A local clothing design company that has showcased its clothes across North America is holding its first major show in Nanaimo.
On February 19, Ay Lelum – The Good House of Design presents Xwi’xwi’em: Telling a Story at the Port Theatre. It’s a fashion show that also includes music, dancing and storytelling. Aunalee Boyd-Good, who runs Ay Lelum with her sister Sophia Seward-Good, said while they’ve held small community fashion shows over the years, this is their first “big production” in Nanaimo. .
“We wanted to share [our collections] with our own community for quite a long time,” Aunalee said.
The production will feature live and recorded music by members of the Good family, performances by dancers from the Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet and video messages from Aunalee and Sophia’s parents, William and Sandra, who had their own line. fashion label called Ay Ay Mut, which means “beautiful” in Hul. ‘q’umi’num.
“A fashion show is usually only about 10 minutes long and we really want to give our community and audience the experience of seeing a story come to life on stage through fashion and how can we represent our culture in all its beauty in all its forms,” said Sophia.
The garments on display will span the seven-year history of Ay Lelum and will include Ay Ay Mut garments. Sophia said the aim was to show how Ay Lelum has “evolved” over time.
Aunalee said showcasing their work at the Port Theater was meaningful because the venue is in the area where their father was taken by his grandfather every day to learn and memorize the oral history of Snuneymuxw.
“So it’s an important landscape for us to go in and share stories, but we’re also going to share where it’s coming from,” she said. “It comes from several generations of our family, and now here we are.”
WHAT’S THIS… Xwi’xwi’em: Telling a Story at the Port Theatre, 125 Front St., Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $40 for adults, $35 for members, $15 for students with valid ID . Available here. After-show chat at the theatre.