“We’re starting change here and hopefully creating a ripple effect within the community.”
Meet Mari Leung, a double whammy contributor in the LBD Gala. Leung has returned to the LBD gala as a model and as Front of House Coordinator. Leung plays a significant role in working with the entire experience of a guest and audience member during the event in addition to her role as a participating model.
Leung’s involvement began when she modeled in previous shows for designer and contributor Apidi. While her role in the event began backstage as a participant she has taken steps to play a vital role in the LBD Gala production team. Since Leung was a pre-casted model in the event she learned about the involvement of Help Change My City much later. “ Once I connected with Christine and Alpha who are incredibly passionate people I learned more about the event and had to be involved” says Leung. The grassroot aspect of the event captures Leung, she loves how the organization works with in our own backyards to make a change in the local community that can result in a further impact within individuals and our local communities. Leung loves the environment of the LBD Gala. Starting with the “swanky feel of a soiree but it is also inclusive and open to everyone.” Leung explains her appreciation of how despite the many glamorous aspects of the LBD gala it is still very inclusive to the community based on the ticket prices, diverse demographics invited and the opportunities provided to local designers, performers, models and artists within the event.
Leung grew up as a dancer and continues to be involved as a teacher in her spare time. The incorporation of art and culture into the lives of youths hold a place in her heart as she believes “People are most expressed in these forms however they can often be muted. When you support these performers and these art forms it can allow those individuals to become who the person they are going to be without stifling that.” Leung’s involvement within her community extends beyond the LBD Gala and her dance. Whether she is working with donations at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesdays, at the local soup kitchen on Nelson Street or helping with her mother’s elementary school class Leung is making change.
by: Sarah Hooker