Past Events

RUNWAY 2017… Inception

Hello, everyone, and welcome to our 2017 runway show! Each year I say this, and I’m going to say it again, but where has the time gone? It feels like just yesterday that most of our students had just begun their projects, yet here we are, ready to see the beautiful creations they have made! Whether it’s an art piece or a garment of their own imagining, every piece here tonight is unique to each student that created it. Our students never fail to create things that are filled with effort, determination, and beauty, and it is the efforts of our students that inspired me to create this year’s theme.

Inception is the beginning of something, the birth of something, the creation of something, and in regards to our school, this constant cycle of creation is what allows our students to develop and grow into the wonderfully accomplished individuals who are proudly showing off their creations this evening. The Haute Couture Academy is a place that thrives on the inception of new ideas; a place that allows our students to reach beyond the norm and to learn skills that are offered nowhere else.

This show really belongs to our students. It is their art that you see spread around us, their garments that will grace the stage tonight, and their efforts that have gone into every detail you see here today. At this academy, we believe that art is present in the point of a pencil, the hum of a laptop or the whir of a sewing machine, and in the tip of an eyeshadow brush. There is talent threaded through needles and bundled up in lace. There is the ability for creation in each and every one of our students.

One such student, Zahirah Quevedo, has recently shown her debut collection in southern Italy, and the inception of her line from an idea to a reality on the runways of Italy is something that we are incredibly proud of. She is living proof that with talent, determination, and a lot of hard work, dreams can become a reality. Our Italy trip, which was immensely successful last year, will progress for the second time, tomorrow, and it is on this trip that we will give other students the chance to do what Zahirah did. There is no other trip like it, as we are constantly striving to give our students the best experiences and the most unique and exciting opportunities, not offered anywhere else.  The inception of dreams can become a reality, and that is something we are all working towards at the Haute Couture Academy.

Now, without any further delay, may I present Runway 2017, INCEPTION.


RUNWAY 2016… Effervescence

Year after year, I can hardly believe how fast the time flies, yet, here we are again. This year, like many others before it, we have come to celebrate the achievements of our students who have worked towards learning and honing their creative abilities. This year, however, is also a bit different.  With this very show, we are also celebrating ten years of fashion shows, ten years of showcasing the fabulous projects of our students, and ten years of student achievement and growth in their talents and abilities.  And so, before anything else, all I really want to say is thank you, to each and every one of our students, to their families and friends, and every person who has been involved in the creation and production of this tenth anniversary show.  I certainly wouldn’t have been able to pull this off alone, and I’m so proud and honored to have been able to accomplish this alongside each of you.

In order to reflect this feeling, the theme of this year’s show has been chosen for its wonderfully festive nature. Effervescence can be defined as the fizz or sparkle in a glass of champagne, or it can be used to describe vivacity and liveliness, or enthusiasm, and I can think of no word more fitting than “effervescence” to describe our students and our school. We are, after all, the only school in York Region that specializes in all aspects of the fashion industry, which means that our students are more prepared for the lives they will lead long after they leave us and walk towards their future. We are the only school that hosts an annual fashion and art show gala to showcase the work and dedication of our students which not only gives them the recognition they deserve, but also spreads that recognition to all of you here tonight. It provides our students with the experience, learning and confidence that they will carry forward into whatever future they choose.

When I see all of this, and everything our students have done throughout the year, I can’t help but feel intense pride at their accomplishments.  I am in constant awe of the personal growth, change and development of each of my students, especially my grade 12’s as they get ready to embark into the next stage of their learning careers.   Even after ten successful years of amazing fashion shows, I am still blown away by everything our students have accomplished.  Their successes in learning and in life inspire me, each and every day, to always put my best foot forward and to find and create new and innovative opportunities that will enhance each students learning experience so that they, in turn, may one day become the very best at what they do. This past year alone, we successfully launched our graphic arts programme, which has brought an exceptional group of students together who, as many of you may have noticed, have designed all the artwork for this year’s show.  From tickets, to banners and posters, to programmes, our graphic art students have worked diligently this past term.  Next year we will be introducing the second phase of our graphic arts programme, which will allow younger students in the tenth and eleventh grades to register and learn. We pride ourselves on offering programmes that go over and above the Ontario school curriculums.  At present, we are even planning on launching an interior design programme in the near future, as well as many new courses, all for the sake of learning and to meet an existing demand.  After all, for the past eighteen years, we have been the only school in York Region specializing in the fashion arts industry.  Branching out to other aspects of design will give our students everything they will possibly need to attain their future goals and to become “effervescent” people worthy of celebration.

