On July 6th, 2019 I hosted my first ever large scale fundraising event. Leading up to the big day I spent many days organizing, planning and delegating everything that needed to be completed… From a different city.

Around June 10th I was hit with the devastating news that my grandma was in her last days battling Alzheimer’s. My family immediately took to her side and did everything we could to support her, and make her feel at ease. Though she fought and fought she peacefully passed away on June 15th, 2019 with all of us by her side. The next week was spent sifting through pictures and organizing everything that needed to be done for her funeral. The next week my family got on a plane and traveled to Halifax, Nova Scotia to say our final goodbyes with our family and loved ones. Of course, after everything I have learned through the arts, and knowing that I had a huge event the next week…the show must go on.

My grandma was a HUGE inspiration in my life and a huge reason why music is so influential in my life today. A fire was lit inside me and I was fueled to honor her by hosting this event… there was just no way I was going to cancel it. From phone calls to Facebook messaging and sleepless nights, my team and I were able to put together something we were proud of. Now all we had to do was cross our fingers, and hope that we would have an audience to perform this for!

I am so beyond blessed and thankful for the turnout of my first ever Music for Minds. We laughed, cried and became educated about mental health and what we can do to better the resources in our city. I am proud to say we raised over $2000 dollars from our event alone to jumpstart our new music therapy programming and close to $900 so far and counting on our online donating platform!!! I just can’t believe it.

If you would still like to donate to the cause you can absolutely do so here.

https://secure.cmha.calgary.ab.ca/raise/event/19…

I would like to thank the We Are Calgary team for capturing the night and creating a playlist for those who couldn’t attend to see, It truly was a magical night and I couldn’t have done it without my team and sponsors. If you want to check out some of the performances from the night you can do so below 🙂

I want to say thank you to all the incredibly talented performers who took part, and shared your stories I have so much love for you all and how brave you all were. To my amazing stage crew thank you for working to create a beautiful arrangement of lighting in under 10 hours and seamless stage management for our show. You guys seriously are amazing and to pink + White Creative… Kris Mish you were once again a joy to create art with and I definitely could not have done this without you. Thank you to my awesome family for taking time out of their busy lives to run snack and beverages (proceeds went to Children’s Wish) and the silent auction. Your support means the world to me.

To my incredible sponsors THANK YOU! every penny and every donation made is so appreciated and we were able to create an impact due to your selfless contributions.

StoryBook Theatre
Made By Marcus
Laughing Sparrow
Ari + Blair
Grey Eagle Resort & Casino
World Gym Southland
YMCA Calgary
pink+whitecreative
Hudsons Bay Calgary

Finally, special thanks to CMHA – Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region for all your help and support leading up to the event. You guys seriously are amazing and I’m so glad to be working along-side you all to create change in this city 💚

I am so excited to say that the response from the audience was so well received that I will be working hard to create an annual Music for Minds event. My head is full of new knowledge and my heart is forever full. I believe I had a special angel watching over me that day and helping the event go smoothly. I really have found a true passion I didn’t expect to find through pageantry and I cannot wait to see where it takes me. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

side note… I leave on Saturday for Miss World Canada EEK!

Much love always & talk soon,

Alisha- Miss Calgary World 2019

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Hello! 

I am so excited to announce my Charity event was a Success! I held a fundraising dinner at The Eden in Calgary in support of Children’s Wish Foundation. I am at a loss of words for how Blessed I am for the support and love from everyone who came out. We had raffles and door prizes from various local businesses such as Katherine Calnan, Blondie Boutique, Patti Falconer agencies, Kensington Fitness, Tany’s jewelry, RnR Wellness, Joanna Bisley designs, Purr, and Clique hotel. I am so blessed and grateful for the continued love support. Thank you so much once again to everyone who made this event a success.

Love, Ciara xo

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I would like to dedicate this post to all of those who influenced me in the best way possible.

All of you, have influenced me or given me opportunities that have shaped me into the woman I am today. I am strong, multifaceted, and becoming more and more confident every day. It is because of you, that I strive to succeed in everything that I do and hopefully one day, I can be the same for others. I believe that especially in today’s society, it is extremely important for our younger generations; boys and girls to have someone to look up to and strive to be. I was fortunate to have that.

