A Feel-Good Fête at Birks in Montreal

Olympian and jewelry designer Jenn Heil unites with Birks for a great cause

Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and Birks president Tom Andruskevich celebrate with Heil

Jenn Heil wearing a pendant she designed

A model wearing Andy Thê-Anh as part of the event’s fashion show

The legendary jeweller hosted a special soirée at its downtown Montreal store last night in support of Because I Am a Girl, a charity that is helping to change the lives of young girls in developing nations around the world.

The fundraiser was the brainchild of Olympic freestyle mogul skier Jenn Heil, who is an ambassador for both Birks and Because I am a Girl — not to mention a bona fide bauble designer who launched her namesake jewelry line with Birks last fall. (A second line is already in the works for Spring ’11.)

The staggering fact is that 70 per cent of the one billion people living in extreme poverty is female. “While visiting Burkina Faso in West Africa in 2008, I saw first hand how girls in parts of the developing world lack not only opportunities but also the protection of their most basic rights, including their right to an education,” says the multi-medal winner and current World Cup moguls champ. “After speaking with girls who were receiving school scholarships and hearing from their mouths that because they are in school they could now be the full citizens of tomorrow, I knew immediately that I had to do my part and to be involved.”

Birks treated the event’s generous guests to an evening filled with fashion (including a runway show presented by Montreal’s own Andy Thê-Anh), and food courtesy of Jerome Ferrer, head chef of Birks’ swanky new in-store café.

To donate to or find out more about Because I Am a Girl, visit . And to join to Jenn Heil Challenge, click here.