The final tally isn’t in, but Qualicum Beach Museum manager Netanja Waddell is confident there will be good news when the receipts from Thursday’s Then and Now Fashion Show are added up.
Certainly the event, held at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, was a smash hit on any other level.
“It went very, very well,” Waddell said. “It took everyone by surprise how well it went and how much demand there was. The tickets were sold out two weeks ahead of time and we had loads of people coming in … looking for tickets. We could almost have put on a whole other show.”
The show featured a collection of vintage fashions owned by Merlyn Patten, which stretched from the 1800s through the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s right up to the current day.
That’s where local merchants kicked in, with models showing off what’s available now for women to wear.
Qualicum Beach mayor Teunis Westbroek, councillors Bill Luchtmeijer and Scott Tanner, as well as recreation and parks commission member Luigi Sposato provided tuxedo-clad help guiding the models off the stage.
Waddell said part of the attraction to the historical side of the event may have been the novelty of seeing fashions that are usually only seen in pictures or museums actually worn.
“It’s so rare that you see real vintage clothing actually worn,” she said. “Clothes like these are usually seen in museums, behind glass and maybe on a mannequin. You seldom see them worn, moving around. I think it brought back some fond memories for people. It was really well received.”
Regardless of how much the show raised for the museum — although it’s likely to be significant, Waddell said the heightened profile of the museum made the significant effort involved in putting on the show well worthwhile.
“It felt like a true collaboration,” she said. “That’s what community is all about.”