Fashion grad designs convocation hoods for KPU First Nation drummers

Fri, Jun 6, 2014

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – A recent fashion design and technology graduate's final project as a KPU student was for her own convocation.

As the semester wound down for the hundreds of students ready to cross the stage, Seanna Schmuland was busy creating three ceremonial hoods for the KPU First Nation drummers who blessed each of the university’s six convocation ceremonies last week, as has been tradition for years.

Schmuland drew her inspiration from KPU First Nation artist Brandon Gabriel’s “spirit of KPU" the design at the heart of KPU’s coat of arms. It speaks to the university’s long history with the KPU First Nation of the Coast Salish People, and it was this history that drew Schmuland to participate.

“It sounded interesting because it had to do with the relationship KPU has with the KPU First Nation band. I didn't know the full extent of that relationship, and saw this as an opportunity to learn more about it,” she said.

A month ago, Schmuland showcased her own collection of Canadian art- and culture-inspired clothes – labelled Strong & Free – which incorporated the work of two Canadian artists.

“This convocation project tied into my own collection, which aimed to recognize and collaborate with Canadian artists. That was all about recognizing our country's history through design, and I saw this as an opportunity to impart Canadian values and my own values through design in an artistic and culturally sensitive way,” she said.

The main circle design on Schmuland’s hoods is inspired by Gabriel’s Salmon Circle, which represents new beginnings, new life and partnership in the creation of the community.

Helping Schmuland were two current KPU students, Jasmine Siu and Jessica Chauhan, who will both enter their second year in KPU’s fashion program this fall.

The opportunity to design the official convocation hoods was offered to final-year students who would get to see their work worn at their own convocation ceremony.

The majority of the fabric was supplied by KPU’s fashion program. Oddball Workshop, owned by KPU business graduate Kai Low, waived the costs of the sublimation printing. Low has been a big supporter of the university’s fashion program, working with third-year students taking their mass manufacturing course, and final-year students working on print development for their final collections.

Photos of Schmuland at work on the convocation hoods are available on Flickr.

KPU has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations. Learn more at


Caption: Seanna Schmuland with President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Alan Davis at her convocation.

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist, KPU
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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