4 Directions 2022 Skirt Design by Una Momolu. Props designed by Karen Bishop and Jani Galarneau. Photo by April MacDonald Killins.The History of our Skirt Designs
The first skirt was designed and built for SkirtsAfire in 2013. It became the Official Skirt that year, and was proudly featured in the Nina Art Gallery for the duration of the programming. In 2014, we opened up the Official Skirt design as a competition in order to expand and allow for the ability to showcase more than one designer each year.

Skirt Design Challenge 2023
We are thrilled to continue with the success of displaying designs in storefronts in 2023. 4 local artists will create a Skirt that will be displayed at 1 of 4 participating Old Strathcona retailers. The Skirt designer’s challenge will be to design a piece using up-cycled waste materials provided by the retailers and supplemented by the designers as well (cardboard, plastics, and other materials that would normally end up in the landfill). 

The theme for this year’s displays is Adaptation. Visit all 4 and see how the same upcycled materials were used in 4 ways by 4 different artists.

The Big Reveal
The Skirt designs will be revealed in all their glory in our Opening Ceremonies & A-Line Variety Show on March 2nd! Then check them out on display at the participating retailers March 3-12, 2023.


  1. Village Goods (10432 82 Ave NW)
  2. gravitypope Tailored Goods (10414 82 Ave NW)
  3. 3 Girls Swim & Wear (10406 82 Ave NW)
  4. Mars & Venus (10328 82 Ave NW)

Kim Neeser, Curator

This exhibit is a celebration of the beauty and power of second chances. The featured artists have taken discarded materials donated by retailers and sponsors and have transformed them into works of art that are not only visually striking but also thought-provoking. Through their repurposing and upcycling, these pieces remind us of the importance of sustainability and the impact that our participation has on the environment.

But it’s not just about the skirts themselves. This challenge is also about the connection and collaboration between the viewer, retailer, and artist. Each piece in this exhibit tells a story of the journey it took to become a work of art and the impact that it had on shaping the lives involved, and in turn the future.

As you walk down Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona and experience the exhibit, let it speak to your heart, let it remind you of the infinite possibilities that come with giving something a second chance. Let it inspire you to think more deeply about the choices you make, and how they can shape the future we all share.

The Designers

Melissa Squire
“Majestic Mollusk”

Displayed at Mars & Venus

Tanya Edison
“And, I fashion MYSELF”

Displayed at Village Goods

Rebecca Cypher
“Tailored Practice”

Displayed at 3 Girls Swim & Wear

Megan Beland
“Flash On Persistence”

Displayed at gravitypope Tailored Goods

Designs From Past Challenges

Designs and Props from past SkirtsAfire’s by The Lil’ Embroidebee, Una Momolu, Lorraine Dezman, Joanne Ngo, Karen Bishop, Jani Galarneau, Jennifer Roberge, Tanya Edison, Kim Neeser, Deirdre McCleneghan, Jennifer Lee Arsenault, Beverly Destroys, Jane Kline, Melissa Squire, David Cameron, Amanda Brown and Carol Amaral. Photos by April MacDonald Killins.

Skirts on Whyte Sponsor
Old Strathcona Business Association

Skirt Challenge Sponsors