Lisa Harrigan Joseph
Ashlea Moore Johnson

I would like to start with my pageant coaches; Lisa and Ashlea. The two of them have gone above and beyond to not only polish me for provincials and nationals, but really helped my mom with becoming a supportive pageant mama. You both have brought me out of my shell, and gave me the confidence I truly needed to find. Without them, I would have given up before the provincial pageant and nothing would be the same. I aspire to become anything similar to the women they are, I will never know what I would do without your guidance and support and there is no way I can ever thank them enough. It’s the simplest things from texts, to showing up at my events that mean the absolute world to me. Thank you for always cheering me on.

My Auntie Sandy, Auntie Krista, Auntie Shannon and Auntie Elisha, they have all individually given me constant support not only with my pageant, but everything I have done in my life. I have some pretty spectacular aunts to look up to and they have all blessed me with my amazing cousins that I am forever grateful to have.

Unfortunately, my Auntie Sandy and Auntie Shannon have both endured hardships and lost spouses. However; they both have successfully raised their children to become kind, smart and courageous people and I admire their growth as hard working women. Without the four of you, I would not have so many great memories to look back on and each of them have helped to mold me into the woman I have become.

My cousin Apryl. I would like to thank her for not only being one of my favourite people, but for being the older sister I never had. She is strong, smart and so determined and every bit of growing up with her was filled with fun adventures and laughter.

she brings constant happiness to my life and I cannot think of how it would be without her in it. After watching her endure an open heart surgery at the age of 18, I really saw how strong of a person she truly is. Apryl will continuously have my respect and love. Thank you for always being my sister.

My Nana, her daughters and daughter in laws; You are some of the most strong-willed people I will ever meet. All of you have been huge influential figures in my life, you have taught me to be true to myself, and never, ever let anyone take advantage of me. You all may be assertive, but under that lies hearts of gold. Anyone that is fortunate enough to have you ladies in their life is sure lucky. Thank you for giving me a wonderful family to cherish and love forever, and thank you for all of the wonderful memories

My grandma, Georgie. I have so many great memories of us running up and down the stairs at your old house, Tibs and Bentley and experiencing the Calgary Stampede for the first time. You have taught me to be happy and true to yourself with whatever life brings to you.

You brought acceptance to my life and showed me that same sex marriage is nothing but normal. No matter how many obstacles you run into, the only thing that matters in life is that you are happy, healthy and living your best life for you. Thank you for bringing this to my life, grandma.

My grandma, Carol. There is never a dull moment with you. You and mom are the light of my life and without you, I truly don’t know what I would do. You have helped to give me the best life I could possibly have and you will never fail to make me the happiest I can be.

You always taught me that I ‘don’t need a man to be successful’ and although I used to laugh, I now realize how true you are. Your wisdom has carried me through life, through every obstacle, and every achievement (Hopefully more to come). Brendan, Audrey, Griffin and myself really struck gold with you as you will always be our biggest support. You taught me to dance, you took me to my first concert and you helped raise me to become a strong, independent woman just like you. So thank you, for always cheering me on and showing me what kind of grandma I need to be one day.

Last but certainly not least, my Mama.

You are my rock, my number one, and you will forever be my best friend. I know, I can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but my life wouldn’t be this great without you in it. You are the reason behind everything I’ve achieved and I will continue to always be the best me I can be for you. I don’t know how to put this into words as my love for you grows each and every day.

Thank you for everything you have done for me and giving me the best life I could have. Thank you for showing me how to be strong whilst in difficult situations. Thank you for being the hardest working person I know and proving to not only me, but so so many others how dedication can bring you the best success in life.

I aspire to have your positive, kind heart and to become a mother just like you to one day teach my children how to be just like their selfless grandma. I know it is said often, but thank you for being the best mom I could ever have, I hope to never let you down mama. I love you.

Thank you to everyone that read this post! I hope you enjoyed and come back for more.

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I hope everyone is having a great day! If you have stumbled upon this post you are about to get a glimpse into a bit more about me.

