This is the sixth year the Heart and Stroke Foundation shines a light on women’s heart health by putting on a fabulous runway show which combines Canadian celebrities with top Canadian fashion designers. The designers create one-of-a-kind red dresses especially for their famous models in an effort to raise awareness about women’s rist for cardiovascuilar disease.
I attended the show and it was hot, sassy, and energetic. A stellar parade of Canadian celebrities from the worlds of sports, television, film, music, and media graced the runway and showed off their unique personalities. Celebrity models included:
Musicians Liona Boyd and Nanette Workman, actors Lauren Holly, Melanie Nicholls-King, Kristin Lehman and Sonja Smits, media personalities Suhana Meharchand, Traci Melchor and Sandra Rinomato and Olympians Jaime Salé, Hayley Wickenheiser and Cheryl Bernard.
Joining them on the runway were The Heart Truth’s Models of Health: three fabulous seniors aged 75, 83 and 91. The ladies were winners of The Heart Truth’s Model of Health program and living proof of what making heart healthy choices throughout your life can do for you. I have to admit, seeing them sashay down the runway was truly inspirational. And the audience felt the same showering the three seniors with the biggest applause of the night and several standing ovations!
In 2002, Salé and her partner David Pelletier became the first Canada’s first Olympic gold medallists in pairs skaing in 42 years. And of course, Wickenheiser is a four-time Olympic medalist and regarded as one of the best female hockey players in the world.
Despite being Olympic champions who are used to being in front of worldwide audiences, both ladies commented that their first time modelling was not as comfortable as one might expect:
“It was fun” Wickenheiser said “It was horryfying and totally out of your comfort zone but really something that I think is fun – to lead yourself out of your element sometimes and to meet all these great women.”
“It was fun, I was nervous.” said Salé ‘”I have been on a bigger stage than this but it was different. You know, we are all a bit of our comfort zone in a sense of ‘modelling.’ Because I’ve been in front of many crowds and on television but this is so different. Strutting your stuff and yeah, I felt comfortable once I got out there but it’s like ‘oh no, please don’t trip’. And then I got out there and the floor was slippery!”
So did Salé find it harder walking the slippery runway than gliding on the ice?
“In some ways, in some ways. Big heels, longer dress than you’re used to”.
If they were nervous, they certainly didn’t show it. Wickenheiser, who wore a gown by Vancouver’s Something Blue even used a prop at the end of her walk – a hockey stick handed to her by some friends in the audience. Meanwhile, Salé glided to the beat of “This Girl is On Fire” like a modelling pro.
Salé, who is five and half months pregnant presented a unique challenge to her designer Farley Chatto.
“I love my dress. Farley Chatto did a great job making me feel sexy while I’m pregnant. Classy, elegant yet comfortable. I saw a drawing about a week and a half ago and I said to him ‘I’m really sorry, but my body’s changing every week.”
Both ladies spoke about the cause being close to their hearts. Sale lost a family member to heart disease and her father father is going in for open heart surgery next month. And Wickenheimer’s family have long been supporters as her parents used to canvass for The Heart and Stroke Foundation.
To check out more celebs strutting their stuff for a great cause, check out the gallery below.