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Nishinaabe artist excited for homecoming event

Ocean Kiana, an artist and fashion designer from Pic River and Pic Mobert First Nations, will be holding a fashion show on Friday night in Marathon
Nishinaabe artist Ocean Kiana will be hosting a fashion show on Friday night in Marathon.

A busy year for artist Ocean Kiana is wrapping up with a homecoming of sorts.

Kiana, who is from Pic River and Pic Mobert First Nations, is hosting a Winter Solstice Fashion Show on Friday night in Marathon.

Tickets for the event went on sale last month and sold out in about a day and a half, which surprised Kiana.

“I wasn’t expecting the tickets to go that quickly,” she said. “This show is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now to kind of show everybody what I do. I don’t get to go home that often, and a lot of people back home see me travelling to all these different places like Paris and Vancouver, along with the show I did in Toronto.

“I’m always doing these fun and exciting things in these big cities and I wanted to just kind of... bring that excitement back home, especially for my family and the community members who have always supported me.”

The Winter Solstice Fashion Show will wrap up what’s been a whirlwind 2023 for Kiana.

She took part in Paris Fashion Week and Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week, in addition to being featured in Vogue magazine.

“There were a lot of new and exciting experiences for me as an artist as I continue to establish my career and go in the direction that I want to head into,” Kiana said.

“I started in visual art and then I’ve been slowly putting my focus on fashion. I’ve been a part of some amazing events this year, and it has been a lot of fun.”

Different designers from Northwestern Ontario are taking part in the Winter Solstice Fashion Show, which got its name from a collection Kiana created in 2022, recognizing the event taking place on the longest night of the year.

In addition to showcasing everyone’s work, Kiana hopes the event will help inspire others to follow their own path.

“One of my biggest aspirations is to inspire others,” Kiana said. “I know a lot of girls in my community look up to me … this is a show for them as well.”

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