’s 150th anniversary Crackup Comedy Gala. The event was done in tribute to their father, and the siblings have remained involved since then
Proceeds raised by Alterna Savings Crackup go towards mental health research and awareness. The tickets for Uncle Buck did not have a set price, as the event called for donations from the guests.
“Laughter is the best medicine,” said Jen Candy. “A lot of comedians struggle with anxiety and other mental health issues, so it makes sense to use these people to spread the message.”
The theme of mental health awareness was constant throughout the event.
“For some reason it’s like our brains are off limits in conversation,” said Chris Candy. “If you’re sick, you’re sick, whether it’s physical or mental, and there’s help out there. It’s not something enough people talk about.”
This year’s event was held in honor of Canadian comedian Mike MacDonald, who passed away just a few days before the event. Funds from each ticket sold at the Festival Final will be used in MacDonald’s name to start a comedy development fund for Ottawa-locals to grow their comedic craft.
This event was part of the 2018 Alterna Savings Crackup Comedy festival, which saw the establishment of the Candy award. The award honors a lifetime of outstanding achievement in comedy. This year’s recipients were comedians Colin Mochrie and Andrea Martin.