Beard On or Beard Off Raises $6,435!

Brian Bates Beard On Beard Off posterFinal Update, Monday, January 16, 2017

Five gentlemen who offered their glorious manes for a good cause – helping people who are homeless and vulnerable through the Victoria Cool Aid Society, last night made the “ultimate sacrifice” of their beards. More dollars were voted towards shaving the beards than towards saving them. In total, $6,435 was raised for REES Support Services through this unique and fun initiative. Final tally:

Beards Off: $3,565 ($2,535 online + $1,030 at Saint Franks)

Beards On: $2,870 ($2,370 online + $500 at Saint Franks)

Cool Aid is very grateful for the four men (formerly with beards) who live in Victoria: Brian Bates, Braeden Papp, Nick Johnson and David Mitchell, and Frank Motschko in Kelowna.

There was a packed house at Saint Franks last night and literally standing room only and celebrity energy surrounding the Victory Barber Shop at the back of Saint Franks when their amazing beards were shaved off after voting closed. A big thank you goes to these businesses and the event sponsor Driftwood Brewery.

Both online and Saint Franks voting ended Sunday night. Members of the public who wish to show their solidarity for their sacrifice can still make a charitable donation at Please note your gift is in support of “Beard On – Beard Off”.

Visit to watch the dramatic videos and learn more.

Update – Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tonight’s the night when the big decision is made. Will the five gorgeous, long beards be lopped off or will they remain? Only you can decide.

Vote online until 8 pm tonight. Or live 4-8 pm to witness the drama and chaos:

Saint Franks, 1320 Broad Street, Victoria

Save them!

Shave them!

Victoria – December 1, 2016 – Two years ago, Brian Bates offered up his glorious mane to help people in need by supporting the Victoria Cool Aid Society. Bids to shave the beard off or save the beard (on) came in at over $2,700, with the “Beard On” forces winning by a whisker. This year, Brian has convinced two other men (Nicholas Johnson and Braeden Papp) to join him and offer up their glorious beards in the name of a good cause. They are hoping to raise $10,000 for the Victoria Cool Aid Society.

Come meet these gentlemen and learn what motivates them to offer up their most precious beards. “Beard On/Beard Off: 2” launches this Friday, December 2, at the Victory Barber Shop in the back of Saint Franks, 1320 Broad Street at 9 am.

If you love bushy beards, or even if you hate them, now is your chance to have your say. Visit to watch the dramatic video, learn more and contribute. All proceeds will help the Victoria Cool Aid Society programs.


Vote with your donation to keep the beards on.

Or vote here to shave them off!

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Brian Bates,

Alan Rycroft, Cool Aid, 250-414-4781,

Braeden, Brian & Nick sporting their beards

Braeden, Brian & Nick sporting their beards


An article about the first “Beard On – Beard Off” appeared in the Province in January 2015 and follows:

Everyone wins (except mom): Beard stays, Cool Aid Society gets $2,740
The Province
January 16, 2015 09:42 PM

The people have spoken: Brian Bates will keep his beard, which he has been growing for about a year.

The beard abides.

The fate of Brian Bates’s facial hair has been decided by family, friends and complete strangers in an Internet competition designed to raise money for a Victoria-area charity.

brian-bates-cam-shot-2015In early December, Bates launched a crowdfunding campaign on CauseVox asking people to donate to one of two sites — Beard On or Beard Off — with the proceeds from both going to help the homeless.

With $1,485 raised, the Beard On campaign squeaked out a win, and Bates’s glorious blond mane — a year’s work — will remain. The Beard Off campaign, strongly supported by Bates’s mother, came close with $1,255 in donations.

“I had resigned myself to shaving it,” Bates said Thursday, a few hours before the campaign’s midnight close. “I was expecting a landslide, so I was shocked to see it come this close.”

Bates will donate all the money to the Victoria Cool Aid Society, which runs several supportive housing buildings and shelters, in addition to a health and community centre, helping about 9,000 Victoria homeless each year.

The society is planning a “decorating event” in the beard’s honour.

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