My Roots

So the questions I get asked all the time is, “Where are you from?” or “So.. what’s ur nationality?” I laugh to myself each time because I have come to realize that when you look at me it is really hard to figure out. So let me clear this all up. I am Trinidadian-Guyanese- Canadian. My dad was born in Trinidad and his family is from Trinidad and Guyana. My mom is English, Irish and Scottish. Also in this wonderful mix is Turkish, East Indian, and Nepalese. So I am so lucky to be a mix of the United Kingdom and the Caribbean. I am proud to be mixed. I love how Christmas and Easter and even family gatherings are full of all these traditions and cultural aspects. I am very lucky to have all these ethnicities part of my identity. So when I am asked how my hair is so curly, and how I get so tan, here’s part of my answer. I have the wonderful benefits of being mixed and I get to experience so much uniqueness and beauty of so many cultures. I am proud to be English, I am proud to be West Indian, and I am proud to be Canadian.

Travel

Ever since I was a kid I have been fortunate enough to have the privilege of travelling. My parents always believed that the more us kids saw of the world the better knowledge and understanding we’d have of things growing up. They were definitely right and I couldn’t be more grateful for the places I’ve been to, the cultures I’ve seen, and the experiences I’ve been able to have around our globe. I feel I have a better knowledge of our world once having travelled. I am more grateful for the things I have, and I feel educated about what is going on around us everyday in different parts of the world. Travelling has also given me the opportunity to see all the things that I could possibly do. I now have a wanderlust and such a big desire to see more. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to the Caribbean, around Canada, and all over the United States. I cannot wait to see where my future allows me to travel to, for I have a bucket list of places I wish to go.

Life of an Athlete

From my childhood to now, I was involved in any sport you could think of. As a little, little girl I was a dancer and a gymnast. I competed in Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, and Ballet. I even medalled at gymnastics competitions. Growing up a bit I became a lover of lacrosse and Tae Kwon Do. Then once I had run my course with those sports my true passions for being an athlete set in. Competitive swimming and running are what I am truly passionate about. I have swam competitively for 8 years and then moved onto coaching the team. As for running I am a cross-country and track runner. I’ve competed in triathlons and medalled in many cross country races. For track my best races are 200 meter, 400 meter, and 100 meter relay. While doing all this I participated in school sports, badminton, volleyball, and basketball. Being involved in sports is a part of my life I can’t live without. Fitness and competition are big values I have when it comes to athletics. With all this under my belt my passion of teaching young athletes came about.

Teaching Young Athletes

Being active and sporty is one of the main parts and loves that I have in my life. But I have broadened that love even further. I love teaching and training kids to find their passions for sports. I have coached our swim team and taught kids to swim for 3 years. I love how the healthy competition inspires and motivates these kids to pursue athletics. So many kids are passionate about sports and I love being part of their journey with that and being able to guide them and teach them along the way. Along with the swim team I have refereed many volleyball and basketball games, and I will admit I am that annoying cheerleader on the side encouraging these kids through the whole game. I’ve been lucky to participate in many Jump Rope for Heart events being able to motivate these young athletes to their goals. I love being a coach, and a mentor. I hope that I inspire all the little ones I teach to go out and get their goals.

Other Passions

Some other parts of my life that I truly enjoy is the time I spend outside. Ever since I was little I’ve had a long for the outdoors. I love fishing, hiking, quadding, skiing, and archery. I am also a big lover of music. I always have headphones in, or the stereo blasting in my car. I play a few instruments too, I’ve been playing since I can remember. There’s so much more I love to do but I can’t fit it all in here. But I would like to highlight the love I have for my friends, who I view as my family. Spending time with the people who encourage me, and lift me up, and cause me to laugh uncontrollably, is the best ways I can think of to spend my days.

So there you have it, a brief view behind the scenes of me. It’s not everything but it’s some of my favourite parts I like to share. Stay tuned to read more from me, there will be lots!

Be blessed, bright, and brilliant*

Maya, your Miss East Central Alberta 2019

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I was born in Nashville, Tennessee (Yes, I am a country girl) and I moved to Canada with my family when I was 10 years old. All my life, I have always wanted to be a teacher and create a positive impact on everyone around me; from babies to seniors. 

