Our History

A Blooming Affair in the making 

A Blooming Affair Fashion Show began from the hard work of dedicated volunteers in the early days of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. Some of our original volunteers and their families still attend our show each year, over 40 years later!

Here is a recap of our history over the decades:


A Blooming Affair had its beginning in 1973 under the direction of Women’s Committee founder, the late Betty Thompson. It was a flower show with demonstrations by Flowers Canada.


Anne Willcox designed and made 25 outfits for this show with a budget of $400.00 for fabrics. It was held at the Waterloo Knights of Columbus with Russ Geddes of Flowers Canada designing accompanying floral arrangements for many of the outfits. Committee members modeled the creations. Tickets cost $2.50 and proceeds of $896.00 was presented to the Celiac Sprue Organization. The event involved several local businesses including a furrier, beautician, hairstylist, and international china manufacturer, and an antique collector. This was the beginning a true fashion show and boutiques.


An afternoon and evening show featuring International Top Models with Donna Schmidt.  Tickets for this popular show $2.50 in 1977.


Hosted at the Knights of Columbus in Waterloo Ontario, the show moved to a theater-type setting. The event had grown; 650 tickets sold, Tickets $3.00 each.

1979 – 1982

The show moved to the very popular Waterloo Inn. Fashions by Eatons were a highlight of the show. In 1981 Gemini became a driving force of the fashion show with Colleen Benn. Ten fashion stores were featured. Tickets grew in cost as the event became more popular; 1981 $5.00, 1982 $7.50.

1984 – 1986

Relocated to Rudesheimer Gardens. Capacity for 1300; tickets priced at $9.00. Twelve retailers and twelve florists collaborated to create huge show stopping designs. Breathtaking centerpieces 3,000 roses for table centres designed by Humber College students.


Bingeman Ballroom became the new event venue. Tickets $20.00; show capacity 900. Audrey Wilson became owner of Gemini Modelling.

2013 – Present 

Highlighted feature designers locally and international designers.  Dominic Bellissimo, Linda Lundstrom. Tickets $35.00, 900 people. 15-20 Boutiques and 12 fashion stores. Various charities have benefited over the years from A Blooming Affair.


ABA HistoricalABA Historical 3ABA Historical 2A Blooming Affair - 1976