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Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards to Create Stronger Appreciation for Local Designers

The CAFA award as designed by Karim Rashid,

The CAFA award as designed by Karim Rashid

The UK has the celeb-studded British Fashion Awards, the U.S. has the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, so why doesn't Canada have anything similar? That was my question until recently when the first Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards gala was announced to take place this February.

Created to give recognition to outstanding achievements in Canadian fashion design, the inaugural Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) gala will take place on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto.  Billed as the first event of its kind in Canada, nomination categories for this debut CAFAs will include designer of the year honours for womenswear, menswear and accessories, as well as model of the year, stylist of the year and an outstanding achievement award to celebrate the career of an established designer.

Of course, the awards agenda is all about keeping homegrown talent on Canadian soil and, by shining a spotlight on these artists, the CAFAs hope to create a stronger appreciation and market for local fashion. In turn this will help create an economic landscape in which creative business models can flourish so that Canadian talent can afford to remain here. Sounds very promising and, to make sure the event is a success, the CAFAs are backing themselves with an enviable roster of big name fashionistas.

Confirmed panel members include: media maven Jeanne Beker;, Elle Canada editor-in-chief Noreen Flanagan, Fashion Magazine editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra, Flare Magazine fashion director Tiyana Grulovic and Holt Renfrew’s vice-president, fashion editor Lisa Tant.

For the event itself there will be a VIP cocktail reception, dinner, live entertainment, the awards presentation and an after party. Entrance is via ticket — which doesn't come cheap at $10,000 for a table of 10 or $100 for individual entry. That's not the kind of dollar anyone can drop on one night of fashion and frolics, but if you'd still like to contribute in some way, the category for the Emerging Talent Award is open to self-nomination. If you think you have what it takes then head here to get in on the action and, if you win, remember where you came from!

Image via CAFA