Sunnycrest fashion show showcases its community's many cultures

Resident Marion walks down the runway wearing fashions from CanadaIn May 2018, Sunnycrest’s Director of Life Enrichment, Emily Viray, was thinking of ways to bring the community together while also celebrating the unique lives of the home’s residents, families and staff. 

Recalling some of the events she’s organized in the past, she decided it would be a great idea to host a multicultural day and fashion show.

“One of my favourite types of events is a multicultural celebration,” says Viray. “Not only does this type of event promote diversity to residents, it is also a great way to celebrate the many people of different descent who live and work at the home.” 

Residents, family members and staff who were in the fashion show pose together in their outfitsViray first brought the idea forward to her team, Brenda Cole, Chantal Cullum and Shannan Chieco, who jumped on board and began the planning for a fashion show, followed by lunch featuring food from all the different cultures. 

And although the life enrichment team helped tremendously, staff working in every department quickly got on board with the idea of hosting what became one of the biggest events Sunnycrest has pulled off yet!

“This was the biggest fashion show I’ve ever been involved in,” adds Viray. “We had residents and their family members – both young and old – participating, as well as staff and volunteers all getting involved.”

Fashions from Jamaica, Dominica, India, Philippines, Congo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Poland, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Canada were showcased on a professional-looking runway, as emcee Denise Elliott highlighted the different styles and kept the crowd engaged. 

Staff pose around the different types of food they've brought inFollowing the fashion show, the group gathered to enjoy a selection of food from the different countries, dance, talk and celebrate diversity. The team even prepared a game where people had to guess all the flags of participants’ and residents’ countries of origin – the person with the most guesses correct winning a prize. 

The management and life enrichment team at the home took it upon themselves to plan an unforgettable event for all involved. Many of the staff even came in on their days off to participate and join in on the fun. 

“It was an amazing day,” recalls Viray. “Between the fashion show, the food, and the dancing and celebrations, it was just so great to see everyone come together in unity to celebrate our diverse community.”

Many of the attendees and participants gather for a photo in their outfits

In photos (top to bottom): Resident Marion Strong models fashions from Newfoundland; fashion show models gather for a photo following the show; Sunnycrest staff pose next to the food they brought in from their countries of origin; residents, families, staff and volunteers stand together for a photo following a day of multicultural fun.