Inside the 10th Annual Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards

This weekend, the annual Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards (CAFA) marked its 10th anniversary, and the Toronto gala certainly didn’t disappoint. The event returned once again to honor those innovating within the Canadian fashion landscape—celebrating names such as designer and 15 Percent Pledge founder Aurora James and breakout Indigenous model Heather Diamond Strongarm, who hails from Fishing Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan.

Below, see even more stylish photos from inside the 2023 CAFAs.


On the list of honorees and award winners this year? James received the special Vanguard Award for her work with 15 Percent Pledge, which has drastically improved the visibility of Black-owned brands within Canada’s retail landscape. Indigenous curator and historian Amber-Dawn Bear Robe (Siksika Nation), who heads up the annual fashion show at the Santa Fe Indian Market, received the Changemaker Award for her dedication to uplifting and supporting Indigenous designers. Strongarm, meanwhile, received the Fresh Face Award—a no-brainer trophy for the Saulteaux-Cree model, given she dominated the catwalks at Versace, Givenchy, and Ralph Lauren this past fashion month.

The evening also highlighted those working behind the scenes. Stylist Nadia Pizzimenti, photographer Renata Kaveh, hair artist Andrew Ly, and makeup artist Simone Otis were all awarded. Of course, throughout the evening, many attendees saw the event as an opportunity to flex their best Canadian-made ensembles, too. James, for one, accepted her accolade in a sleek black gown by Greta Constantine; Strongarm accepted her award in another sleek black dress, hers by the Canadian designer Sid Neigum.