By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – It was a one-way ticket to an international runway.
TR Leger Immigrant Services and the Cornwall Pubic Library teamed up for a multicultural fashion show. Modeling, martial arts and traditional cloths formed a new stylish alliance between literature and fashion.
Jay Payment was there to watch his wife Shan Sun model traditional Chinese fashion. The Cornwall-native left the city four years ago to teach in China. The two returned to his hometown five months ago.
Glaring eyes were no distraction for her, since she had already done modeling in China. Coming from a major metropolis, Tianjin, with a population of millions, small city life is still new.
“It’s not a big difference the culture. People are very friendly here,” she said. “Cornwall is pretty quiet. A very relaxed city, with fresh air and cheap housing.”
Payment applauded the effort by TR and the library.
“I love seeing new cultures,” he said. “It’s important to have multiculturalism in Cornwall.”
Members of the Canada Cornwall Tai Chi Club performed in traditional garments. Precise patterns of movement unfolded during their ‘Tai Chi Chuan in 24 Forms’ routine.
Indian traditional cloth was being shown. One male model wore a ‘Kurta,’ which is a long loose shirt, hanging to the knees. In older times, it was primarily worn by men. Now it’s a unisex piece of clothing, and is a trendy look with jeans.
“There are a lot of different cultures here,” said TR Leger settlement outreach worker Rabia Zeeshan. “Culture days and this event lets Canadians know the values of different cultures in their community.”
Zeeshan said the fashion show will be an annual event that aims to build into a multicultural festival in partnership with the library.
“We’re going to build on the success that we have today,” said Library communications and programs coordinator Pierre Dufour.