Miss World Canada Pageant 2013
“Beauty with a Purpose”
It was all glitz and high glamour during The Miss World Canada Pageant Crowning at The River Rock Theatre Thursday night. The red carpet was rolled out for the VIP attendees and visiting royalty, expertly posing – hand on one hip – for the copious cameras. We nibbled on canapes and chatted cheerfully, eager to watch the polished young ladies who would be gracing the stage competing for the honourable position of Canada’s Good-Will Ambassador representing Variety – The Children’s Charity – a global foundation dedicated to enriching the lives of children. Together with pianist Roy Tan, Vancouver sensation Rosemary Siemens captivated with her haunting violin as we rubbed shoulders with the beautiful people, ultimately flowing into the theatre to settle into our seats.
Comedian Greg Kettner’s earnest levity broke the ice, drawing a few laughs and nicely warming up the crowd. The pageant then got underway, competently emceed by delightful Novus TV personality Natalie Langston (herself going through several gown changes, many custom made by designers Gianna Maanaki and Nazanin Gheitasian) and Sportcentre’s Bryan Mudryk, a childhood cancer survivor and tireless fundraiser for the cause. Of her experience co-hosting the event, Miss Langston shared, “Bryan cracks me up, he kept me laughing the entire night. I really think we played well off of each other and made a great team while putting on a funny and entertaining show that the audience would love.” It was Mr. World 2012 Frankie Cena, however, who truly stole the show with his velvety, swoon-worthy performance of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.”
The young women dazzled as they glided across the stage in their jewel toned, sparkling evening gowns, serenaded by the soulful voice of Warren Dean Flandez, paraded before us confidently in the enviable swimsuit competition, and captivated us with their individual talents ranging from a perfect piano arrangement by standout and finalist Anastasia Lin – a woman deeply devoted to religious freedom, to Nicole Johnston, a professional contortionist sporting a flame inspired leotard and red feather fan – also an ardent anti-bullying advocate.
These sixteen ladies chosen from the original thirty-six delegates, hailing from every corner of our country, demonstrated tremendous charisma and poise, which was especially evident during the excessively difficult questions asked of the finalists. Some, understandably nervous (and yes, we heard one trembling voice ask “Um, can you please repeat the question?”) to others well-versed, confident and passionate about the big topics like human rights, pipelines, and politics – one flooring us all with her well-rehearsed quote by John Diefenbaker.
Miss World Canada 2012, stunning Tara Teng, was impressive, delivering a powerful speech about what it meant for her to wear the towering crown. Tara said of her experience, “It has been a humbling honour to dedicate my reign to raising the cry for freedom even louder, serving exploited women and children across Canada and in some of the poorest and most remote places of the world. I have learnt how much responsibility comes with leadership and been inspired by my generation rising up for a more just future.”
One notable snafu served to shake things up when Mudryk mistakenly confused fourth place with fourth runner up. After having awarded several of the contestants their bouquets and sashes, the crowd held its collective breath, wondering what the confusion was all about as the girls were directed offstage, asked to remove their sashes, and returned to the stage for a do over. And the winner was…
Future law student, classical ballet teacher, actress and model Camille Munro of Regina, Saskatchewan, was definitively deserving of the title Miss World Canada 2013. She accepted her glittering crown graciously, and we vigorously applauded her efforts while they slipped the sash over her flowing, tangerine dream gown. Elegant Munro will now step into her new position as ambassador and role model. She will commence her year-long journey into leadership, as well as enjoy her numerous scholarships and prizes, including her all expense paid trip to Jakarta, Indonesia where she will represent Canada in The Miss World Pageant.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the prestigious panel of judges: Nicole Watson, Veronica Chail, Vancouver “Housewife” Robin Reichman, Nassir Karmali, Tiger Zhang, Maureen Francisco, Dean P. Davidson, John Halani, Sandra Lowe, Dan Caldwell, and Special Judges Richard Wong and Miss World Canada’s official gown designer, Sandra Sung. Bravo to this esteemed group for making some truly difficult decisions!
Après show, the venue was abuzz with excitement! Flashbulbs exploded as the contestants and the newly crowned Miss World Canada mingled, smiled for the photographers and celebrated with the jubilant crowd. It was wonderful to see many of society’s finest, including Style Specialist Cynthia Pace and Marketing Maven Frances Hui in their elements.
All in all, it was an enchanting evening with vibrant, gorgeous young women aiming to make the world a little bit better, and doing it with intellect, talent, grace and panache.
Special thanks to super Producer Andy Chu for a monumental job well done, and to Jaala Wanless, Director of Beauty, for extending my VIP invitation. It’s been a long while since I was that little girl with stars in my eyes, sitting with my Nana on our sofa (writing tablets and pens at the ready) voting for our favorite beauty queens on television. It was a full circle moment, and beautiful in every way.
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Special acknowledgments and photography credits to:
Dan Poh firstname.lastname@example.org
Linsey Hulls http://www.linseyhulls.com/
Eugenio Flores http://www.highendphotography.ca