A North Vancouver DJ is primed for her moment in the spotlight.
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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