Canadian Olympic bronze medallist

Canadian Olympic bronze medallist

Fashionable heart health

Joannie Rochette received a rousing standing ovation as she took to the runway Wednesday in a special style showcase promoting awareness about heart health.

TORONTO — Joannie Rochette received a rousing standing ovation as she took to the runway Wednesday in a special style showcase promoting awareness about heart health.

The cause is close to the heart of the Olympic bronze medallist figure skater, whose mother, Therese, died of a massive heart attack in Vancouver before her daughter competed in the Games.

She was joined by fellow celebrity catwalkers from sports, stage and the screen in the Heart Truth Fashion Show.

Prior to the show, Rochette said she wants to help promote healthy lifestyles and to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke, the leading cause of death for women in Canada.

“Most of the time they don’t know it, and they ignore the symptoms,” she said.

Rochette admitted to some pre-show jitters before her debut, but there were no visible signs of nerves as she took a dazzling turn on the runway.

Clad in a long, slinky one-sleeved velvet number adorned with a rose designed by Montreal’s Nadya Toto, Rochette struck a pose and flashed a brilliant smile as the audience applauded and cheered her on.

Fellow Olympian Ashleigh McIvor also took part in the show, wearing a strapless ruffled cocktail number from Fashion Crimes.

The champion ski cross athlete said she wanted to take part because she’s always been in favour of being active.

“This show is all about promoting the fact that physical activity and changes in lifestyle can actually decrease women’s risk of heart disease by 80 per cent.”

The celebrity models didn’t shy away from strutting their stuff or hamming it up on the runway. Former Olympian Silken Laumann flexed her bare bicep in a one-shoulder dress with a sheer chiffon sleeve from the Lundstrom Collection.

Wearing an asymmetrical dress with organza draping from Joeffer Caoc, “Cityline” host Tracy Moore playfully rubbed her baby bump to the Black Eyed Peas song “My Humps” as she danced on the runway.

Little Mosque on the Prairie star Sheila McCarthy came out in a fanciful ruffled coat which she peeled off to reveal a sexy red-sequinned cocktail number by Thien Le.

Backstage, McCarthy said members in her own family have been impacted by cardiovascular disease, and she saw taking part in the show as an easy thing to do to give back.

“There’s so many things we can do to prevent it, so if an event like this helps raise awareness then I’m all for it.”