Have your say! Your vote is required by June 29th 2016 to help us determine the winner of the 2016/17 People's Choice Award in the Miss BC, Miss Teen BC and Mrs. BC Pageant development program. Check out all of the contestants at our contest page.
Inspiration - Check out these comments from the 2015/16 winners:
Shakti Shunmugam. My year as Miss BC: "My reign as Miss BC 2015-16 has been a remarkable, surreal and beyond memorable experience. Between being a full time student and working, my year has been filled with a plethora of enriching opportunities; from working with non-profits and organizations both local and global, to working alongside my fellow title holders (who I am proud to call my sisters) to make a positive difference in people's lives and give back to the community, to meeting many amazing people, and so much more! Words cannot express my gratitude for this title, which has most importantly given me a voice to share my platform and bring awareness and action to make my vision a reality, to be a role model and mentor, and to inspire others to make a difference. My journey has been filled with many valuable lessons, new experiences and opportunities, self-growth and memories that I will cherish and hold on to for the rest of my life.
With my reign coming to an end, I am more than humbled to spend 2 weeks of my final month in Thailand. I have been given an opportunity to voice my platform and work with local NGOs and non-profits to empower underprivileged children and women to pursue an education. I believe this is a possible solution and step towards social and economic change, poverty alleviation and closing the gap between social injustices and inequality. A year ago I wouldn't have thought this dream of empowering others was even close to becoming my reality and am more than thankful to the Courage Productions family for making this dream possible. In less than a month from now, I will be passing on my title and welcoming the next Miss BC as she embarks on a life changing journey. Although the moment will be bittersweet, I will be happy knowing that I will be taking away from this experience so much more.
Kirti Singh. Miss Fraser Valley 2015: Leaving, sometimes, isn’t a matter of choice. It is hard to believe that my reign as Miss Fraser Valley BC 2015/16 is about to come to an end. This has been a remarkable experience, and one that I will forever treasure in my heart. Representing my region and platform has helped me to discover and create the person that I am today. Raising awareness for domestic violence, and fundraising for developing countries that require vital health care supplies furthers the belief I know, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” - Mother Teresa. Throughout my reign as Miss Fraser Valley, I was given the opportunity to dedicate my time to charities, organizations, and events.
Katelynne Herchak - Miss Vancouver Island-Victoria 2015: This experience has truly changed my life, I am so grateful to have been able to represent Vancouver Island as an indigenous woman. I've had the opportunity to attend the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centre's Back to School Picnic where we gave away school supplies to aboriginal families, surrounded by Cedar Winter Feast for Aboriginal Children In Care and Gathering of Our Voices Aboriginal Youth Conference. Aboriginal Education is very close to my heart and I am so glad I had the support of the Miss BC organization to help achieve my goals of a more indigenized education system.
I am thankful to the people who became a part of my journey. To my beautiful pageant sisters, there are no words to describe the amazing memories we have made. I love you all so dearly! To my parents, thank you for showing me that I am capable of achieving anything that I put my mind to and supporting me in every way possible. Girlfriendz Studio 7 & the rest of my generous sponsors, thank you for believing in me. To the next Miss Fraser Valley, get ready for the most exciting, stressful, memorable, and beautiful year of your life! It is your time to shine. Strive for success and do what you love and believe in. Qujannamiik, (thank you)
Emily Henderson - Miss Interior BC - Summerland: I first applied for Miss BC at the end of my first year of university, not knowing where it would take me. I needed some new adventure, and Miss BC was exactly what I had been hoping for! I have never felt so warmly accepted and so much a part of a sisterhood. The first half of my reign was a flurry of activities and volunteer opportunities, parades, photoshoots and speaking engagements. To name a few, I was in the Pride and Torchlight parades, volunteered at the Ronald McDonald house and the wedding show, and spoke at UBC and with a local Indian band's youth group about body image and self-esteem, my platform. I felt strong and on the right path.
Illness and trauma have turned my focus away from pageant activities for the past few months, but I'm going to try and enjoy the last month of my reign to the fullest. I will be in a local parade and I hope to pick up more volunteer hours! All in all, Miss BC had changed my life.
Chiantelle Rey-Miss Greater Vancouver 2015-16 - I had been given the honor and the privilege to be Miss Greater Vancouver 2015-2016 at the Miss BC Pageant. As I get ready to pass on my title to the next wonderful young lady, I can’t help but think about how amazing and how blessed this year has been. I utilize my platform to raise awareness to current issues about health and wellness, eco-sustainability, and community. It has given me wonderful opportunities to give back in any way that I can. I’ve connected and collaborated with a variety of communities whether it be guest-speaking at elementary schools about health living, to becoming a mentor for young women, to volunteering at local events for businesses and charitable organizations.
