We're almost a week into Movember and those soon-to-be-moustachioed members of CBC are seeing their upper lip tufts take shape. The ensuing conversations asking why continue to promote the need to be regularly checked for prostate cancer, and more. Now, the Movember event also raises funds for male mental health initiatives.
One man taking part at CBC is weatherman Craig Larkins. We sat down with Craig to find out why it's important to him do his bit for Movember:
CBC Live: Tell us why raising awareness for prostate cancer is so important to you.
Craig Larkins: About three years ago, my uncle was actually battling prostate cancer and he passed away... he lost his battle with it. It was around the same time that the whole Movember hype was starting to kick in in Canada. The two just kind of interacted in such a weird way that I felt almost obligated to raise awareness and pay tribute to my uncle Roger. From there, just being educated on the fact that a lot of men are scared of going to the doctor to get their prostate checked. They don't like to talk about it and I think the campaign is a great way to bring that to the forefront and show people in a fun way, but also a serious way, that this is a serious situation. Men shouldn't feel ashamed or scared to go to the doctor and get their test done. And it's not just prostate cancer, men's health in general. Movember actually expanded this year; there are two beneficiaries now because Canada raised so much money, giving them the ability to expand it to men's mental health initiatives, helping men cope with depression and, again, not feeling ashamed to talk to the doctors about it. Depression runs in my family as well so it was a proud moment. I was at the launch party and when they announced that I thought... "wow, this is pretty big." This is a huge deal and it really brings the focus on how men shouldn't feel ashamed to talk about their health and talk to the doctor. You don't have to be such a tough guy.
Is this the third year you've done it? And you're in good company here at CBC...
CL: I try to do it every year, and, yeah! A lot... like Jay Scotland, the other weather guy. There are a lot of politicians that did it last year as well, like Justin Trudeau. I noticed last year a lot of broadcasters right across the country were doing it, whether at sports networks or here at CBC. It's become this almost tradition for myself, but it seems like it is building this huge base in Canada which is an amazing thing.
I remember the old Leafs coach Ron Wilson's "moustache"... it wasn't very... impressive?
CL: It's actually funny, I can grow a serious 'stache, but the people that can't... I feel almost bad for them, but I think that's where the comedic factor comes into play. You can laugh about it and you're getting that message across.
In a way, it's better that it's not good so more people will talk about it.
CL: Exactly, and people love it. It's notorious that I grow a moustache. Wherever I've worked they remember me as the "moustache man" but they also relate it to Movember and then that relates it back to where it should be - focused on men's health.
How much attention are you getting when you're in studio with the CBC News team?
CL: There's always the "there's something on your face" comment. Someone said I had a caterpillar on my face. I'm actually surprised at how fast it's already grown. I feel like every year it gets darker and darker... and greyer. There's a lot of razzing going on, but that's part of the fun factor of it as well.
You can see Craig's weather reports on CBC News Network and CBC News Toronto throughout the week. Follow @Craig_Larkins on Twitter to keep up with his progress. Or, 'mogress', if you will...