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Queen’s students put on largest student-run fashion show in Canada to raise big funds for charity | Queen’s Gazette

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The bright lights of downtown Kingston’s Grand Theatre recently shined down on Queen’s students using their creativity to help the community. The Vogue Charity Fashion Show (VCFS) held their annual performance at the theatre for three nights, raising more than $77,000 for Extend-A-Family-Kingston, a local non-profit organization that promotes health, wellbeing, and community for people with disabilities.

The event is the largest student-run fashion show in Canada, and it consists of a mix of music, dance, design, choreography, and modeling. More than 180 Queen’s students collectively dedicated thousands of hours to bring this year’s version of it to life.

“Our volunteers come from across all the faculties and bring so many different interests and perspectives to the show,” says Katarina Bojic, Co-President of VCFS and fourth-year student in the Faculty of Arts and Science. “We’re all passionate about creativity and philanthropy and that’s what brings us together. We all feel like we get so much from the Kingston community, and we want to use our talents to give back.”

Members of the VCFS team with the $77,000 cheque for Extend-A-Family Kingston. (Ben Kwan, Dakshesh Bharal, Michael Im, King-David Olajuwon, and Jordan Medulan/Vogue Charity Fashion Show)

Queen’s students have been running VCFS for 27 years and have raised more than $700,000 for more than a dozen local non-profit organizations over that time. The show centres on a different theme each year, and this year’s was “Days of Being.” Each of the show’s seven acts explored an aspect of growing up through a dance number, a music number, and choreographed modeling.

Among the highlights of the fashion show every year are the more than 70 original outfits the designers on the VCFS team create from scratch for the models. Some of these pieces are entered into a silent auction after the show to raise additional funds for charity.

“Every year our designers blow everyone away with their creativity,” says Katie Goddard, Co-President of VCFS and fourth-year student in Queen’s Health Sciences. “They all bring their own sensibilities and vision to what they produce, like one designer this year who used only second-hand fabric to try to keep their work sustainable. Some of them even contribute their own funds to completing their designs, which shows how dedicated everyone on our team is to the show and to making a difference in the community.”

Vogue Charity Fashion Show

Students performing one of the dance numbers of this year’s show. (Ben Kwan, Dakshesh Bharal, Michael Im, King-David Olajuwon, and Jordan Medulan/Vogue Charity Fashion Show)

The VCFS team’s involvement with Extend-A-Family-Kingston this year went beyond fundraising. Many of the students also volunteered their time to the organization, running multiple activity sessions that helped people living with disabilities build community through art and performance.

“Extend-A-Family Kingston is incredibly grateful for the experience of working with the passionate and dedicated students from the Vogue Charity Fashion Show this year,” says Ian Cholmondeley, Extend-A-Family Kingston. “The donation we received will go a long way towards making our space and programs more accessible, getting out into the community, and to providing families and participants subsidies to attend summer camp and other meaningful program opportunities. Most importantly, the time that the VCFS team took to volunteer with our program participants and share their skills, passions and connect with us have given us memories and friendship that we will cherish. All we can say is thank you to the team that made this year so special.”

Learn more one the VCFS website.

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