Antti Asplund HETEROPHOBIA closes Vancouver Fashion Week

(Feature photos above: left by Robbin Whachell / right by Sam Stringer)

It was not your typical closing show for a fashion week, but it was indeed memorable. Many of us were wondering about this new Finnish designer, Antti Asplund and with such a unique design name, Heterophobia,  the show was highly anticipated.  As the team for Vancouver Fashion Week readied for the final show, a few center seats across from me were held open. A blond man in a cap and street clothes, wearing a bandana around his neck was ushered in and he carried a bouquet of flowers and a white pillow.  I later learned he was Henri Pohjanhovi, the designer’s marketing manager. The two seats next to him remained open (well sort of) throughout the lengthy, but most-interesting fashion display that followed.

The show was bright and colourful and at most times quite outrageous with an array of accessories like household nylon dusters, army gas masks, grenades, painted bags, shoes and fabrics. The show was set against a video backdrop that featured Asplund and his muse Hiu Lume, which was directed and filmed by a Finnish artist Andre Pozusis, and edited by Katariina Nordfors. It’s message however was not clear to me at the time.

Photos: Dale Rollings / Vancouver Fashion Week
HETEROPHOBIA (Photos by Dale Rollings) Vancouver Fashion Week, Canada CLICK TO VIEW LARGE

“The video is based on my text about equality and it keeps evolving for every show,” Asplund told me. “In Berlin it included a part in German, in Finland it had some lines in Finnish and for Vancouver I wrote French text.  The video and catwalk show in Vancouver were extended with a new part called Colourless Clan which deals with issues of violence on the streets, and racism that is still in the air in North America and all around the world.  It tells about coping with the fear of being different – that’s what the word HETEROPHOBIA stands for,” said Asplund.

The show was also dark and ghoulish at times. What struck me first was the simplicity of much of the collection, there were signature T’s and undies, and the use of cotton and nylon fabrics had unfinished edges and loose threads, but it all seemed to be part of ‘the look’.  A piece that stood out for me was the army fatigue jacket that was piled with ripped fabrics. I enjoyed the rainbow coloured pastel quilted plaid outfits with the ‘Elmer Fudd’ hats.

I had 70 cents on my personal account. But I had a dream and a strong vision…

Antti Asplund introduced his Heterophobia collection earlier this year at the Berlin Fashion Week. “The show was a great success with the Finnish fashion designer receiving resale agreements and offers of cooperation from all around the world,” says the designer’s website.

Asplund said his career  changed dramatically when he designed a small collection of products on a 70 cent budget to be sold at a Pride Week in Helsinki. “I collected all plain clothes I had for the shoot and got a printer from my beautiful downstairs’ neighbour. I loaned money from my mother to buy paper to iron prints on tees and briefs. We shot the campaign photos with Laura Vartio and photographer Andre Pozusis, we modeled and were styled identical without gender – Eetu Heinonen covered my blonde hair with brown braided wig. I wanted to abandon my self-image and become anonymous for the collection to send a visual message about equality.”

Photos by Dale Rollings / Vancouver Fashion Week
HETEROPHOBIA (Photos by Dale Rollings) Vancouver Fashion Week, Canada CLICK TO VIEW LARGE

It was a prominent time in Finland, as the designer wrote, “Finnish government put a black cloud on the LGBT community on Wednesday when they decided not to pass the bill of equal rights of same-sex marriage to the parliament … The cloud vanished on Saturday when 20,000 people of all genders and sexual orientation became one big colourful group. We sold out of every single item that day and got a long reservation list.”  It was after that, that he was invited to Berlin Fashion Week.

After revealing the collection, Asplund received support from a large number of businesses, design professionals and individuals. Asplund’s friends formed a colorful group of people, which the designer calls ‘his caravan,’ his team of 40 people who he has collaborated and worked with, which pursues acts of guerrilla marketing for the brand by moving the show in spectacular outfits around, being live advertisements for the collection.

