By Sara Ametrano

 

On March 30th, Calgary’s infamous #nakedespy event took place for its seventh year. The unique event, held in the city’s Inglewood area, features participants walking the streets to raise awareness for the physical and mental health issues men endure. In the weeks leading up to the event, participants fundraise for the Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre. This year, the event raised over $53,000.

Taking part for his fifth year was Trisura’s very own Jonathan Hope. Even though it’s a 45-minute minute walk in the Calgary cold (one year he remembers it was around -20 degrees!), he keeps returning because of what the event stands for.

As reported by Prostate Cancer Canada, nearly 58 Canadians are diagnosed with this disease daily. “Prostate cancer is the leading form of cancer diagnosed in Canadian men,” Jonathan explains. “If diagnosed early, prostate cancer may be treatable. Even when the disease is advanced, treatment can eradicate symptoms and prolong survival. [#nakedespy] raises funds to help the charity in Calgary increase awareness and funding research.”

But that’s not all. The fun of this all-male event begins with a brief warm-up period. After a few group exercises, the men strip down to their unmentionables and strut their stuff!

Naked Espy 2019 warm-up exercises

The fun nature of the event is a huge draw to participants, and everyone around gets a kick out of it. As it’s a rare occurrence that people can roam the streets in nothing but undergarments and dress shoes (a usual fashion faux pas), even bystanders get into it, cheering on the men as they pass.

The local businesses in the Inglewood area are supportive of the event and welcome its participants to pay them a visit. For those not in the know, their look of astonishment is a priceless bonus for Jonathan that never gets old. “The shock on people’s faces each year is the most memorable,” he says. “Someone could be having a casual first date or lunch with a family member, then 100 men in their underwear parade through restaurants with signs and cheers!”

Once the walk ends, the participants get styled in outfits valued over $1,000, and enjoy an after party where they’re all dressed to impress.

A meaningful cause to many, the charitable walk is also a great way to network and meet like-minded people. (It is certainly a good start to friendships since everyone is “baring it all” up front!)