Published On: June 2nd, 2021By
Winner slide announcing UpHouse as a Hashtag Award winner.

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In March, we won two honours at this year’s Hashtag Awards for our work with the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba and the video we pushed out on social media at the beginning of Canada’s lockdown in March 2020.

The annual Canadian marketing event celebrates individuals and organizations committed to raising the bar in their industry. UpHouse was presented with the award for ‘Best in Show – Medium Agency’ along with ‘Best Use of Social Media (Non-Profit)’ for our work with the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba.

“It’s great to see that we’re growing and being recognized for what we do,” says Alex Varricchio, co-owner of UpHouse. “We are a people-centred organization, so we’ve been focused on embracing collaboration and listening to our community.”

Winner slide announcing UpHouse as a Hashtag Award winner.

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This community approach is at the heart of everything that UpHouse does and it’s incredible to be celebrated for our commitment to the people around us. UpHouse is a Certified Diversity Supplier and has a deep commitment to working with all types of organizations, especially not-for-profits.

When we lean harder into the things that we care about, our agency benefits,” says Varricchio. “We always try to maintain a ‘don’t say no’ approach to not-for-profit work, and that’s actually what’s helped our business grow.”

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The ‘Best Use of Social Media’ award recognizes our collaboration with the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba. For this project, we created a short video that was pushed out on social media in March 2020, at the beginning of Canada’s lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic. The video featured four people with cerebral palsy doing Zoom-type interviews as they talked about their experiences with isolation and offered heartfelt words of encouragement to Manitobans that brought to light the start reality they face every day.

“We saw an opportunity here, with people quarantining for the first time and experiencing the feeling of isolation, to drive home the fact that many people with disabilities have been living this way for years,” says Varricchio.

The four people spoke about how they coped with loneliness, offering encouragement and tips on how to get through it. The video utilized Canada’s stay-at-home mandates to really drive home the fact that while social distancing is temporary for some, for many others, it’s not. This helped us spread awareness about the plights that so many Manitobans with disabilities face on a daily basis.

In the space of one week, UpHouse went from an initial concept to releasing the finished video. It was important to us that it was timely, as at that point, no one was certain how long the stay-at-home orders would last. The video received over 100,000 views right out of the gate and was shared on the CBC. In a time when COVID-19 was all over people’s timelines, this video offered a new perspective on social isolation and helped create a lot of impact for our client.

“In theory, we’re going to be coming out of this pandemic at some point and leaving isolation, but there are others who will not,” says Varricchio. “We wanted to remind people of that and encourage them to look at their own communities and connect with the people who will remain inside.”

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