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McArthurGlen, Indigenous artist celebrates International Women’s Day with new mask designs

Richmond outlet shoppers can receive a free Musqueam artist-designed mask on March 8.

McArthurGlen Airport Outlet is giving away free masks designed by a local Indigenous artist in celebration of International Women’s Day.

Debra Sparrow, born and raised on the Musqueam Indian Reserve, designed a mask with patterns representative of the Musqueam people, and is partnering with the outlet to gift the free limited masks to shoppers on March 8.

Sparrow says she is "happy and honoured" to collaborate with the designer outlet to create designs that reflect the "beauty and integrity of Musqeuam women."

"These masks celebrate women around the world and are a gift from our traditional women to women of today," she says.

"In celebrating Interational Women's day, we honour the late Maya angelous who said 'we are as much alike as we are different.'"

The collaboration between Sparrow and the designer outlet is the latest initiative to support the local community during the ongoing pandemic, according to McArthurGlen in a media statement.

“The patterns reflect the textiles used for wearing, for gifting and most importantly, ceremony,” reads the statement.

"The swirl designs were traditionally carved into mountain goat horn bracelets and jewelry adorning regalia.”

Sparrow is well-known for using traditional Salish designs in a contemporary form and was also the designer for the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The free masks can be picked up at the outlet’s guest services on International Women’s Day.