With November a fading figure in the year’s review mirror, wives, girlfriends, and partners across the nation are breathing a sigh of relief as the Movember moustaches are shaved off.
Last year, more than 720,000 people participated, growing moustaches and raising around $100 million for men’s health.
And the popular charity event has taken Canada by storm, with the country regularly contending for top honours as a fundraiser.
Tyler Small, manager of community engagement for Movember Canada says it’s been a good year.
He says while it’s too soon to know how much the country’s furry upper lips have brought in, the early numbers look decent.
“It’s still early because there’s dollar matching coming in – but in Canada we’re about $15 million right now, just in Canada alone.”
That’s before donation-matching has been calculated, or challenge competitions within groups like police and firefighters have wrapped.
That figure puts the country in second place internationally, about $2 million behind the US, and just a whisker ahead of Movember’s homeland, Australia.
He says the Australian founders, who had started it as a joke, had friends who had taken their own lives as young men and wanted to expand the focus to bigger health issues.
“Men’s health and mental health were always a goal to be involved, it just took some time to get the funds to support those causes.”
The event now encompasses mental health issues, as well as fitness and diet issues, along with the traditional focus on prostate and testicular cancers.
“The moustaches are really a ribbon or a badge – when you have a moustache people think it’s unusual and they’re going to come up to you and talk to you. And it does create some really powerful conversations. And we see those conversations saving lives, because every year men become more proactive about speaking about mental and physical health struggles.”
Of course, the most important question: Has Small shaved his ‘stache?
“Not yet, I’ve kept it – I’m having a hard time parting with it. I think I have some separation anxiety.”
He says he hopes to have a final tally for the fundraiser around December 9th.