During the Vancouver Fashion Week show, one model dressed in a nylon white fleece outfit and hat, carrying a stuffed panda bear, stopped in front of the man with the empty seats and handed the bear to him. The panda took  it’s rightful place on the pillow next to him, while we all sat in wonder.

HETEROPHOBIA (Photos by Dale Rollings) Vancouver Fashion Week, Canada
HETEROPHOBIA (Photos by Dale Rollings) Vancouver Fashion Week, Canada CLICK TO VIEW LARGE

I wanted to abandon my self-image and become anonymous for the collection to send a visual message about equality…

The show ended on a colourful note with sailor-themed striped tight outfits and models carrying various country flags until the rainbow flag was carried out by Asplund himself.  Asplund proudly waved the flag down the runway where he stopped to give a big kiss to the male model before him.  When the entourage of models paraded out for the final walk,  confetti cans were ignited perhaps declaring, “The rainbow coloured celebration of unlimited love with the Caravan of Equality.”

 “The rainbow coloured celebration of unlimited love with the Caravan of Equality” quoted one fan in Europe.
“The rainbow coloured celebration of unlimited love with the Caravan of Equality” quoted one fan in Europe.

From Vancouver, the Caravan continued to Los Angeles and then on to New York.  Asplund and Pozusis are working on his first art exhibition called Come Back to Dark – based upon his poems about the darkness and rebirth as an artist. The exhibition combines texts, songs, videos, photography and performance.  His couture collections are based on these works.

Oh, and about that panda?!  After I asked Asplund he said, “Caravan Panda is our mascot. He’s been traveling with us since the very beginning and has visited Berlin, London, Vancouver and now Los Angeles.” Panda even has his own twitter account at “He is an essential part of Heterophobia performances both on the catwalk and in everyday life. He always gets the front row seat. Panda is a mischievous character, often vain and nonchalantly #unimpressed at the mundane and ordinary – unlike the rest of the Caravan…”

Caravan Panda on Instagram: #caravanpanda #unimpressed again #usa #losangeles #comingtoamerica #dolcegabbana #marlboro #HETEROPHOBIA #asplundcaravan
Caravan Panda posted on “anttiasplund” Instagram just days after Vancouver Fashion Week: #caravanpanda #unimpressed again #usa #losangeles #comingtoamerica #dolcegabbana #marlboro #HETEROPHOBIA #asplundcaravan

Founder of VIFF inducted into The BC Entertainment Hall of Fame

Vancouver BC, Canada  – 33 years after founding the Vancouver International Film Festival in 1982, Leonard Schein was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame at the gala opening of the 33rd festival on Thursday September 25, 2014.

Schein is gem in the Canadian entertainment industry, from founding VIFF to serving as former Executive Director of the Toronto International Film Festival and Director of English language films at the Montreal World Film Festival, Schein used the silver screen to enrich the lives of countless Canadians.

In addition to film festivals, Schein owned and operated movie theatres in Vancouver for 35 years, including, Alliance Atlantis Cinemas, Festival Cinemas, The Ridge, The Park and Fifth Avenue Cinemas. He also established Festival Films, Vancouver’s first full service film distribution company west of Ontario.

“We are honoured to induct Leonard into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame recognizing his many accomplishments and contributions to the entertainment and film industry in British Columbia” says Rob Haynes, President of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. Conducting this very special induction was City of Vancouver Mayor; Gregor Robertson and Elizabeth Ball, Past President and Chair of the induction committee.

Induction ceremony at the Opening Night Gala. Left to right: Elizabeth Ball, Past President and Chair of the induction committee; Rob Haynes, President, BC Entertainment Hall of Fame: honouree Leonard Schein; and Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. (VIFF Photo)
Induction ceremony at the Opening Night Gala. Left to right: Elizabeth Ball, Past President and Chair of the induction committee; Rob Haynes, President, BC Entertainment Hall of Fame: honouree Leonard Schein; and Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. (VIFF Photo)

In addition to entertainment, Schein has also been honoured for his community work with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the British Columbia Community Achievement Award and the Canadian Cancer Society National Citation of Merit.