In the future, I look forward to another ten years and more of bringing the youth of Vaughan and our surrounding areas the very best in fashion and arts education, and I will continue to strive to offer my students unique opportunities to further their careers and education that they won’t find anywhere else. Our very first Italy trip leaves this Thursday; we will be taking a select group of students to experience Rome Fashion Week from behind the scenes where they will experience first-hand, the work and management that goes into one of the most exciting aspects of the fashion industry.

To my teachers and other amazing people working with me at the studio, I just want to say thank you. To my new students, here tonight for the first time with their families, I hope to see you grow and learn in the best of ways and to become the amazing adults I know you are destined to be.  To my older students and departing students, you’ve been an enormous part of the success and atmosphere of the school, and I wish you all the best in wherever your futures take you.  Thank you everyone for all of your hard work and dedication. And so, with this feeling of celebration in the air, I would like to present to you, Runway 2016… Effervescence!


RUNWAY 2015… Metamorphosis

An intro speech, taken from the show programme of our July 15th show, RUNWAY 2015… METAMORPHOSIS, as spoken by Joanne Dice (Owner, Creative Director and Portfolio Specialist).

Here we are, at the end of another year. Looking out at all of my students, I can’t help but think about how much you have all grown. Some of you I’ve had for years, others just a few months, but even in the shortest of times you have all changed so much. Something that I have noticed is that my students have always been extraordinary examples of enthusiasm and passion, but as time passes, I see it even more. Sometimes I just have to stop and smile when I’m faced with the unmistakable truth that the quiet little students that first joined our school have turned into loud, creative, and confident people.

Of course, the transformations I have seen in my students have spread into their art, their designs and their sewing, which can be seen by all of you here tonight. Having seen the beautiful art all around you and waiting in anticipation for the show that is soon to begin, I can see that you must have noticed these transformations too. Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, and even like a phoenix rising from its ashes, these beautiful examples of metamorphosis here tonight came into being with no small amount of work and sacrifice.

To our new students who have worked hard to perfect their stitches and steady their brush strokes, I offer my congratulations. Your work has just begun, but there is no doubt you will emerge triumphant. To my students who are moving on after sleepless nights filled with the gentle scratch of pencils and the whirring of machines, I offer my immense pride. Though your transformation is still not yet complete, you are all so close to becoming the people you were born to be. Lastly, to the students in the middle who are steadily working towards their futures with splashes of spilled paint and tangled spools of thread, I will continue to offer my support. There are but a few people in this world as lucky as I am, because I get to spend my days helping you all grow.

In every life lived by every person, there will always be accidents. Spilling ink on a new shirt, accidentally sewing your project to your pants, sleeping past your alarm, even accidently blurting out words you don’t really mean to a friend. What I aim to teach my students is that mistakes are how they learn, and that new beginnings are as beautiful as they sound. By encouraging and nurturing creativity, originality, and the presence of self-identity within that creativity, we help our students grow and transform into people who are so familiar yet intricately different than before. They become people who can overcome mistakes and turn accidents into opportunities to learn. They become people who can recognize and cherish new beginnings with sincerity and grace. They become people even more worthy of our pride and support than before.

