My Journey and Experience With The Miss Canada / Miss Teen Canada Pageant

As many of you know, I have been on a journey of pageantry for over a year, beginning with applying for the Miss Teenage Canada pageant at the end of 2018, which led to me deciding that pageant was not a good fit for me. I then went on to do the Miss BC pageant, which focuses on charity and community involvement. Having known some finalists and winners of the Miss Canada pageant through the large community of Canadian pageant queens I had connected with both in person and on social media, I thought I could try to take a risk and apply for this well-respected national pageant.

At first I actually thought I had no chance of getting in since I ended up forgetting to hit “send” on the application before the midnight deadline I had in August. Alas, one evening after rehearsals for “The Addams Family,” I was at Sandbox VR with my father and sister for a fun night of fighting off computer-generated zombies when I got the email of acceptance. I honestly hadn’t thought I would get in. Naturally, my excitement could barely be contained for that entire game and ride home.

The prep for Miss Canada was similar to that of Miss BC. There was optional but encouraged fundraising for their partner charity, and a lot of us connected on social media to get to know each other better before meeting in person. The one thing that obviously made Miss Canada very different from Miss BC was that it was in an entirely other province, meaning the personal preparations were much more extensive than just hopping in the car and driving to Fort Langley. We needed to book flights, figure out my dad’s hotel, set up a plan for the days we depart and return, etc. Like Miss BC, I had to go out and buy the clothing required for certain nights where our dresses were coordinated or for events such as interviews where professional appearance is important. Our house fire on February 8th obviously was a disturbance to this process, as many of my required clothes were in the house, which had water damage, chemical damage, falling debris, and smoke damage. This was all of course in addition to the entire upper floor being completely obliterated by flames. I was in a panic, in addition to figuring out the loss of an entire house I was also realizing I was leaving for Montreal in less than a month. My Miss BC family was nothing but supportive and uplifting, and my “pageant mother” Gloria was a great help in me getting all the required clothes together again.

As the days towards our flight got closer and closer, I felt at peace and allowed myself to get excited for this adventure I had been looking forward to for over half a year. Our flight departed at 11:30 pm on a Tuesday. I was exhausted that night since my school day had lasted over twelve hours being that we were taking part one of a 14-hour Standard First Aid course in one of my classes. Despite being tired my dad and I were both insanely excited for what was to come.

When I walked into the hotel that afternoon I instantly felt welcome and knew that this Personality Pageant was the right choice for me. Being that I already knew a few of them either from Miss BC or social media, it was more of a reunion than a meeting. Almost everyone was incredibly genuine and I had some amazing conversations with the other girls about very real things, no small talk.

Our first activity was getting to know each other and do our opening on-camera interviews. That night we had dinner in our rooms so we could get to know our roommates. We then had a short gala rehearsal. Our hotel was kind enough to keep the pool area open later for us so many of us went down to swim. Our first full day began with breakfast at Coco Loco restaurant and we then went rock climbing. Our climbing instructor was insanely impressive and I still stand by my statement that he is some sort of spiderman-like superhero. That night we had a delicious dinner at a local Laval steakhouse where our group partied it up on the dance floor. Exhausted, we crashed in bed at the end of the day but I could not have been more content. Day three was again kicked off by breakfast at Coco Loco where I ate what was possibly the greatest fruit crêpe in existence. As we drove to Old Montreal for laser tag the current titleholders led a pageant trivia contest, the awards being Miss Canada / Miss Teen Canada lanyards. To absolutely no one’s surprise my spacey self landed dead last in laser tag. That night we decked ourselves out in red and headed to a Brazilian restaurant for dinner. A wonderful surprise was that they had Brazilian dancers there to entertain us! There was one point where we could join in on the dancing and it was a blast!

Then came Day 4: Gala Day. Our morning started with breakfast at the hotel buffet before getting ready for our private interviews with current and previous titleholders. I didn’t feel nervous for the interviews as I thought of it as an open and honest conversation, and did my best to clear my mind of the fact that I was being judged on it. We were called down to the interview rooms in groups. My room was one of the last ones to be called. Like any interview, I found my heart beating a little faster, and my speech deciding to copy my heart (faaaast). The interviewers were serious but you could feel that they were routing for you and were on your side. Despite speaking at the speed of light, I felt the interview went fine and knew I was completely true to myself and didn’t put on any kind of mask or try to change my answers to sound better for the judges. After that was a large period of time to get ready for the gala. I got my hair done by the stylists they brought in but did my own makeup. I also assisted a few girls in their makeup and did a full face on two of them. I was happy to do so as makeup is a hobby of mine I really enjoy. Then came the final rehearsal and ultimately, the gala. The show started with us walking out in red dresses accompanied by Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too.” Once we got into our evening gowns then was the time to stand at the microphones and tell the audience who we are and what we stand for. My speech went as follows: “Hello, my name is Rose Lepin and I am from British Columbia. If I were to choose just one thing to bring to my community it would definitely be a sense of belonging. As someone who was bullied for a large part of my life I feel there are few things more important than finding a space where you feel loved and accepted regardless of factors such as race, weight, sexual orientation, or gender identity. With or without the Miss Teen Canada crown this is something I want to promote not only in my provincial or national community but in my global community as well.”

The first half of the gala was these introductions for the most part as well as our elegant runway walks in our gowns and a couple musical performances by phenomenal Canadian artists. The second half of the gala brought the calling of the finalists. I was blessed to be chosen as a Top 6 finalist. Standing among the strong, smart, and powerful women on that stage I felt like a complete badass. Unfortunately my response was not one that left me feeling confident that I did my best work as I panicked and spoke about something that was not related to my platform of inclusion and body positivity and instead a topic that is, while important, not something I was vastly educated on. After heartfelt and beautiful closing speeches from Miss Canada 2019, Christine and Miss Teen Canada 2019, Natascha, my incredible friend and fellow BC girl Keyena Kler was crowned Miss Teen Canada alongside her Runners-Up Samantha and Samriddhi. Miss BC was incredibly well-represented as my darling friend, Bremiella De Guzman (Miss BC 2019!) was crowned Miss Canada 2020!

So overall, what were my thoughts on the Miss Canada pageant? Miss Canada is an organization with integrity and class. They stand strongly by their standards of personality above all else and genuinely want to get to know you. Pageants such as this one spark beautiful friendships and give a space to start conversations between girls of different ages and walks of life from all across Canada and even the world. Miss Canada promotes confidence, friendship, and women supporting women. Like any pageant there was the odd situation you could tell someone was there for a sparkly tiara more than a platform for change but for the most part Miss Canada was a vessel to talk about the things that are important to you amongst other powerful women that want to change the world for the better. I definitely plan to return to the pageant within the next few years to pursue a title that will give me a bigger voice to make a difference across our beautiful country. Congratulations to Bremiella and Keyena!

Be sure to subscribe to this blog to get notified when I post! If you want to contact me directly you can do so by emailing me through the “Contact” page or messaging me on my Instagram @roseofvancouver or Facebook @greatervancouvergal. Both accounts can be accessed by clicking on the handles in this post. Have a great day and stay strong!

2 thoughts on “My Journey and Experience With The Miss Canada / Miss Teen Canada Pageant

  1. I’ve been waiting for you to write about this incredible trip. So proud of you Rose! Even the part when you came in last at laser tag.😂 I love the fact that you’re not run of the mill 😉

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