Project Red puts heart health centre stage—literally

Annual charity fashion show takes things up a notch

Project Red will be held in Grant Hall on Feb. 7.
Credit: 
Supplied by Dee Mackintosh

Heart health, but make it fashion.

Project Red is back at it again with their annual charity fashion show on Feb. 7. This year, they’re proclaiming it The Age of Love. Starting at 8 p.m., the show will be held in Grant Hall.

Co-Director Dee Mackintosh (Nursing ’20) talked to The Journal about the annual show. She said the team has been preparing for this since September.

“Once we got back [to Kingston], we started hiring our models and dancers and performers. And we've been working on it ever since then. So it's been a long, long process. And we're excited that it's coming to the final bit this week.”

Along with her directorial counterpart, Nicole Burgess, Mackintosh oversees the various sections that make up the fashion show. From models to dancers, designers and choreographers, there are a lot of people to coordinate with to ensure the show goes off without a hitch.

There are even more groups behind the scenes—including marketing, sponsorship, and fundraising. It takes a lot to get the show working smoothly, but Mackintosh says it’s all worth it. After all, it’s supporting a good cause.

All proceeds from the fashion show goes towards the Heart and Stroke Foundation. This year, a Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen’s (QINC) lab will be participating as one of the acts in the show.

“One of the aspects that we're incorporating this year into the show is we're actually going to have a lab that does research and was previously funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation through Queen’s,” Mackintosh said in an interview with The Journal. “They're coming and are actually going to demonstrate the research that they've done with the Heart and Stroke money.”

The researchers are going to demonstrate the technology they’ve developed: a portable ultrasound machine that, by Mackintosh’s understanding, will be used to help isolated Northern communities and developing countries do quick and easy ultrasounds to determine if someone requires further medical care.

This way, viewers aren’t only entertained by the models and dancers that occupy the stage every year, they’ll also get to see exactly where their money is going.

Project Red’s mission is to promote a healthy, active lifestyle around campus. They do this in a number of ways, but this is the first time they’re inviting a cardiovascular research lab to perform for their audience. In this way, they’re taking Project Red to new levels.

Typically, they work to encourage students to take their heart health seriously through an annual 5K run. This happened last October and was called Run Your Heart Out.

The focus on heart health translates in their fashion show through the executive’s focus on desires of the heart, through all forms of love.

The theme this year, then, is all the more fitting: The Age of Love.

Broken into four acts—titled Self-Love, Pride, Unity, and Romantic Love—the show will demonstrate all different types of love a person can experience. This idea came from Mackintosh and Burgess’ personal experiences as nursing students, seeing how much familial, platonic, and romantic love can impact a patient’s recovery process.

“We’re really focusing this year on how love can impact people,” Mackintosh said. “Really driving home the message [that] love is love, no matter what form it’s in.”

She said that as nurses, they see patients all the time in the hospital with heart conditions, or people who have suffered from strokes.

“So, we really wanted to show that love is super important, whether that comes from family or friends or even the staff at the hospital, or people that work with you to recover.”

Ultimately, Mackintosh hopes people will come out and support the Heart and Stoke Foundation and the Queen’s community.

“I hope that audience members can come in, see a group of people who have a lot of fun together, [and] feel really positive leaving the show feeling like they've made a difference for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and supported their peers.”

 

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