Being a child of an immigrant family from Nigeria with no other blood relatives, I learned that education, working hard, and building a positive family-like relationship with the people around me was very important. Due to this and the relationships I have developed, I am surrounded with many friends and supporters who have formed and shaped who I have become to be today; a strong, yet bubbly, respectful, God-fearing, exemplary woman. 

Education/Career:

Last year in 2018 I graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program in Red Deer, Alberta. I also graduated from the Early Learning and Child Care Program a few months ago to further my passion for children and become an educator. 

I am currently in the works of opening a Child Development Centre for children of all race, gender, and backgrounds. It will be a place where children will develop strong life-lasting skills that will grow and strengthen a child’s social, physical, intellectual, and emotional skills. 

Why pageantry? 

Competing in the preliminary provincial stage for Miss Alberta World was my first time ever in a pageant and I definitely didn’t go into it with much expectations of winning such a huge title; the capital city of my province, Miss Edmonton World!

Going into the Miss Alberta competition I just went in with an open mind and a heart, ready to receive the experience. Everything I do in life I always give my 110%, and surely this competition was no different. I strongly believe that in order for you to gain the full experience of anything, you have to give it your all! 

I am so excited for the Miss World Canada competition, and excited to experience such an amazing opportunity! My platform as my reign as Miss Edmonton is child development and If I am successful at catching the Miss World Canada crown, I will continue to spread awareness on child development and the importance of this overlooked topic. I also plan on continuing to use my platform as a Public Figure to be a positive light to other young girls and women who may have struggled, or are currently struggling with stepping out of their comfort zone and taking that leap of faith in trying something new! I endeavour to be that extra push they may need in helping them reach their full potential, and purpose in life by being the example of what can come out of being adventurous and trying new things.  

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A big part of the reason that I joined pageantry is that it opens a door for me to be able to get behind some of the causes that are near and dear to me and lend my voice to their message. Aside from my platform: Promoting STEM-based Education, these are some of the causes that also resonate, and I have been working at promoting and help out towards.

Gender Equality

Gender equality is a big, hot button issue these days. Growing up with the adage, “Anything boys can do, girls can do…” has often led me to push boundaries as a young girl, of “why can he do that, and I can’t,” especially when the majority of my friends growing up were boys. I have tried to buck many gender roles, some with great success (thanks to my amazing support system), others not so much. And as I have ventured out on my own in the world, I have noticed that it often takes more than grit and determination to achieve equality. Sometimes, you need a leg up from one of your girl friends when you are your lowest. That’s why through university and to this day, I continue to help with women’s shelters and recovery centres, from helping with clothing drives to assembling toiletries care package, every little bit helps to create the female powerhouses of tomorrow.

LGBTQ+ Rights

I was very blessed to have had a very liberal upbringing. I was taught Love is Love, one is not lesser than the other because of whom you love, and EVERYONE deserves to feel love and be loved. As a result of this upbringing, I have opened my heart, home and family to many amazing individuals, who I call my friends and adopted family, that have otherwise been turned out or criticized for whom they choose to love. Over the years, I have found that my support has evolved from being the non-judgemental friend that has a couch to crash on, an unending supply of hugs, and making us laugh until we have tears streaming down our face; to showing up and speaking at Pride events, to calling politicians for promoting anti-LGBTQ legislation. And through this, I have learned, one level support is not any less important. If you are only comfortable being a person’s support system, then help build them up in every way that you can. If you can lend your voice as an ally, then shout it out, never let them put out your fire.

Animal Welfare

I have always loved animals, I don’t think I can actually pinpoint when I started loving them. Whether it was when I was trying to show the baby calves how to drink from the bottle (at the age of 2), or pushing chickens around in my dolly stroller. All my pets have either been rescues or brought to our home as a part of a “retirement plan” (where they can live out the rest of their days). In fact, when I was growing up, I thought about becoming a veterinarian but changed my mind as I got older as I realized that seeing all those animals at their worst, outweighed all the success stories. That’s why if money was no object, one of the things I would do is run a wildlife rescue. But until that day, I have been planning some projects during my reign to help local animal shelters, including my much-anticipated blanket drive this coming Fall.