The induction  took place at the official opening of the film festival and screening of WILD.

For more information, go to

Leonardo DiCaprio speaks at the UN Climate Summit

(Photos above: DiCaprio with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon [UNFacebook]; DiCaprio holding a placard at the UN Climate Summit [UNFacebook]; and DiCaprio walks at the Climate March in NYC – photo Linda Solomon Wood)

The historic 2014 UN Climate Summit closed on Tuesday, September 23rd, amidst the intense ISIS situation with major American Armed Forces bomb strikes going off in Syria.  The Summit was held just two days after the world’s largest  Climate March in history, where in New York, 400,000 turned out.

Photo: People's Climate March Facebook
Photo: People’s Climate March Facebook

One attendee said on facebook, “Now that we have marched on the streets, let’s march into the hearts and actions of the people. Move them to commit to some action in their lives to effect climate change.

A highlight at the UN Climate Summit was a speech  by Leonardo DiCaprio, who also participated in the NYC Climate March, along with many other notables including Sting and Jane Goodall.

“Today, I have the privilege to speak at the United Nations #Climate2014 Summit where world leaders are expected to announce the bold steps they will take to tackle climate change. Thank you Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,” said DiCaprio.

“Now must be our moment for action,” said DiCaprio. “Clean air and a livable climate are inalienable human rights.”

DiCaprio does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in Alberta, along with friends!
DiCaprio does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in Alberta, along with friends!

Just last month the American actor and star of The Wolf of Wall Street traveled to Fort Chipewyan, Alberta  in Canada to visit the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations downstream of the tar sands.  While there, and standing alongside Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Chief Steve Courtoreille of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and Sierra Club President Michael Brune, DiCaprio challenged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

“We took a moment to join the #IceBucketChallenge movement in support of the ALS Association.  In addition to a donation from my foundation, I challenge Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.”

Way to go DiCaprio!

Coquitlam Crunch Challenge meets goal in 5th year!

I’ve been enjoying the Coquitlam Crunch since March of this year and I thoroughly enjoy it. The Crunch is an awesome example of what makes west coat life so great.  Keeping fit while enjoying all the beauty that nature has to offer here. It’s no wonder that Vancouver has been deemed one one of the healthiest cities in the world.  The Crunch offers great views, all the way to Washington’s Mount Baker, and the natural surroundings of flora and fauna, and the odd wild life that strolls through makes each trek a unique experience.

My love for the Crunch inspired my interest in the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge which took place on September 6th. It was an all day event with a 6:30am start for the die-hards doing the ‘Make it or Break it’ category over a 12 hour period; and a 10am start for the ‘Recreational’ and family category followed with the start of the “Anything’s Possible’ category which began half way up and included those who are physically challenged.

The event was in its 5th year and was started by Alex Bell, a Coquitlam resident who lives near the Crunch which has increased with patronage through events like his and since the City of Coquitlam has taken time and effort to improve the path this year with a 437 stair inclusion in the steepest part. The event is actually called the Coquitlam Crunch ‘Diversity’ Challenge, and when looking at the word “diversity” most often in Canada we think first of ‘diversity of ethnicity’ which this country has become so well known for, but the definition of diversity goes beyond ethnicity and is more so “respect for and appreciation of differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion.”

Photos: Robbin Whachell
Photos: Robbin Whachell

All that aside, BCers love their fitness and any challenge can draw a crowd.  This event is definitely picking up in numbers each year.  This year had many well-known personalities and local dignitaries and politicians who attended, such as members of Coquitlam council and the BC Green Party.

