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Whistler hosts screening of The Mask You Live In and a presentation by CFL all-star, and founder of The Wellmen Project, Shea Emry, on Wednesday, May 20

WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, May 12, 2015 – On Wednesday, May 20, Ki Communications, The Wellmen Project, Local Automotive and Pique Newsmagazine will host a screening of The Mask You Live In alongside a talk by CFL all-star linebacker Shea Emry, founder of The Wellmen Project.

From the producers of Miss Representation, The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating today's narrow definition of masculinity. The movie explores how young men pressured by the media, their peer groups, and even the adults in their lives, confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men.

Designed to spark conversation, The Mask You Live In explores masculinity in North America. From interviews with experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, the media, and young men and boys themselves, the movie inspires everyone to think about masculinity in today's society, so we can help the males in our lives stay true to themselves and overcome limiting stereotypes.

Canadian football star Shea Emry knows all about wearing a “mask” of masculinity. But after a concussive injury sidelined him in 2011 he began to explore his mental health and realized it was time for a change. “Men’s mental health issues continue to thrive behind society’s masks,” he wrote recently in an article for the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation.

“I’m the perfect example: a professional football player, the mentally tough, ‘alpha-male’ type. Until I ripped off the mask this was all I — and perhaps others — allowed me to be. Social-cultural expectations surrounding masculinity are why such a singular-belief system can even occur in a young man’s mind. The mask that many men feel we need to put on before we walk out the door each morning perpetuates a society of men and boys who have bought into a culture that does not value vulnerability, a trait we have feminized.”

Following the screening of the movie Emry will talk about the prevailing perception of masculinity, as well as the social conditioning surrounding it — and how it perpetuates the predominant stigmatization of mental illness. Using his platform in professional sport, Emry founded The Wellmen Project; a movement that proves being a “real man” is about being a balanced man.

Moderated by Kirby Brown the evening will conclude with a question-and-answer period with Emry and Greg McDonnell from McDonnell Counselling.

The event will take place at Whistler Secondary School starting at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $8.00 and are available for purchase on line at eventbrite.com.

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Media contact:

Sonya Hwang, Ki Communications

Ph: 604 932 0308

sonya@kicommunications.ca