It all started with a group of good men in Melbourne, Australia back in 2003 over a few pints in the local pub. I wonder how many great ideas have started from such a meeting?! This one was no exception. These gentlemen got to talking about how to change the face of men’s health (specifically prostate health) and a revolution was born. The story was picked up by a local new cast and the group caught national attention and well, you could say it grew from there.

Now considered one of the most successful charities in the world, the Movember movement has taken the world by storm. In an impressive rise, since 2003 it has moved from Australia to over 20 countries world-wide. From 30 members that first year and now as of 2013, an estimated 4,027,688 brothers and sisters – or as the movement refers to them – Mo Bros, and Mo Sistas have participated in the online charity event. Running for the month of November, men are encouraged to grow a moustache and raise funds in support of creating funds specifically for male focused health projects. The Movember Foundation also accepted the Social Force of the Year award from GQ Magazine. Helping them gain even more international attention.

Movember, through the power of the moustache has become a global movement. Why the moustache? It was a simple and visible way to show that you are supporting the drive to make men, women and families more aware of the risk and the detectable prevention of one of man’s worst secret killers, prostate cancer. With early detection many a life could be saved, so getting the word out on how to get checked, why to get checked, and most importantly helping to clear up the stigma of men not being able to talk about it with each other. Anyone with a man in their lives can attest to how easy it is to get the man they love to the doctor, for any reason let alone a delicate subject matter they would just as soon bury their heads in the sand about!!

The foundation tries to make it a fun event as well as an awareness campaign by having a yearly a couple of contests each year. In 2010 they launched The Moscars, an online global user-submitted video contest. It allows for Movember participants to showcase their involvement in the movement. Submissions are a short and sweet four minutes and several prizes to be one in a range of categories. There is also the wildly popular contest called the International Man of Movember.  The winner is chosen from 21 national winners all over the world to wear the crown and be the face of Movember for a whole year. The award is chosen by fans and judges alike and is awarded at the end of November.

Over $574 million dollars has been raised by Canada since 2003 and over 770 men’s health projects have been funded. All funds, since Canada’s official association go directly to the Prostate Cancer and Research Foundation of Canada.

There are many ways to get involved including a youth movement in the Universities, office teams, family based events, Movember themed parties and much more. For all the information you need please go to their official web-site to see how you and the men in your life can get involved and learn how one quick trip to the doctor every year can save their lives and keep them around for many more healthy years to come.

In Vancouver we have several events linked to Movember. November 1st they kicked off the event by throwing a ‘Shave it Off” party to start the month whisker free. All registered participants need to start the month with a whiskerless face before cultivating their facial hair to raise funds and bring awareness to Prostate Cancer, and as the movement expands, to many more male heath focused health issues. For more local events check out their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter or look for a calendar for social events in your neck of the woods. Check out the Canada Movember Events page to get out there and get involved.