Those Who Journey North | By Elliot Rose

Inside the ballroom the calibre of fashion was reflective of its 450 guests – the gentlemen looked dashing in midnight blue tuxedos, paisley silk jackets and even a turquoise Tom Ford blazer. Flowing evening dresses adorned the ladies, who flickered hints of red in their Christian Louboutin heels. Thus, it was no surprise Fred Singer, Chairman of Henry Singer Fashion Group, and his son Jordan Singer, President of Henry Singer Fashion Group, were in attendance, Jordan reflecting:

Edmonton is growing rapidly; our culture and fashion have begun to showcase our big city aspirations. North of Lipsky has gracefully captured this energy.


North of Lipsky Co-Founders Alec Heffernan and Sonny Sekhon took a different approach with Edmonton’s particularly prickly Movember Fundraiser. While working together at Henry Singer during the summer of 2010, they developed the concept of contrasting a black tie gala with a pizza party ambience. Relying on their entrepreneurial intuition, the giving nature of Edmontonians and their team of friends, the first event was hosted within weeks raising over $11,000 at a local community centre. This past November they hosted their 5th annual event at the Chateau Lacombe Ballroom seeking to break last year’s record of $70,000 in donations. When asked to share the secret of their success, Sonny humbly acknowledges:


North of Lispky embraces the spirit of Movember; an awareness campaign that is celebrated, grabs peoples attention and supports a great cause. Besides, everyone loves a good moustache!


North of Lipsky is one of the Top Fundraising Teams in Canada with fewer than 10 members. They’ve been featured in the Edmonton Journal, and have created a signature dish at Deluxe Burger. The team has even received praise from Mayor Don Iveson – a man who would do a “Ron Burgundy” justice. Reese Cambell, an executive with North of Lipsky, finds inspiration from their team and community:


I am grateful to collaborate with friends. We lean on one another, working together to bring the event to fruition. We are honoured to have our city’s young professionals come together to support men’s health. We cannot thank the community enough.


As any good designer knows, fashion requires function, as Sonny emphasizes,


Our team, community, and donations have impacted people around the world but also right here at home with investment in The Kaye Clinic, empowering them to develop ground-breaking research of prostate cancer, among others.


An impressive step forwards, North of Lipsky is a shining example of Edmonton’s progression and potential. By the end of the evening my moustache – which was only a stub or two above a Sydney Crosby – felt more like a Tom Selleck.

Movember began in November 2003 to open conversation about men’s health, including early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatment. As of 2013, donations have exceeded $574 million, with 800 programs in 21 countries. Participants, aptly titled ‘Mo Bros’, grow their moustache to raise awareness and attract donations; with some beautifully groomed, others uncomfortably present and everything in between, it is always a poignant statement of support.

Photography courtesy of Chris Buffi

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