Honestly I never thought that I would get into the pageant world - let alone receive a regional title. But being a part of this community has allowed me to rediscover my passions, meet new people and hear their stories, and challenged me in different aspects of life. With or without a title, I will continue my work in advocating for healthier living and giving back. If you would like to know more about myself and my platform or stay connected, please feel free to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter: @chiantellerey.
Nica Derakhshannia - Miss Teen Lower Mainland - Richmond. Where to begin?
Participating in a pageant was completely new territory for me and I never expected it to be the meaningful experience it was. In the back of my mind, all of the negative preconceived notions of “pageant girls” had me worried that I wouldn't fit in, but the Miss BC pageant gave me a new perspective. Right from the beginning, I made strong connections with the other girls and soon grew friendships I will cherish for the rest of my life.
If the friendships weren’t an amazing prize to the crown, the opportunities of community development that a simple sash and tiara can do will surprise you. From parades to fundraisers- various organizations welcomed me with open arms and loving smiles, and in turn I worked my hardest to contribute and share my passion for volunteering.
From all of the events that I was involved in, one of my most cherished memories was Halloween at the Ronald McDonald House. The titleholders from this year's pageant helped with a scavenger hunt and the afternoon was filled with many emotions. I have a lot of experience working with young kids as a camp leader and childcare assistant- but I had never seen such a happy ensemble of kids in my entire life. Though these kids were dealing with various serious health issues, they all found such joy in the activities and genuinely enjoyed our company. A kind smile, a caring hug or even time spent with someone can have so much of an effect on anyone. With or without a tiara, we all have the ability to go out in the world and make a difference. I am, and will forever be grateful for the impact the title “Miss Teen Lower Mainland BC 2015/16” has had on me and the community around me.
Shalom Reimer. Miss Teen Canada 2016/17. I never would have expected my life to change so dramatically at the age of 17. On July 5th, 2015, I was crowned Miss Teen BC. This opportunity has allowed me to develop leadership skills and connect with my community to a greater capacity. This year I have been able to support many non-profit organizations such as: the Terry Fox Run, the Global Fire Run for Leukemia, the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival, the Ronald McDonald House, Cops for Cancer, #pinkpromise week at Guildford Town Centre and the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon. I also launched a program at my school for grade 6-8 students, who gather at lunch once a week, to talk about issues in their lives and the world around them. As a leader, I have helped them work through strategies to overcome tough situations that they are facing in their pre-teen years, as well as challenge them to build others up and take positive steps to combat change. I have seen these students develop into unbelievable leaders, as they are making a difference within their own school hallways.
My title, Miss Teen BC, has also opened the door for me to compete on a national level at the Miss Teen Canada Pageant, which was held in Laval, Quebec. On March 6th, 2016, I was crowned Miss Teen Canada and was honored to bring home this title to the province of British Columbia and my hometown of Fort Langley.
My most treasured moments over the past year have been the opportunities I’ve had to speak to young teens about being leaders within their schools and local communities. Now in my senior year, as Miss Teen BC and Miss Teen Canada, I am excited to continue to share and develop the pre-teen leadership program that I have created to schools on a national level. My parents have always taught me that in order to be a leader, you must be a servant, and that is something I will continue to live by.
Zana Ng - Mrs. Charity BC 2015-16. The Difference a Title Makes. I almost wish I could say I feel my personal impact this year as Mrs Charity BC was vastly increased from years past, but actually I think the things I did as a volunteer that may have made a lasting impact were same as before I was crowned.
The first event I went to was a Community Block party that Chiantelle Rey: Miss Greater Vancouver 2015 was already helping to organize and was slated to host before she was crowned as well. It may have helped add a point of interest that we were there with crowns and sashes, but we served like we would have without them.
It was a privilege to walk this year out with the other Miss BC Title Holders, and to have my awareness opened up to their platforms, and the many excellent events we have going on in our communities like the Khatsahlano Street Party, The Edmonds City Fair, The Torchlight Parade in White Rock, Walk for Children With Apraxia of Speech,Variety The Children's Charity Show of Hearts - all events I probably would not have participated in without my Pageant Community to invite and partner with me.
It's amazing the opportunities that can be created when we have a heart for something. I have been teaching about Sexual Integrity since 2006, starting at my former High School Eric Hamber, just because I had a passion for that subject, and my former counsellors allowed me to come and share, and then gave me reference letters to approach other schools and youth groups. I continued that this year, and plan to carry on for the rest of my life.