“Although I started the event, I want this to be for the community,” said Bell during a volunteer meeting I attended to take part in and explore the Challenge event at a deeper level. The City of Coquitlam stepped in big this year and offered a grant and organizational help.  Volunteers also assist, some for a few years running.  Bell’s teen daughter, is an active volunteer of the event, and put in an amazing 13 round trips only a couple years ago. Factor in that the average round-trip up and down takes about an 1 hour on average to complete, and the event is a 12 hours duration.   The new Women’s Record Holder was former Olympian Leah Pells with 12 times, and the reigning Men’s Record Holder is Matt Sessions with 17 times.

The Coquitlam Crunch Challenge has grown from humble beginnings of only 25 persons in year 1 to over 150 that hit the trail this year.

Photos: Robbin Whachell

This year’s event went beyond the expectations of organizers.  “My goal was $3,000 for this year, ” said Alex Bell. “My  hope was that we would have $12,000 in the fund after this year’s event and due to donations that continued to roll in after last year’s Crunch and this year’s total we are over $13,000. So, we are at least $1,000 over what I had hoped for. More may still come in like last year.” The 2014 event raised well over $4000.

Aside from the fundraising, the Coquitlam Crunch Challenge offers those new to the Crunch to check it out and compete competitively or just for fun. It’s a great family event, and I’d encourage everyone in the Vancouver Lower Mainland to come and check out The Crunch, and consider competing in the Challenge next year. Organizers are talking about adding a new challenge “4X4” which would be registered teams of 4 to compete in 4 hours, relay style.

I better get training for next year, so I’ll see you at The Crunch!

Check out the Coquitlam Crunch Diversity Challenge on Facebook.

Final Crunch
Photos; Robbin Whachell
Photos: Robbin Whachell


The UN Confirms It: Canada’s Relationship With First Nations Is Broken | Hon. Carolyn Bennett

Monday, James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, issued his highly anticipated report on “The situation of indigenous peoples in Canada.” Professor Anaya has reported a broken relationship between the federal government and Indigenous peoples, which is mired in distrust. He highlighted a serious and persistent crisis in outcomes for Indigenous people in this country, and the fact that the steps taken by the Conservative government to date have failed to address this crisis.

More at: The UN Confirms It: Canada’s Relationship With First Nations Is Broken | Hon. Carolyn Bennett.

Green Embassy returns to Vancouver Fashion Week

I was honoured to attend an Artist’s Talk hosted by Helen Siwak of Kitsilano Kitty’s Closet over the weekend to hear Zuhal Kuvan-Mills (seen above left)  a Turkish-born Australian visual artist, textile and organic certified (GOTS) haute-couture fashion designer speak about her product and inspirations, “Beyond the Design.”  The Australian Honorary Consul Kevin Lamb even attended to show his support.

I met Zuhal last season at Vancouver Fashion Week and was in awe of her unique pieces made from felt and weaving of the alpaca she raises in Perth, Australia. “I am a farmer and a scientist first,” she said.  Zuhal graduated in 1986 from Istanbul University as a veterinarian surgeon.  She went on to lecture in animal science and conservation.

GE_fabricHer two labels, Green Embassy and  Atelier Zuhal are internationally certified with Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) certification. She specializes in handmade textiles using certified organic alpaca and merino fibres, and Green Embassy, a cutting-edge ‘slow fashion’ clothing label employing earth-friendly, hand-crafted techniques.  Green Embassy is organic, eco-friendly, and has a zero-waste policy.  “At the end of the year I may only have that much waste,” said Zuhal pointing to a small living room wasted bin.

It was her love for contemporary  art , that had her study at University of Creative Arts in  Farnham–England and  Curtin University in WA and earned her a Visual Arts degree, winning several awards.  She started Green Embassy in 2013.

“It was attending Vancouver Fashion Week that really got things going for me,” said Zuhal. Her Green Embassy’s first collection “Regeneration’’ went on to show at Eco -luxe London during the London Fashion week and Seattle Eco Show,  Beijing PLITZS New York Fashion Week, New Zealand  Eco-Fashion Week.

