The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

115,000 Canadians participated and raised over $20 million for the cause

MovemberTHUMBIn an old-fashioned barbershop in Calgary, a group of friends and co-workers take turns shaving the moustaches they grew for the Movember men’s health fundraising event.

They start with hot towels before using an “old school” straight razor. While they wait for one another, there’s time for foosball, music and whisky.

The Movember movement shines a light on men’s health issues by challenging men to grow mustaches during the 30 days of November. The goal is to spark conversations about the movement and raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health.

“The Movember movement is growing bigger and becoming very popular right now and a lot of people are getting into it. Canada has one of the biggest organizations in the world and they produce the most donations,” says Essa Eshour, owner of London Barbers in Kensington. 

On Sunday, Nov. 30, London Barbers offered the free shaves to those who grew a moustache during Movember. The small party was organized to collect donations to support Movember Canada, and get new people into the movement, Eshour added. 

“We see a lot of people involved, we see a lot of people in the streets that have moustaches, a lot of people that are not used to it,” he says. “They are trying to work with it, or they have problems with their spouses, girlfriends, they are not happy or they are happy… everyone has their stories, right? It’s so interesting to see that so many people are involved and developing a very nice environment.” Movember1Essa Ashour, left, watches someone get shaved for the Movember movement in his barber shop in Kensington.

Photo by Igor Nóbrega

According to the Movember Foundation, 115,000 Canadians participated and raised over $20 million in this year’s campaign. Canada is the leading fundraising nation, with $151.6 million raised since 2007. The funds have been committed to more than 200 programs in support of men’s health. 

Darren Feegi is a new “mo bro” — the name given to the men who support the cause — he shaved his beard at London Barbers.  

“We are donating for the drinks and for the shaving as well. It’s for male cancer research, it’s a very good cause. A lot of these things, when they use social media, it spreads a lot faster. Do you remember during the summer when they had the Ice Bucket Challenge? That’s grown a lot of awareness and Movember does the same for cancer.”

According to Eshour, Movember is attracting people because of its “hype” and because of that, the movement is generating conversations about prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.

“It is becoming a fashion statement as well. A lot of people (grow a mustache) because they look cooler, they want to try something different.”  

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