To kick off the 103 year of the Stampede, Holt Renfrew hosted a fashion-meets-fundraising event at the luxury retailer’s Calgary outpost on June 17. The event, now in its second year, brought together Canadian designers such as Tanya Taylor, Ron White and Marie Saint Pierre with notables including songwriter David Foster, Laureen Harper and venture capitalist Arlene Dickinson to create a collection of bespoke Smithbilt Hats destined for the auction block in support of the Calgary Health Trust’s Best Beginning Program. The program educates and prepares low-income expectant mothers with the tools and resources they need to welcome happy, healthy babies.
The rain outside didn’t dampen the celebratory mood inside Holt Renfrew’s 8th Avenue mecca. The evening highlighted the best of stampede style with an eclectic mix of classic western and nouveau luxury – think Bolo ties, Birkin bags, Wrangler jeans, Jimmy Choos and, of course, cowboy hats – that caught my eye. Elevate Auctions co-founder Bill Brown was tasked with finding homes for the one-of-a-kind hats, and some eager bidders paid four figures for a topper. Later, there was a fashion show, led by local style blogger and photographer Ania Boniecka; cocktails and shopping followed.
Among the herd were Jill Olynyk, executive director and COO of Calgary Health Trust; Ann McCaig, Calgary Health Trust board chair; Holt Renfrew Calgary’s general manager, Debra Kerr; Smithbilt Hats vice-president Brian Hanson; Shaw Communications COO Jay Mehr and his wife, Viviane, the co-owner of Barbara Edwards Contemporary; interior designer and blogger Erica Cook; Calgary Stampede board member Roc Spence; Olympians Sam Edney, Brad Spence and Jesse Lumsden; and Heather and Julie Shaw.