Green Embassy will be seen at the end of September, 2014 at World Fashion Week in Paris, France, representing her country (Australia)and is said to be the only ‘eco’ designer to attend this year.

Deborah Bonar, (Aboriginal Heritage Gija and Yamatji ) Western Australian artist.
Green Embassy has been collaborating with Deborah Bonar, Western Australian artist.

This season the biggest change I’ve seen in her work is the use of silk fabrics, offering up cooler pieces to be worn in spring and summer.  In her leaf colourization process she rolls eucalyptus leaves within the fabric and boils it.  The effect is colourful, rich and warm, and tells a story of the earth and nature.  “I’ve been inspired recently by First Nations designs,” said Zuhal and has since been collaborating with Deborah Bonar, (Aboriginal Heritage Gija and Yamatji ) Western Australian artist. Some of those collaborations will be seen on the runway this week in Vancouver.

Green Embassy has also launched an accessories line within her, “Connected to Land” line that use any or a variety of knitted copper wire, GOTS certified organic cotton fabric, natural silk organza eco-printed with eucalyptus leaves, agate stones, and beads.  Each, like her clothing, are unique pieces of artwork.

“I am an artist that makes clothes,” insists Zuhal, “I am not a fashion designer.”

That said, artist or designer,   I am very excited to see her next ‘group of work’ on Thursday, September 18th when her pieces hit the runway at Vancouver Fashion Week!


Vancouver Fashion Week to kick off with sparkling Opening Gala

Vancouver Fashion Week is set to kick off off with a sparkling Opening Gala on Monday, September 15th at the Queen Elizabeth Plaza. The Gala, hosted by Vancouver’s own Mary Zilba (cast member of The Real Housewives of Vancouver and seen above in her line LotusActiva) will be co presenting with MC Anthony Lewis. Additional guest speakers will include Vancouver’s public speaker, traveler and activist, Patti De Sante.

The doors will open to guests, media and designers at 6:30 pm. Introductions, speeches and designer showcases will start at 8pm and go on into the early evening. Shuttles will be provided to transport guests to the official after party at The Donnelly Group’s Republic nightclub.

The gala will not only address the start of Vancouver Fashion Week, but welcomes and celebrates the number of international designers, buyers, media and guests to the city. Vogue UK, Elle Italy, Harper’s Bazaar Argentina, WGSN are just some of the international media presence that will provide a glimpse of the arts, culture and distinctive fashion status within Vancouver’s creative community. In addition to VFW’s global media coverage, Vancouver will be welcoming over 70 international designers established and emerging, representing over 25 countries worldwide.

VFW founder Jamal Abdourahman is thrilled to be leveraging the biggest fashion week Vancouver has ever seen. The Opening Gala will just be a taste of the amazing week of emerging talent, innovative fashion and international media attention to follow.

Live streaming platforms, in conjunction with Van City Pulse, will host interviews with designers throughout the 7-day event. Backstage access and designer clips can be attained by contacting the media team, all contact detailed below. Hashtag campaigns (mainly #vanfashionweek) will unite all social activity that will appear on the screens in the intervals between shows where the guests will be able to see their images and activity on the LED runway screen.

More information:

Related: Vancouver Fashion Week moves to new venue

Screen shot 2014-09-10 at 9.09.35 PM

New Footwear Company Specializes in Custom Hand Crafted One-of-a-Kind Shoes

Palm Springs, CA (September 10, 2014) – Good news for everyone who has a recurring shoe fantasy: Debra Hovel Footwear can fulfill every shoe fanatic’s fantasy and create their one-of-a-kind, hand crafted pair of dream shoes

Palm Springs artisan shoemaker, Debra Hovel, has announced her new bespoke footwear studio offering custom, completely hand crafted shoes made with each clients’ personally selected components. The focus of Debra Hovel Footwear is to provide special occasion shoes for weddings and milestone events.

