Adrenaline Junkies Rejoice: Cliffhanger is Back

All photos by John Enaje

Are you looking for an adventure? A challenge? A thrill? Well, look no further, you can get all three right here in downtown Ottawa on August 20.

The YMCA-YWCA is bringing back their Cliffhanger event for a second cliffhangeryear. Put your helmet on, strap in and get read to rappel down the 16-storey Taggart Family Y building.

“We’ll have professionals onsite showing you how to do everything. Everything is very safe. No experience required—just a little bit of bravery,” explains Events Manager Amber Brannan.

There are only two things you need to participate in this heart-pumping event: you must be older than 18 and you must raise $1000. All of the funds will go towards the Y.

Last year, the inaugural event raised about $22,000, sending 22 people over the edge. This year, Brannan says the Y is hoping for more growth, aiming to have about 30 people.

Brannan says this year’s event will be a little different, focusing more on participant involvement.

Kathy Godding in her fabulous costume at the 2014 Cliffhanger event.
Kathy Godding in her fabulous costume at the 2014 Cliffhanger event.

“We’ve got prizes for best costume. Everyone who reaches a certain fundraising level will be entered into a grand prize,” she says. “We’re encouraging participants to bring out a lot of spectators—just create a little bit more excitement around the event.”

It’s an energizing way to support the community. The YMCA-YWCA is a non-profit, charitable association that promotes healthy living, provides programming for youth and community members, helps those in need of support and so much more. From housing to summer camps, the Y is there. This is your opportunity to raise money for those programs that help so many people in the Capital.

Although the fundraiser might seem a little unconventional, the Cliffhanger event really ties into what the YMCA-YWCA is all about.

“The YMCA focuses on community, getting out there, getting active. We have a lot of programs that support this,” Brannan says, noting the example of Camp Otonabee at the Bonnenfant Y Outdoor Education and Leadership Centre. “At our camps, there is a high ropes course, so it kind of tied in. It’s something that our campers experience from a young age and then as they grow, they progress from course to course.” The Cliffhanger event is fun, exciting and active—great for anyone looking for an adrenaline rush.

Brannan says the Cliffhanger challenge could become a signature event for the Y.

“The first year is new and exciting and this is the year we’ll decide if this is something that we’d like to further develop down the road,” she says.

Cliffhanger_Jennifer3For many, the Cliffhanger event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“You can’t just go off the side of a giant building every day,” Brannan says. “It’s a way for people in our area to get involved, to raise some money.”

Don’t think you can raise the $1000 on your own? No problem, you can sign up as an individual or as a team to work together and achieve your fundraising goal.

Registration is now open! Click here to sign up and act fast because spots are filling up quickly.

To learn more about the YMCA-YWCA, visit