Promoting STEM-based Education

Last, but not least is my platform: Promoting STEM-based Education. While at university, I realized that I had learned more than just chemical reactions and anatomy terms. I had learned how to effectively communicate through a variety of mediums, how to build supporting arguments to my statements, and how to view problems from all sides and problem solve through experimentation, and trial and error, to name just a few of the things I learned. After graduating, I discovered that not as many people were given the opportunity to pursue an education in the science, whether they felt they “weren’t smart enough,” didn’t know that the area they were interested in was actually a field of science, or they were discouraged from pursuing sciences in favour of a “more practical” career. And as a result of this shift, and the increase of social media, pseudoscience and false narratives are allowed to spread and misinform many people before its caught (if it is). So that’s where I began my mission, to debunk pseudoscience and show people that science is more than chemistry, biology and math. I started with the science blog, Schrodinger’s Cat, and has evolved into this platform and my Beauty With A Purpose project, that I will be presenting at Miss World Canada.

These are just a few of the causes that I am passionate about. But I find that it is essential to highlight them as they are often overshadowed by my platform. If sure many of my pageant sisters can attest to that. And if you have a cause that you are passionate about, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Talk to some of your local organization that aligns with your passions and ask about how you can get involved. It doesn’t matter how big or small that first step is, as long as it is made.

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How’s everyone’s start of the summer coming along? I hope it’s all going really well. This month was spent mainly about preparing for the pageant in July, finalizing some things for the pageant, my fundraising event and on top of that finalizing the designs and furniture of our new home! Here’s a few of the activities I have done for the month on June.

It started off with me judging a beauty pageant again! This time it is for the titles Mr and Ms Pilipinas (Philippines) Independence 2019! Fun fact: June 12 is the Philippines Independence Day and also the month of June was announced by the Canadian Government, officially the Filipino Heritage month!! It is truly a land of the free! I am proud to be Filipino but I am also very proud to be a Canadian!!

I was also given the privilege to co-host “Handog” (‘offering’ our culture to you) 2019, along side with a pageant sister of mine, Miss Culture Arts 2017, Dianne Razon. It is always a pleasure to host with her, and we got so many positive feedback on how well we hosted for this day. Very fulfilling to do our job right while they enjoy! We also got to do a little runway walk, along with different titleholders, the national costume of the Philippines and long gowns

Here is a modernized National Attire of the Philippines, I wore this when I was emceeing for Handog 2019

The next day, after I emceed and did a little fashion show, I and along with my cultural dance group, have performed with several government officials and guests. Fun fact: I started dancing the Filipino cultural dancing in 2008 and have been doing it ever since, up until to this day. I want to preserve and promote the richness and uniqueness of my background and origin.

Paseo de Iloilo, a courtship dance, inspired from the Spanish Era

Here are some of the youth I teach and dance with! Very fulfilling to pass on what I have already learned, and helping the youth appreciate our origins, and the art of dancing and the meaning of each dances. The dance troupe I am a part of is Binhi ng Lahi Folk Dance Troupe (the seeds of our heritage). We promote not only our heritage but also to build communication skills, leadership skills and public speaking skills among the youth. This is where I began to be more comfortable showcasing myself and my talents and I want the youth to have those skills that I have also acquired.

Binhi ng Lahi Folk Dance Troupe

The Red Tent Canadian Circus Event was back in Calgary. Every year one of the non-profit organization I belong to, which is the Calgary Westwind Lions Club volunteers as the Fire Ambassadors. We are held responsible of emergency exits and in case of a fire we have fire extinguishers with us. The bonus part we get to watch the show!! The show is very unique each year, and the people that were part of the circus puts their lives on the line for these stunts. I am also glad that they did not use or do any animal shows at this event compared to the first year I have volunteered. I am strongly against animal cruelty and encapsulate. And this is living proof that you do not need to “tame” animals in order to have an amazing and enjoyable show!! They had the ring master, that did almost like a Mission Impossible scene! They had a guy wire walking and biking!! There were so many stunts that were showcased and I’m glad no one got hurt, or at least none that I know off. And everyone, kids and adults enjoyed the show!!