Debra Hovel Footwear takes the fun, elegance and unique personality of shoes to new heights. Debra Hovel personally hand crafts exquisite one-of-a-kind shoes that have a flair for drama and theatricality that are each showstoppers. “My shoes are inspired by vintage fashion shoes, European royal court shoes, as well as various vintage ethnic footwear,” states Hovel. “However, I can also create cutting-edge contemporary shoe designs to suit everyone’s personal style and taste.”

Her studio is fully stocked with an exciting variety of extraordinary components — racks of leather, skins, furs, fabrics and trim that clients can choose from. Using decorative components such as vintage buckles, buttons, gems, lace, antique textiles, fur, and a wide variety of trims, each shoe is uniquely individual.

“I focus on creating shoes for milestone special events like weddings, anniversaries or other special occasions. I may incorporate your grandmother’s lace, buttons from your mother’s wedding gown, or other meaningful personal artifacts that make my shoes especially memorable for each client.”

Debra Hovel Footwear prides itself on fine craftsmanship, extravagant details and the expert hand crafting of each pair of shoes — never to-be-duplicated.  “My clients have the privilege of owning a pair of shoes that no one else on the planet will ever have,” Hovel adds.
Debra Hovel Footwear is a nominee in the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Awards that honor artisans, small-business owners, and creative entrepreneurs in the fields of crafts, design, food, and style.  The panel of judges is led by design maven Martha Stewart plus a team of editors from Martha Stewart publications, and experts from the fashion world.
Online voting by the public will take place from September 15 – October 13, 2014. hovel

Hovel and her husband Richard Hovel have a successful national retail design consultancy firm, hovelgroup, founded in 1997.  They provide retail design, graphics, product development, branding services and cultural trend research to a variety of national clients such as Target, Sears, Kmart, Best Buy, OfficeMax, and Brookstone. Originally based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, hovelgroup is now based in Palm Springs, California where they relocated in 2010.

Debra Hovel is among only a handful of women who are members of The Honourable Cordwainer Company, a shoemaker guild that has its roots in England and dates back hundreds of years. The guild, which holds annual international conferences, is dedicated to discovering and preserving the skills, technology, and history of boot and shoemaking.


Vancouver Fashion Week Moves to New Venue

Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) is fast approaching and will take place from the 15th to the 21st of September at Queen Elizabeth Plaza under a 13,956 square foot tent. The Presenting Sponsor, Procter and Gamble, team up with VFW for the second season and will be bringing in beauty bars and 3D makeup mirrors by COVERGIRL, Pantene and Olay. During the week, the doors will open at 4:30pm to present collections from 70 local and international designers, representing over 25 countries worldwide.

The Opening gala will take place on the 15th of September. Doors open at 6:30pm with introductions, speeches and designer showcases running from 8pm into the early evening. Official after parties with Donnelly Group will take place every night with shuttles transporting guests to the group’s nightclubs and lounges.

A sweeping 90-foot runway across the centre of the tent will accommodate a seating capacity of 720 people. For the first time in Vancouver, Tentnology will be providing a custom-built 31956 square foot white saddle tent, which will span across the paved square at the front of Queen Elizabeth Plaza. LED lighting and effects will create spectacular visuals. Upon entering the tent, guests will be welcomed to enjoy food and drinks and invited to utilize the Press Board for images and interviews.

VFW is also proud to announce that METRO News Canada has recently joined us as the official national print news sponsor and will be printing daily VFW Street style imagery of VFW’s most stylish attendees throughout the week.

Screen shot 2014-09-10 at 9.09.35 PMVancouver Fashion Week will welcome International VIP media, buyers and guests to the event including Vogue UK, Elle Canada/Italy, Harpers Bazaar Argentina, WGSN, Niche magazine, Raine Magazine, BC living, Metro News Canada and many more listed below.

7 days of international and local fashion and media buzz will solidify Vancouver’s evolving reputation as an international destination for arts, culture and tourism. Representatives from all over the globe will attend to meet the designers, watch the shows and promote the skills and talent from the emerging and established fashion houses showcasing their SS15 collections.

