Canada is pretty big when you think about it. Seriously, if you aren't Canadian how long does it take you to drive from one side of your country to another or reach a big city centre.
At 3 AM Mountain Time, I was up and attempting to put on a bit of makeup to look presentable as I would be flying to the exact opposite side of the country- the Maritimes. As the reigning Miss Intercontinental Canada, when you travel your giant rhinestone crown will be in your carry on. If the passenger beside you sees it by accident or is snooping, it opens a great conversation, but I still like to be presentable in those situations.
Pageants. What can I say? Adventures, but lots of flying when you live in Canada because our country is so big! In the car by 3:30 AM, my loving Dad was more than kind though to take me to the Calgary International Airport with my double-double and his coffee with 1/2 a cream- seriously, I would never make it anywhere without this man. A big reason is that he is kind enough to take me for obscenely long drives and at the earliest of hours and never complains- I always offer him a cup of coffee but then he ends up buying, ps. Dad, if you're reading this, coffee is on me tomororw. And second, there is the entire I haven't taken my drivers test yet.... that will happen soon though I promise.
Anyways, happy to say that because of my beautiful and jet-setting pageant sister, Shyann Caissie I was invited to the New Brunswick for the Ms. Miss, and Miss Teen Maritimes International Pageant! Also, a big reason why I wanted to go was because my girl was speaking at WE BELIEVE. This is the equivalent of WE DAY! I never released information that I would be travelling, kept things pretty quiet because the pageant wanted to release something and I was also a judge which was not announced until the finale! Top Secret stuff apparently.
DAY ONE: COFFEE, COFFEE & LOTS EN FRANÇAIS.
I have never been greeted or even been in an airport as small as the one in Moncton, New Brunswick. It's okay I was greeted by my pageant sister! No so okay, I was greeted by a rainstorm and Shyann's trunk wouldn't open so that was an entire other adventure during our week together!
STARBUCKS! Although Moncton has the most Tim Hortons in the world that I was informed about, I needed my chai tea latte. Hot beverages in hand after being soaked head to toe Shyann and I met with the Ms. Miss & Miss Teen Maritimes Team! Organizing coloured sashes based on division, and preparing for registration the next morning.
DAY 2: SAINT JOHN & FEELING LIKE I AM BACK HOME
Splitting a suitcase between two pageant girls seems easy, but when you are travelling a few hours to Saint John with five pageant girls in a little red car is interesting when trying to fit everything into the trunk! Proud to say we were successful and to top it all off my new little pageant sister was with us- Emma Morrison, the reigning Miss Teenage Canada! Emma and I had spoken online for several months and I fell in love with how sweet she was! The car ride to Saint John allowed three east coast queens to educate me and Emma on a lot.
Once in Saint John we quickly changed into our WE BELIEVE approved clothing and were off to Harbour Station to help with set-up and it was also time for Shyann to use a teleprompter for the first time! Surrounded by a stadium of volunteers helping with set up the organization was kind enough to order enough pizza to make any beauty queen or student happy! This was a lot of quick pace movement as pageants are with a lot of walking- cue the sound of clicking heels- on our way back to our beautiful hotel!
The girls were sequestered into a room to start preparing for their contestant introduction that usually would play at the beginning of the finale. I was in charge of making sure that each group of girls that was filming wasn't too loud so that it wouldn't be picked up on the microphone. Emma and I honestly kind of just got to know the girls and went over what they needed to say on camera.
After several hours of filming and a day of travel and dinner, we all went on a walking tour of Saint John. Having never been past Montreal, seeing this part of Canada I really loved experience the small city feeling while still knowing this was a big city for the east at the same time. The sun was just at the setting point and the wind was picking up! We experienced a mini lighthouse and the boardwalk right beside the river that would take us to the ocean. I loved every minute of it! That summarizes DAY 2.
DAY 3: WE BELIEVE. I BELIEVE. #SASHUP
In matching t- shirts the girls all in red, and the current titleholders/staff all in black, we ended up with floor seat to WE BELIEVE! This experience was something that I will hold dear forever. A big reason why I flew out east was to see Shyann speak! Having the honour to speak in front of 7,600 people who you can leave an impression on because you are a role-model, their role-model, and an active member in your community holds a lot of influence on their minds. WE BELIEVE is the largest youth event on the East Coast just incase you were wondering.
