Fashion for Change (FC), a non-profit organization led by university students in Waterloo, is presenting its annual charity fashion show to raise money for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
The FC team comprises more than 80 students from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, including around 40 models and dancers who show off outfits created by the design team, clothing donated by sponsors and even pieces from their own closets.
“This year [the theme] is FC presents the Academy Awards, so every single scene is based on an Oscar-nominated or Oscar-winning movie,” said FC president Vanessa Tang.
Since its founding in 2010, FC has raised more than $110,000. Proceeds from the show initially went to WE Charity, an international development charity and youth empowerment movement, but are now directed to local organizations.
“Last year, we supported Family & Children Services and this year, we’re supporting the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. [Moving forward], we’re just going to keep switching between different charities within the community within Ontario,” Tang said.
“We thought our contribution could make a bigger difference with a local charity here. And not only that, but students would also feel a lot more connected [to] the difference they would be able to make within the city of Waterloo,” she explained.
Tang joined FC in her first year at UW, drawn in by the close-knit community, as well as her sister’s fond memories of her own experiences with the organization. After four years with the organization, her love and enthusiasm for FC have grown.
“I’ve made so many really, really great memories from it. And every single year when we do this show, it’s the highlight of my year. It’s where all of my energy goes, where everyone’s here early in the morning and staying late till the night, and I’ve made some really good friends from it too,” she gushed.
Tang encouraged students to attend the 2022 show and join the team in future years, saying, “I really hope that other people are able to eventually have the same experience as well.”
Pre-pandemic, the show’s audience reached over 700 people. This year, FC is presenting a limited in-person viewing on April 1, and livestreaming the show for virtual attendees on April 3. Tickets for both viewings are available through the @fashionforchange Instagram account.