For 14 years VFW has worked alongside Showmax events to provide the events technical elements. With over 20 years experience Showmax has produced over 10,000 events and provides seamless installations of high spec lighting, led screens, AV installations for Festivals, Fashion Shows, Launches, Conferences and sports entertainment.

Freshii will be providing food for all VFW models, backstage volunteers and staff. 23-year-old Corrin, owner of Freshii set out to add magic to the fresh food business. In 2013, Freshii was awarded Top Franchise of the Year in Canada. They are also making a significant digital impact through social media, where they have over 100,000 followers on Instagram, and their innovative mobile app,

This season we are delighted to have Hawks Hollow as our wine supplier. Hawks Hollow is a BC Okanagan Falls based vineyard. For the show, VFW and Hawks Hollow have designed custom logos for the bottles. “Hawks Hollow is proud to be providing VFW two selections of wine. The Nest, a full-bodied merlot and White Nest, a crisp fruity Chardonnay. We hope you enjoy both the shows and our product” Steve Carter, owner Hawks Hollow.

Army and Navy are providing all of the footwear throughout the shows. This is the 4th season Army and Navy have worked alongside VFW.

This year is Skyeberrypie’s first season joining the VFW corporate sponsors list. Skye is the CEO of Lumo Cosmetics in Italy, and has been involved in the beauty and the pharmaceutical industry for past 20 years. Alongside with VFW, SkyeBerryPie will host an after party at Cabana on Friday the 19th in which the proceeds from the drink sale will go towards Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.

Mary Zilba from Housewives of Vancouver will be showcasing her yoga wear line Lotusactivaa and will also be hosting the opening gala on the evening of the 15th. “Vancouver Fashion week is an amazing opportunity for local and national designers to be showcased in an international market. I am thrilled to be part of such a great experience. “As a new designer I am excited to be among the more than 70 global designers from more than 25 countries showing at Fashion Week. With the new venue at Queen Elizabeth Plaza, Vancouver will be the hottest ticket in town,” says Mary Zilba.

Limage Media will run all production of live streaming platforms for media to connect, feature and feed into their channels and shows. A crew of 25 cameramen, field productions teams, co-hosts and live bloggers will facilitate this captivating platform of continuous content.

SKY Helicopters has joined VFW to cross promote. SKY Helicopters is the leading helicopter company in Vancouver, offering Vancouver helicopter adventure sightseeing tours and rides, Vancouver “flightseeing” tours by air, charter helicopter services, helicopter services for industry support, helicopter rentals for a wedding or engagement and tourism.

Canadian recording artist and television host of Vancity Pulse, Marika Siewert will be filming through out the week providing media coverage for our sponsors, designers, events and all the happenings of Vancouver Fashion Week.“ I have had the privilege of being a part of VFW in the past, and I am thrilled to be working with such an incredible team again. The show is becoming one of the best in the world, and I will be bringing the highlights to our audiences internationally to give a taste of what goes on in and behind the scenes.” Marika Siewert, Van City Pulse.

Cross Promotions and Hashtags

London Drugs is running a hashtag campaign with VFW as well as a cross promotion aligning beauty and fashion. The contest winner will receive opening ceremony passes, 7 day passes and backstage access.

More information at




Quebec: Atikamekw First Nation Declares Sovereignty Over Its Territory

QUEBEC – The Atikamekw First Nation has declared its sovereignty over 80,000 square kilometres of territory and says any development in that area must get its approval.

Armed with a Supreme Court of Canada judgment recognizing ancestral rights for First Nations in British Columbia, the Atikamekw want to have their say on projects located in the Nitaskinan region.

“Gone are the days of negotiating the rights of the Atikametw, which have not been surrendered, for the benefit of a state that imposes its rules as if such rights do not exist,” Awashish said at a news conference Monday.

“Our jurisdiction, our rules and our conditions must be respected.”

MORE:  Atikamekw First Nation Declares Sovereignty Over Its Territory.