It has been incredible though, to see their Titles give my friends the confidence and impetus to really make a difference in the platforms they stood for, and to be able to stand with them. Take Ava Vanderstarten -Miss BC 2013 for example - the non-profit foundation she started to help rehabilitate child soldiers has now raised $32,770 out of $862,000 needed towards building their Kabala Community Centre in Sierra Leone which could make a huge tangible difference in the lives of many children devastated by war.
Navneet Kaur Nanan - Miss Northern BC 2015-16. My year as Miss Northern British Columbia has taught me incredible lessons, connected me with remarkable individuals, and has empowered me to continue my efforts to impact others and to serve. To those competing this year or planning on competing in the future, I hope you feel grateful to stand among such brilliant and accomplished women. Most importantly, I hope you use your title to make a difference and I hope you’re proud with your results because what you do will impact people and it will make a difference. Advocate and educate people on issues that are incredibly important. I’ve spend the last few months of my reign focusing on self-love. There are far too many people that spend their lives hating themselves. Make a vow to talk about the things unsaid. There many people out there that are suffering in silence for many different reasons, be their voice of guidance. Be a positive influence in the lives of people that can sometimes be heavily influenced by negativity. Trust me when I say that the world has the most beautiful things to offer you. But it is upon you to get out there and seize everyday. Find a group of people who inspire you and relentlessly push you to be your best. Spend as much time with them as you can and I promise it will change your life in ways that you could never have imagined.
A large space will open up before me after the moment that I crown my successor, and it will be up to me to fill it with something new. I hope that I can continue to make people proud and continue to make a difference.
To my friends and family, thank you for showing me that I am capable of achieving anything that I put my mind to and supporting me in every way possible. Dad, thank you for always being my biggest fan, motivator, and constant source for guidance. Thank you for teaching me that no distance will ever be too far for me conquer and that no hurdle placed in front of me will be too high for me to jump. Thank you for encouraging me to run wild with my dreams because “the sky is the limit” and ensuring me that everything that I want to achieve in my life is possible if I make it so.
Black Press Media is partnering with the Miss BC, Miss Teen BC and Mrs. BC Pageant this year, as its official media partner.
Pageant organizers will then be in touch with the applicants to provide further information leading up to the pageant weekend, which takes place July 1 to 3 at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley.
The final pageant takes place July 3 at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public, as well as being broadcast on Shaw Television.
Black Press will cover and report on the pageant, where three women will be named Miss BC, Miss Teen BC and Mrs. BC. Other regional titles, such as Miss Fraser Valley and Miss Northern BC, will also be presented.
Creator and producer Darren Storsley emphasizes that this is not a beauty pageant, but a “development program.”
There is no maximum age limit to participate nor are there height or weight restrictions.
“There is something in this for everyone. Some girls who are on the shy side and not outgoing want this program so that they can get some skills and confidence in all the workshops and training we offer … Others are excited to be part of a huge TV production,” he said.
“Some girls are very vocal and want a venue to share a passion … and this is a great way to get an important and passionate message out there.”
Leading up to the final pageant, all contestants receive professional training in areas such as public speaking, interview skills, media relations, modelling, manners, and even self-defence.
They also attend a leadership seminar run by female leaders in the community.
The women compete in a private judge’s interview, an on-stage interview, sportswear and evening gown presentations, a sponsor costume introduction, and charity fundraising.
The charity of the Miss BC Pageant is the Cops for Cancer Tour of the Canadian Cancer Society. Since 2007, the pageant has raised more than $250,000 for the cause.
Storsley said he is proud of the road the pageant has travelled over the years.
“In the end, it is about giving back, reaching out, creating leaders and providing a venue for women to take leadership roles across B.C.”
For more information, visit missbc.ca. The public is invited to log on and vote for their favourite contestant for the People’s Choice Award closer to the pageant date.
Miss BC – Shatki Shunmugam of Vancouver
Mrs. BC – Shalini Gambhir of Vancouver
Miss Teen BC – Shalom Reimer of Fort Langley
Mrs. Charity BC – Zana Gray of Burnaby
Miss Fraser Valley – Kirti Singh of Surrey
Miss Greater Vancouver – Chiantelle Rey of Vancouver
Miss Lower Mainland – Questa Lee of Richmond
Miss Vancouver Island – Katelynne Herchak of Victoria
Miss Northern BC – Navneet Kaur Nanan of Prince Rupert
Miss BC Interior – Emily Henderson of Summerland
Miss Teen Lower Mainland – Nica Derakhshannia of Richmond