Red carpet fashion at the 2020 Indspire Awards
Everybody’s dressed to the nines in their finest fits at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.
Putting on the Ritz
Every year, the Indspire Awards celebrate Indigenous achievement and excellence from several communities and nations across Turtle Island.
Recipients, performers and audience members gathered in early March at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa to celebrate with a night full of glitz and glamour.
They walked the plush red carpet in their best shoes, wearing their finest dresses with beautiful handmade jewlery and deeply personal adornments at the 2020 Indspire Awards.
Watch the 2020 Indspire Awards on CBC TV and APTN on Sunday June 21 at 8pm (8:30 N.T.) or stream it for free on CBC Gem.
When Anthony Johnson and Dr. James Makokis won Season 7 of The Amazing Race Canada, they dazzled audiences and won hearts with their teamwork and humility. Now they're working their magic across the stage of the National Arts Centre as the Indspire youth award presenters.
Their outfits mixed traditional elements with contemporary fashion. The two-spirit couple teamed up on turquoise Navajo jewlery with bright blue blazers to match — Makokis opted for this crinkled blue velvet blazer from YSL.
Underneath his blazer, Johnson has a ribbon shirt that he's sun danced in and worn to many special occasions. Hailing from the Navajo Nation in Arizona, he represents with authentic turquoise jewlery and accessories. In the video above, he shares the special significance behind his head wrap and eagle feather.
Matching with an eagle feather of his own, Makokis adorns his braids with moose leather hair ties. Cushioning his step on the red carpet are his moccasins that his grandmother made back home in Saddle Lake Cree Nation.
One of a kind
Lee Thomas' necklace sparkled like a galaxy as she walked across the foyer of the National Arts Centre. Before she took her seat in the audience, Thomas worked the room with her intricately beaded turtle medallion and matching set of earrings.
You won't find her jewlery anywhere else. That's because her daughter Aisha 'Ace' Thomas beaded it by hand.
The Thomas family are members of the Turtle Clan. In designing this one-of-a-kind piece, Ace included three shells, two beaded turtles and a diamond in the middle — each unique piece representing a member of her family. The diamond in the middle represents Thomas' ultimate pride and joy, her new baby grandchild.
Among the audience was Donna Noonan, a Québec-based production designer and art director. She wore a few signature pieces from renowned Haida designer Dorothy Grant.
Noonan wore this 4 Ravens rectangle shawl over her Haida-inspired dress that perfectly matched her red-rimmed glasses. Dorothy Grant also designs menswear — Noonan's partner matched with his Haida design button-up shirt.
Learn more about the history of Haida art and design on Dorothy Grant's website here.
Want to see more?
Watch the full video at the top of the page to see more red carpet looks from the 2020 Indspire Awards.