CreComm students stage fashion show to benefit local homeless shelter

Madelaine Lapointe (left) and Ashley Tokaruk

Six clients from the Main Street Project — many of whom have gone long stretches without clean clothes or a roof over their heads — will walk the runway in their very own custom-made suits this week, as part of a fundraiser organized by a pair of Red River College students.

The Runway to Change project, organized by Creative Communications students Madelaine Lapointe (above, left) and Ashley Tokaruk (right), seeks to raise awareness of the plight of homeless people in Winnipeg, and to end the stigma associated with living in poverty.

The evening fashion show, which takes place at 6:30pm on Thu., Feb. 2, at the Fort Garry Hotel, is part of a self-led project undertaken by Lapointe and Tokaruk as part of their studies. Over 200 guests — including Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and RRC honorary diploma recipient Ace Burpee — are expected to attend, with all proceeds raised going directly to the Main Street Project.

"It's been amazing to have had the opportunity to do a project like [this]," says Lapointe. "Coming into the Creative Communications program, I never thought I'd be doing a project of this scale, but the hard work has — and is — paying off. Seeing the smiles on the clients' faces at Main Street Project is a direct result of our helping to make a difference in the community."

As for the first-time models taking part in the event, Lapointe says they're equally proud, knowing the funds raised will benefit not only themselves, but also their friends at the shelter.

A number of local designers and stores have made or donated suits for clients to wear during the show (and to keep afterwards), including EPH Apparel, Lennard Taylor, Bellabalas, Topshop, Topman, Danali, Hush Collection, Margot + Maude, and Stylebar.