The speakers that presented really held a lot of influence with me. I know what it is like to overcome adversity- but some of the stories were life experiences that make my head injury look like a walk in the park. I was inspired. I believe. And I will continue to believe.
Listening to Spencer West speak about how he does not want to be known as the guy without legs, he just wants to be known as Spencer. Or Sarah Pennington, an advocate for Trichotillomania which is a hair pulling disorder who has overcome amazing mountains and is now Miss Maryland USA Ambassador and shared her story openly with everyone in the stadium and watching at home. There were so many more amazing speakers, but those were two who really impacted my outlook on life and inspired me to keep believing in myself and what I am doing.
Of course, my beautiful pageant sister, Shyann. Her speech of self-love I really loved. Hearing about strong women in the pageant world break stereotypes and be the first of there own archetype made me love her speech that much more. She spoke of learning to love yourself in a society that is based on beauty and introspective perspectives. You should have heard the crowd screaming and chanting along with her.
Brett Kissel also made an appearance and played one of my favourite songs 3-2-1. Being on the east coast, you always find a piece of Alberta everywhere you go! He was my piece of home that day and for the trip. I may have known the words and Emma and I had a blast watching me slightly fan-girl over watching him live.
DAY 4: THINKING I WAS BACK IN ALBERTA
WE BELIEVE was officially over and we were off! The five of us back in the tiny red pageant car and luggage piled in the trunk and crowns our laps, snacks in hands- Moncton here we come! There was a portion of the drive where I really thought I was back in Alberta on my way to the mountains, and then I saw that flooding that I had been so concerned about the week before- or at least what was left after it has receded. You could see some of the damage it had left behind, but I swear I thought I was in the foothills on my way to Banff. We did make it back safe and sound that morning.
DAY 5: THE MARKET. A SPEECH & LOTS OF TALENT
Keeping things short and sweet because I am sure you are more interested in watching the vlogs / pageant, Day 5 we made a quick appearance at a local market and were off to the high school where the production would take place.
The girls were all in rehersals so Emma and I spent some quality time enjoying doing our hair and makeup. Being honest and upfront I am still learning a lot and my hair is a bit stubborn when it comes to curls so I am very much still learning.
Preliminaries were great! Shyann needed a quick minute to stall so she called me up on stage while Emma was judging and I spoke about what I had done through pageants/ my pageant history as well as what advice I had for the girls competing.
The Gala that night consisted of each delegate either sharing her platform of sharing her talents. To clarify I am not rhythmically talented or musical. These girls blew my socks off! From singing, to signing, dancing or giving a monologue or doing some crazy form of martial arts I was beyond impressed by the talents these ladies have under their sparkling gowns and shining smiles.
DAY 6: CROWING AND MORE
I forgot that no matter where I am a migraine can find me. It started the day before but I was praying that it would be gone. I was wrong.
A venti Starbucks miracle was not enough along with painkillers. Here is the true test of being a titleholder. You are there to do a job. You flew and travelled for an extended amount of time. You know your responsibilities and what is expected of you. Little to the girl's knowledge I was a judge. A TOP SECRET JUDGE for the Teen Division. I knew what I had to do so when seated with my judging panel I would turn it on when I needed to. The girls all had such great interviews! I was impressed with their conversation skills and what they were open to sharing with complete strangers.
To summarize the show the girls were amazing! They remember the choreographed numbers and kept pace with the production! Also, I am so thankful that I can still understand enough french during this adventure or else I would have been clueless about what was happening.
Congratulations to all of the delegates! You all were so beautiful and I was blessed to spend this adventure with you all! You will all accomplish such amazing things and I cannot wait to see what you do in your futures! To the reigning queens, I am excited to see what you choose to do with your titles! Ladies, if you ever need anything do not hesitate to send me a message! Pageants are a sisterhood- and now you are all part of this one.
My time on the east coast was a highlight of my time as Miss Intercontinental Canada! I met my new pageant sister-Emma, Miss Teenage Canada! To Shyann I really do not know what I would do without you or our constant phone calls. Thank you to the Martimes International Organization for having me! I cannot be more thankful for allowing me to experience your side of Canada! It definitely felt like home to me!
Thank you Bells and Bows Bridal Centre of Lethbridge, Alberta for sponsoring me during my year as Miss Intercontinental Canada 2017. Thank you for this beautiful red gown that I purchased prior to competing this past summer at MISS WORLD CANADA! You always have just what I am looking for!