Tightrope Biking at the Royal Canadian (Red Tent) Circus Show

The month of June was a very refreshing month to look at as the days are getting warmer and longer. And that also means that the competition is around the corner!! I am honestly getting nervous but also getting excited! For the first half of July is to get things prep and ready to go for the pageant! So please stay tuned for updates by me and the ladies!

PS. I would like to invite you all to come to my fundraising/send off event on July 14th at Southview Community Hall in Calgary, limited tickets will be sold at the reception for $20 with food. I hope you can join me and a few of my supporters, friends and family on this night!! See you all soon!

With much love,

VidaValerieVispo

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“Live life full of laughter and appreciation” – Z

Hello everyone, it’s already July and we’re getting closer to the day of the competition, it’s so exciting!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Zairah Mae Apolinario but you can call me “Zai” as my full name can be tough to pronounce sometimes. I am a twenty-one year old girl, living in the beautiful city of Calgary. A graduate of practical nursing. I spend most of my free time either working or volunteering in a personality development camp called “Spotlight Courone International”.

“Be the positive change you want to see in the world” – Z

I am a runway model. My career started when I auditioned for a fashion show produced by Spotlight Courone International and Limuel Villela and Alvin Francia discovered me. Since then, I have been in multiple fashion shows both here in Canada and in New York. I always feel humbled walking for designers and wearing their creations, especially when there are special causes behind it. Such as recently during the Canadian Asian Fashion Week, I had the opportunity to wear a piece that was created by Michelle Taras which was auctioned and the money raised was donated to the Sick Kids Foundation. In addition, walking in the runway allowed me to express myself and develop my self-confidence. My biggest achievement thus far in this aspect is the chance to walk in the New York Fashion Week for the Hollywood celebrity designer RC Caylan.

I also volunteer as a mentor to young children and teenagers in a personality development camp. I love sharing my experiences and knowledge to them. Teaching them the basics of modelling in terms of walking, posture and stance. But most importantly, the lesson about developing their own self-confidence. It is a proud moment for me to see them start from nothing, getting frustrated but learning to overcome that. I love seeing them outgrow their own insecurities and witness them shine in their own beautiful way. I feel proud and content.

At twenty one years of age, I am still at that point in my life where I try to figure out what I am supposed to be or be doing. Always having that voice at the back of my head telling me that I’m either “too young to do that..” or “too old to do that..” but living life everyday I have come to realize, it’s not about what you’re supposed to do, rather who you are doing it for, which is yourself. Wake up everyday spreading positivity and happiness, try to make a difference not just for yourself but also for others. Life is compiled of fears and that’s okay, fear is a great teacher–it allows us to discover more about ourselves.

Love,

Zai


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I hope everyone had a safe and happy Canada Day Long Weekend. The rainy weather in Cold Lake resulted in more of an indoor celebration. However, it also allowed me to reflect on everything I have to be grateful for, being a citizen of this amazing country. As a fifth generation Canadian, I often take for granted all the great opportunities that I have been afforded being Canadian. So in this blog post, I thought I would share all that I am grateful for, my Ode to Canada if you wish.

Education

Canadians are very fortunate in that the majority of us can take advantage of having a high school education, and graduating with our grade 12. People in other countries, often only completing up to grade 8, if they can attend school. Education is even more of a luxury for women in other countries. As a woman growing up in Canada, I have not only been allowed to attend public education safely but also I have been able to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Sciences, and plan to one day attain my Master’s. Not once during my academic career, have I been threatened or made to feel like I didn’t belong there. Many other countries don’t allow women to attend any form of education beyond the very basics; be it because of financial reasons (girls are required to go to work to help bring in an income), cultural roles (marrying at young age, having to look after younger siblings, etc.), or legal reasons (it being illegal for girls to attend school). I owe a lot to my education. From how I come to my informed opinions, to how I approach hurdles in my everyday life, I would not have these if it weren’t for Canada’s education system.

