On Sunday Jan 21st, the 2018 Miss Ontario World pageant erupted at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Toronto. The event was the culmination of two days work registering, training, and choreographing a dance piece with four dozen applicants. Some of these performers would soon become official 2018 Miss World Canada delegates and as such advance to compete in the National level competition scheduled for Toronto in July 2018.
For other ladies in this show and all returning titleholders this was like Homecoming Weekend. Earlier on Saturday, while new dancers were honing their skills at the hotel, these veteran showgirls got together and went sightseeing around town. They went to see and be seen and generally shake-up the local hot spots. Here’s Karema Batotele and Jurice Encarnacion melting the ice at Nathan Philips Square before touring Toronto’s trendiest shopping areas.
On Sunday it was work, work, work. Fifty or more naturally talented young women aged 16 to 24 (this includes the Miss Teenage Ontario applicants who also performed in the show and were awarded titles in their own separate competition) came from across the province to stage an amazing spectacle. Without anyone realizing what was happening, that Sunday night the 2018 Miss Ontario World extravaganza at the Hyatt Regency morphed into the biggest show in town.
Over three hundred and fifty people attended the 2018 Search for Miss Ontario – World.
By seven pm that evening, the line-up of people waiting outside the Hyatt Regency hotel ballroom had grown into a throng of eager spectators. Tickets had been selling briskly all weekend, and were now sold out, and suddenly hard to get. Hotel administrators, seeing the size of the crowd, became alarmed and sent extra staff, with extra chairs. And they turned off the escalators; both up and down escalators were switched off presumably for safety reasons.
The printed program for this historic event has all the delegates’ pictures and biographies faithfully preserved for posterity. This document is quite collectible as it captures so many of these young Canadians in what could be their first celebrity appearance. Sold at the door for $10, this item was also unattainable after seven o’clock (the limited volume issue adding to its value as a collectible). What the program didn’t show, or could ever possible communicate, are the dreams of the delegates lining the pages.
The opening dance number is always astonishing; it never fails to take everyone by surprise. The music and colour combination of the lights on the twirling dresses, the synchronicity of the performers and the overall complexity of the dance choreography is very impressive. But for this author, the best part is always how the opening dance piece rotates performers to give each candidate the center spotlight for a few seconds. When delegates with friends in the audience dance to the front of the stage their entourage always erupts in wild applause. What makes it even more priceless is how these young performers, in that moment, can choose to either hide or openly display their pride. Regardless, they keep on dancing. Its a very dynamic exhibition, and if you’re a friend or parent then it’s probably the most interactive dance show you’ll ever experience.
Here’s a monochromatic montage of purple moments; this author’s small consumer camera struggled to capture any images in the challenging lighting conditions inside the auditorium.
Backstage is a beautiful chaos of touch ups and good luck hugs; the young performers laugh through tears of real pain as they massage their shoulders and legs. Before the curtain rises, some can be seen standing in what looks like silent prayer, but really they’re just mentally preparing, practicing the routine again in their brains. Others do last minute stomach crunches. The shoes come off immediately backstage. Remember they’ve been rehearsing this number for two days. The dance is locked away in their muscle memory and their muscles are sore. Most have blisters on their feet. Its not uncommon to see band-aids on the floor backstage where delegates hurriedly ripped one off and re-applied another before going out under the lights again.
It’s dark backstage, and dry. In the dim light, Shawn Cuffie and Hollywood Jade, the dance choreographers silently marshal the models into long lines where there are yet more hazards. Unless well managed, their own beautiful evening dresses can become life-crushing, show-stopping trip factors.
Only to meet disappointment, a surprising percentage of proud parents hoped to communicate with their daughters halfway through the show. First one, then two, and then six or eight candidates cued at the stage door to exchange words and receive praise and feedback from friends and supporters, but this was heartily discouraged by administrators. The show must go on.
The Judges: Gale Ellis from Regas Fashion, and Allan Ramsarran the #Solopannist joined our previous pageant winner and now top international model Samantha Pierre as Judges. Master of Ceremonies at Miss Ontario World, and driving force behind this pageant, and all 2018 MTC-W productions is Michelle Weswaldi.
Many delegates advanced and their names will be added here in time.
At the conclusion of the event, Alice Li was crowned 2018 Miss Ontario World. The cover photo is provided to us here courtesy of Chau Tran Photography.
* In related media,
Alice Li is crowned Miss Ontario World 2018– Torontonicity – http://www.torontonicity.com/2018/01/29/alice-li-is-crowned-miss-ontario-world-2018/
Alice Li crowned Miss World Ontario 2018 – Street Chic – http://streetchic.ca/2018/02/03/alice-li-crowned-miss-world-ontario-2018/
Local Woman Vying for Miss World Canada Title Guelph Today https://www.guelphtoday.com/local-news/local-woman-vying-for-miss-world-canada-title-837398
Hodgen Representing Napenee at 2018 Miss Ontario World – Napanee Beaver, http://www.napaneebeaver.ca/2018/01/17/hodgen-representing-napanee-at-miss-ontario-world-pageant/
Chatham Native Wins First Beauty Pageant She’s Entered – Chatham Daily News – http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/2018/01/29/chatham-native-wins-first-beauty-pageant-shes-entered
Chatham Native to Compete at Pageant – Blackburn News – http://blackburnnews.com/chatham/chatham-news/2018/01/31/chatham-native-compete-pageant/
Scugog Teen Vying For Miss World Canada Crown – Durham Regional – https://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/8075561-scugog-teen-vying-for-miss-world-canada-crown/
2017 Miss Ontario World – https://missworldcanada.net/miss-ontario-world-2017/