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LBD Gala at the VAG

Help Change My City Alliance held their annual LBD gala at the Vancouver Art Gallery to raise money for youth drop-in centers.

The Little Black Dress Gala addresses homelessness and youth at-risk as two undeniable issues in our community. BLUSHVancouver finds it refreshing to support events that raise money for much-needed programs and initiatives to combat these problems that exist right here in our own backyard.

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Help Change My City Founders | IG @littleblackdressgala

Alpha B Kirabira, founder of this local non-profit organization explained their mission “We work with at-risk youth, kids that have come out of foster care, that are homeless and we help them.”  The process includes getting them “from a point of feeling they cannot do anything with their lives to a place of employment.”  Drop in centers provide a place of consistency and are needed in different locations around the city.  “Right now we are working with young people on the East Side 16-25 years old but we have kids that come in from Surrey, from Langley because they believe that there is more opportunity downtown.” Many of these kids end up on the streets but this youth community program is making a difference.

The Little Black Dress gala showcased 13 emerging designers from Vancouver. It was an elegant evening comprised of live music, fashion, delicious canapes and wines from the Okanagan Valley.

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Chilled bevvies | IG @littleblackdressgala

Kristen Thurlin, representing Dirty Laundry Vineyards, was thrilled to be invited as the only winery at this worthy fundraiser.  Guests were treated to two of the vineyards award winning wines, Say Yes Pinot Gris and K-Syrah Syrah. “We have a lot of other award winning wines, always happy to be out and about, people can try our product and maybe they will come and visit us in Summerland.”

Locals helping locals is a win-win which can be paid forward.  Trish P, a Vancouver designer, lent her expertise to the gala as one of the panelists. “I’m looking forward to seeing the talent that our city has produced over the last couple years.”  You can find Trish P designs a few places around town, however Trish is particularly grateful to one boutique. “Global Atomic in Yaletown has been an amazing supporter since day one and Warren has been a great mentor to me so I hope I can do that for someone else tonight.”

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An element of curiosity | IG @littleblackdressgala

One of the standout designers of the evening certainly was Shabnam Sottoodeh, who has been designing since she was 15 years old.  Not only is she a talented designer, but she also is a stylist, a fashion consultant and produces music videos.  This was her first time showing at LBD gala (there were 8 new designers and 6 returning from last year) and her designs have already garnered some notice this year.

Rugcutter Jazz Band elevated the event and vocalist Teresa Riley was a true delight.  She shared that she has been singing practically all of her life. Somehow she finds time to be an Air Canada pilot by day, sing in her rock band T-Riley, and more than hold her own on the jazz standards. Throwing a little opera in for good stead, Lyric Soprano Christina Lewall surprised us all with a feisty rendition of Carmen’s most famous aria Habanera.

Help Change My City Alliance put on a wonderful evening and once again reached a goal of getting the word out on how important it is to create a community of value, love and caring to all who live here.

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