5th Annual Wearable Art Show and Runway Challenge

Public Energy's faux-fashion fundraiser takes place April 25 at Peterborough's Market Hall

Jesse Morrison models an outfit designed by Tori Silvera in partnership with Pammett's Flowers at last year's Runway Challengers photo shoot at The Mount Community Centre. Pammett's Flowers is back at this year's event, teamed up with designer Cheryl Ellis, whose outfit will be modeled by performer James Whetung. (Photo courtesy of Public Energy)
Jesse Morrison models an outfit designed by Tori Silvera in partnership with Pammett's Flowers at last year's Runway Challengers photo shoot at The Mount Community Centre. Pammett's Flowers is back at this year's event, teamed up with designer Cheryl Ellis, whose outfit will be modeled by performer James Whetung. (Photo courtesy of Public Energy)

Getting dressed for a fundraiser tends to conjure images of dusting off the old glad rags and spending a night exchanging genial smiles and handshakes. No doubt pleasant and enjoyable for those who tend to frequent such affairs, but it hardly seems like everyone’s idea of a fun night out. Perhaps that’s why the Wearable Art Show featuring the Runway Challenge has proven so popular.

Rarely do you get the opportunity to get dressed up and go out where all the rules about fashion etiquette have been temporarily suspended. Dress up, dress down, wear a wild and outlandish outfit, or come as you are. On Saturday, April 25th at the Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, it’s all fair game for Public Energy’s annual fundraiser.

The tone has been set by the feature event of the evening, The Runway Challenge. Seven artists and designers were given one month to take materials provided by local business partners and turn them into dazzling fashion ensembles. Their chosen model or performer will then parade, dance, or otherwise creatively show off this sensational garb.

This would otherwise be a fairly typical fashion show, were it not for the types of businesses involved and materials provided. This year’s business partners are The Night Kitchen Pizza, Custom Copy, The Endeavour Centre, Pammett’s Flowers, Lakefield Pantry, GreenUP, and East City Flower Shop. This is not the stuff of fashion!

And there’s the challenge to artists Amber Worr, Leslie Menagh, Gillian Turnham, Holly McLellan, Grace Mahoney, Cheryl Ellis, and Chris Ferguson: one month to make beautiful wearable art creations from things like paper, aluminum foil, flowers, builder’s materials, food products, and recycled plastic.

A similar challenge is taken up throughout the night in the Wearable Art Show. Models take to the catwalk in outfits constructed of materials not typically associated with fashion. These include individual entries and group entries like The Strutt Program — young models and designers from Strutt Central who have been a mainstay of the event. So too with entries from Su Halle’s Triptastica, Lakefield College School, and entries going on as part of Peterborough Fashion Week.

The night also features delicious food, a live art creation from artist Ann Cavanagh, and a silent auction with over $6,000 in items. Auction items include original African art form ZimArt; an array of concert tickets from 4th Line Theatre, Showplace, the Stratford Festival, the Shaw Festival, Westben Arts Festival Theatre, and the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra; and stays at Riverside Retreat on the Mississauga River, and Mazatlan Mexico House.

Few nights can offer such a wide open opportunity to dress up and have fun, and all for the great cause of furthering Public Energy’s support of dance, theatre, and performance in our community. You may want to grab a group of friends to reserve a cabaret table right by the runway.

The 5th Annual Wearable Art Show featuring the Runway Challenge takes place at the Market Hall Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, April 25th. Door open at 7 p.m., with showtime at 8 p.m.

General admission tickets are $20 ($15 for students/seniors/underwaged) available at the Market Hall. Cabaret-style seating for $30 per person is also available (to research, call Public Energy at 705-745-1788).

For more information, visit www.publicenergy.ca.

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