As a happy consequence of the constant growth of our students physically, emotionally, and mentally, the Haute Couture Academy of Fashion, Fine Arts & Design has had to transform as well. To address the growing needs of our students, we have introduced new programs such as makeup and cosmetics, graphic design and interior design. And we never stop helping our students, even when they’re not really ours anymore, which is why, starting next year, we will be taking a select number of students to Italy for Rome Fashion Week, where they will assist with the backstage work and planning that goes into the designer fashion shows.

It is our hope that this trip and these new programs, in addition to our already existing ones, will help our students become people who can carve out their own niche in the world, using their own life experiences, ethnicities, and beliefs.

With that in mind, it is probably clear that our show this year is centered on the idea of Metamorphosis. Like a caterpillar building its chrysalis, our students wrap themselves in a wealth of creativity and excitement, honing their skills into wings that will help take them to new heights. And like a phoenix that must first light itself aflame and rise from its own ashes, our students have overcome obstacles and hardships and emerged stronger and more determined than ever before.

And so, with a special thank you to each and every one of my students, their parents and families, and our wonderful sponsors, I present to you, Runway 2015…Metamorphosis.

Have a great evening everyone and enjoy the show!

Joanne Dice
Owner, Designer, Creative Director
Portfolio Specialist





RUNWAY 2014… Rouge Revolution

Each year the students of the Haute Couture Academy of Fashion, Fine Arts & Design celebrate our year end with our annual fashion and arts show gala presentation.  This year’s show was entitled RUNWAY 2014… Rouge Revolution. Once again the students managed to astound the 500 guests that were in attendance, with their artwork and our one-of-a-kind fashion runway show.  The evening hosted a delicious four course meal, year-end awards were given out to deserving students and we raised money for local charities with our charity raffle draw.  All in all, a spectacular and fun filled evening for everyone.




RUNWAY 2013… Le Bel Nouveau

On Tuesday July 9th all the students of the Haute Couture Academy of Fashion, Fine Arts & Design celebrated our year end with our yearly legendary fashion and art show gala presentation. This year’s gala was named RUNWAY 2013…Le Bel Nouveau. The spectacular evening was filled with fun, a 4 course dinner, student awards, charity raffles, our amazing student art gallery and of course, our famous fashion show. In total, we were 500 guests in attendance! Thank you to everyone who participated and to Chateau Le Jardin, for the delicious food!




December 19th 2012 Photo Shoot at Chateau Le Jardin

Each year the Haute Couture Academy of Fashion, Fine Arts & Design arranges professional and affordable portfolio photo shoots to ensure that the portfolios begin submitted by our students are amongst the very finest received by the universities and colleges worldwide. This past year our photo session was held on December 19th at Chateau Le Jardin and was once again an exciting and fun-packed day for everyone involved. Many thanks to Chateau Le Jardin for helping to put a great day together, and to our photographer Lorenzo Lalomia of Cypress Photo Studios.




Black Creek Pioneer Village Family Halloween BBQ

Sunday October 21, 2012

Fall is finally here, and with it comes a rich harvest of culture, tradition, fun and learning! All Hallows Eve being the most exciting time of all! Show your school spirit! Come on out in your favourite costume and bring the entire family! Everyone is sure to have a howling great time! Revel in the spirit of autumn and Halloween and all that it entails, as they did so long ago. Enjoy the best that this rich fall harvest season has to offer at our Black Creek Pioneer Village Halloween Family BBQ!!!


St. Angela Merici C.E.S. fashion & art show took place on June 11th, 2012

On June 11, 2012 the students of the Haute Couture Academy of Fashion, Fine Arts & Design took to the runway to present a charity fashion & Art show at St. Angela Merici C.E.S. to raise money for the impoverished people of the Dominican Republic. We teamed up with the school’s local parish church, St. Peter’s, to raise money for one of their favourite charities. The runway was ablaze with vibrant colours and fabrics in custom one-of-a-kind creations sewn and modeled by the students of the Haute Couture Academy of Fashion, Fine Arts & Design. Not only was the show a huge success, but our students had so much fun that they were simply bubbling over with excitement!



Mars Canada design competition, November 2010




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