Work Experience

So far in my working career, which I’ll be the first say is quite diverse, I have had the opportunity to work in many different fields, many of which would not be considered a traditionally female profession. During university, I worked as a labourer, welder’s helper and pipe fitter’s helper in the Alberta Oil Fields, to help pay for my schooling. Some of that time, I spent living in Camp. I was never evaluated based on my gender, but rather by how hard I worked and if I completed my jobs in a timely manner. If anything, by the end of the summer, many of my male coworkers were like family to me; cheering me on at UBC from the oil fields. After graduating, I began my heavy equipment technician apprenticeship. In both shops that I worked in, I was the only female mechanic there wrenching on the trucks. Not once during the hiring process was I questioned about being a woman. I was just another HET apprentice. My most recent non-traditional role, Assistant Fish Culturist. I was the only female on site at the Hatchery, and many of my tasks were very physical. From packing and placing fishing nets for fish capture, to carrying fish and water in packs up steep hills, to lifting stop gates at the end of the fish ponds. Again, I was treated based on how hard I worked and left at the end of my contract with yet another work family. Many of these jobs, I dove into head first because of my interest in them, I may not have been allowed to even think about pursuing if I lived in another country.

Travel

One luxury that many Canadians enjoy, myself included, is the ability to travel, uninhibited, too many countries around the world. Many countries, Canadians only need to show up with their passport, and we are granted assess. Others, we fill out a form, and we are given a visa to visit. Also, just by being Canadian, in these foreign countries, you are greeted with a special level of hospitality. Almost like you are a long lost relative. In addition to other countries rolling out the welcome mat to Canadians, the majority of us, as Canadians, can afford to travel at some point in our lives due to our strong economy and being paid a higher living wage.

Hobbies

For those that know me, know I grew up being told by my Grandma, “Anything boys can do, girls can do just as well, if not better.” And because of this upbringing, some of my hobbies and activities involved me becoming “one of the boys”. Drag Racing was one of these sports. Since Erica Enders and her sister were the first girls in Jr. Drag Racing, more and more girls have joined the ranks. That being said, it is still only about 40/60 of girls to boys competing in the sport. In fact, living in Canada not only I fortunate to race cars competitively, but being a woman, I have the right to drive a vehicle (some countries do not allow women to hold a driver’s license). In fact, many sports that I enjoy today and grew up participating in, other countries either deter or outright ban women from participating in, including dirt biking, mountain biking, and competitive swimming (a one-piece swimsuit is considered too revealing). Even pageantry is discouraged as it felt to focus too much on Vanity, despite how pageants are so much more.

So, in short, I am incredibly proud and blessed to be a Canadian. Even if some times I take it for granted. We are truly fortunate to live in a beautiful and free country. We, as Canadians, can love whomever we wish; participate in a variety of activities, hobbies and pastimes (lawfully); pursue a variety of careers and ambitions; have a free choice in religion and beliefs. We can travel far and wide, knowing that we have this magnificent home to return to. And wh that I’d like to say, “Happy 152nd Birthday, Canada. Here’s to many more!”


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Canada, home to ten provinces, three territories and a population of 37,279,811 in 2019. We are blessed to live in a country that has such a beautiful cultural mosaic. An incredible part of being a Canadian is being able to learn and experience so many different cultures from all over the world. Even though there is so much diversity in Canada there is one common characteristic we all share. Canadians are kind. I am so honored to call myself a Canadian. Living in Canada I am a witness to how welcoming, compassionate, and kind Canadians are. Kindness isn’t something that is forced upon Canadian citizens, it just instilled into our everyday life. From coast to coast you find people partaking in random acts of kindness, from something as small as holding the door to paying it forward for someone’s Timmies. This kindness isn’t only recognized on a national level but on an international level. Whenever Canadians are traveling internationally, we make sure to always have a Canadain flag on our person. The Canadian flag is a representation of what all Canadians believe in and lives by; equality, respect of others’ cultures, safety and peace are just a few examples of what we stand for as a Nation.   When people see this flag it is an unspoken symbol for everything Canada stands for. I spent my Canada Day long weekend with the Airdrie Pro Rodeo. I would like to thank the City of Airdrie for being so welcoming and kind. The rodeo had contestants from Canada, Mexico, the United States, and Australia. Even though most of these people are only visiting, it was a display of how Canada brings so many people together. I am so blessed to live where I do. I am so excited to bring our Canadian Kindness to an international stage.

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