Orene Askew is an advocate for many diverse groups in B.C. and her life story has caught the attention of local filmmakers who are making a documentary about her.
“Wanting to mic me up everywhere I go, and the cameras are right there and the mic pack — it’s been a really cool experience,” Askew said.
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“Her story was really important to me because Orene represents so many different communities,” says filmmaker and content creator Sharad Khare.
Askew is a member of Squamish Nation Council, an active voice in the LGBTQ2 community, and a public speaker who has given more than 100 motivational talks to Indigenous youth across the country.
The story of how Askew escaped a 2012 house fire evokes a strong response from audiences.
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“When I told that particular story there wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” she said.
“People were lining up to hug me and say ‘That happened to me too.’”
Music remains her passion, one she developed at a young age thanks to her mother.
“My mom is Indigenous and my father is African-American but she always made sure that Black music was played all around me all the time so I think that’s where I get my love for hip-hop and R&B,” Askew said.
Askew, who is also known as DJ O Show, is now working on her own R&B track and video.
With so many projects on the go, Askew says lending her strong voice will always remain a top priority no matter how hectic her schedule is.
“I think people are starting to realize how important those perspectives are. That’s why I’m kind of overbooked right now.”
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