The Sunnyside Uppers are a Canadian fraternal organization founded in 1934, to promote positive attitudes and healthy living during the Great Depression. Ubiquitous in high schools of the '50s and '60s, they often held spontaneous outdoor gatherings - the original flash mobs. In the '70s, following the success of Up With People in the US, visionary CFL commissioner Jake Gaudaur booked the Uppers to perform at several Grey Cup halftime shows; while they didn't achieve the widespread recognition of their American counterparts, they also escaped the vitriol that soon followed.
But that was the "me decade"; in the '80s as society became obsessed with growth, greed and the new, the Uppers were seen as outdated and irrelevant; a quaint relic. Their message of community engagement and ambiguous spirituality were no longer in demand. Their work moved to the margins of society. Their community halls were used for food banks, AA meetings and incidentally, music venues for the burgeoning hardcore scene.
Fast-forward to 2020, and now you understand the Uppers' current lineup. A rag-tag group of individuals who've seen their share of hard times, they're here for redemption. Their message is resonating with a new generation of community-minded truth-seekers. They're tired of shallow entertainment. They're concerned about social, economic and ecological collapse. The movement is more vital than ever. Come join us.