For the fifth year in a row, Concordia’s Commerce and Administration Students Association (CASA Cares) is hosting a fashion show to benefit the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
This year’s show is called MUSE and the theme is art and life. That’s why this year’s donation will be aimed toward providing the hospital with an art therapy program, and to help them hire trained professionals to work with the children.
“I want to reach our objective for the Montreal Children’s Hosipital. We try to raise $10,000 every year. In addition to that, I want to see that everyone involved has had a good time,” said Sachin Bhola, the show’s creative director.
While a fashion show can be typically associated with anorexic girls, fancy clothes and a need for attention, Bhola says CASA’s fifth annual show couldn’t be any more different.
“It’s not about image, it’s about helping others in need,” Bhola said. She stressed that the show isn’t abou finding a tall, slim young to strut her stuff on the stage. There is no pre-set body type.
“We’re open to all kinds of models. There are no barriers. In terms of weight, we don’t operate on those standards…when I’m working with a model, I need to know that their heart is in the right place,” Bhola added.
Christie Spiropoulos, a 21-year-old Marketing major, joined the show thinking it would be a fun experience, but over the course of preparation, has found herself doing a lot more than just having fun.
“We wouldn’t spend four hours at practice just to wear something for less than a minute. It’s become a personal matter,” she said.
“I’m actually surprised by my actions. I find myself promoting the show, not for me, but because of the CASA Cares students and how hard they are working,” Spiropoulos says.
Ultimately, Bhola said the show is about teamwork, banding together to help those less fortunate.
According to Bhola, every year, more and more money is raised and more tickets are sold for the fashion show. Each successful year sets the bar higher for the following year. It has raised a grand total of $21,000 in the last three years.
Bhola said another benefit of a student run show is the ability to provide local Montreal designers with the exposure they need.
“To showcase their talent is just as important. They come back to us year after year because it is a good outlet for them.”
CASA holds several other events throughout the year, including ‘Bliss’ and ‘Winter Wonderland’. Both parties are organized by students, for students.
The proceeds of ‘Bliss’ went to the Canadian Cancer Society and the earnings from ‘Winter Wonderland’ were donated to the Montreal Gazette Christmas Fund.
“We don’t keep any of the proceeds,” says Bhola. The cost of their expenses to produce the fashion show was paid for by sponsorship.
Donations and ticket sales are the primary source of the money raised for the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
In the end, Bhola says it’s about working together toward a greater good and having fun in the process.
“It doesn’t make any sense for people to regret being involved. I want every volunteer involved to look back on it and have great memories.”
CASA’s fashion show is scheduled for March 15. For more information on CASA Cares or any of their upcoming events, visit their website at: www.casacares.com.