Vancouver Indigenous Style Week co-producers Joleen Mitton (R) and Pam Baker (L) have over 50 years of expertise within the trend trade mixed. Photograph credit score: Brian Nguyen

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Vancouver Indigenous Style Week (VIFW) returns to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 2022 for its third version, with the aim of rekindling pleasure within the face of grief. New collections from 32 Indigenous trend designers from throughout Turtle Island (North America) will sashay the runway on fashions of First Nation / Métis / Inuit descent.

In between reveals, friends can store for items from Indigenous distributors and revel in musical performances by The Wolfpack, Snotty Nostril Rez Children, Soul Shakers, DJ O Present, DJ Kookum, and extra. Full program and tickets can be found at

Pink Gown Occasion. Photograph Credit score: Bryan Nguyen

“For the Indigenous group, the final two years has been marked by grief. We misplaced many cherished elders and the grotesque legacy of residential colleges saturated the whole lot, so we determined to focus this 12 months’s VIFW on pleasure and celebration,” stated Joleen Mitton, founder and co-producer of VIFW and All My Relations Indigenous Society, the nonprofit group behind the occasion. “We hope that everybody who attends will really feel festive to be in group, and see us triumphant. We’ve been right here since time immemorial, and we’re nonetheless right here.”

As in earlier editions, VIFW launches its opening evening with the Pink Gown Occasion, hosted by Lorelei Williams, founding father of Butterflies in Spirit. Friends are inspired to put on purple in honour of lacking and murdered Indigenous ladies, women and 2SLGBTQ+ group. On Dec. 2, Van Vogue Jam, hosted by Indigenous chief Khelsilem Tl’aḵwasiḵ̓an Sxwchálten, closes VIFW with a vogue ball, that includes drag and catwalk battles for trophies, prizes, and glory.

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From its inception in 2017, VIFW has proudly showcased up to date Indigenous regalia that highlights awe-inspiring works of Indigenous artists and designers within the conventional Coast Salish territory. VIFW will function a strong artisan market with 40 distributors promoting jewellery, clothes, magnificence merchandise and different handcrafted items, in time for the gift-giving vacation season.

“Selling cultural appreciation and uplifting Indigenous designers on a world stage is on the coronary heart of what motivates us at VIFW. It’s our obligation to share our teachings to honour our ancestors, the place we create a path in the direction of understanding the designers. Our methods and artwork is not going to be misplaced,” stated Himikalas, Pam Baker, Squamish / Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw dressmaker and co-producer of VIFW.

VIFW established the Vancouver Indigenous Style Week Mentorship Program, which supplies 16 Indigenous youth and younger adults a path to significant, fulfilling employment in occasion manufacturing, over the course of eight weeks. Now in its second 12 months, this employment coaching program allows mentees to attach with Indigenous tradition and ceremony by way of trend, in a approach that breaks intergenerational trauma and cycles of disconnection, little one welfare, internalized racism and lack of tradition.

“Mentorship is necessary in our tradition. I’m so grateful that my mentor, Pam Baker, has joined me as co-producer this 12 months. I’m benefitting from her 30+ years of expertise within the trend trade, and in flip, I’m honoured to proceed paying-it-forward by formalizing our long-standing Mentorship Program,” stated Mitton, who’s of Plains Cree, French, and Scottish heritage. “Style is a very highly effective approach for younger Indigenous folks to attach and reconnect with their heritage. It’s therapeutic for Indigenous youth and younger adults to be a part of creating one thing that’s significant to them, whereas having the chance to construct marketable job and life expertise.”

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This 12 months, VIFW additionally shaped the Knowledge Circle to help the event and upkeep of a culturally protected, respectful, and accountable planning course of and occasion that facilities fairness by honouring Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh protocols. The Knowledge Circle is made up of Indigenous leaders from the three Nations. Members embody Pam Baker; Alexis McDonald; Charlene Alec; Debra Sparrow; Kris Achie; Ruthe Alfred; and Maynard Johnny Jr, amongst others.