By Alice Li
Competing in national search for Miss World Canada 2017 has been a life-changing journey for me to say the least. Ever since the day I decided to enter the pageant, my life has been a complete whirlwind, a good whirl that is a seemingly endless flow of opportunities.
In January 2017, I started my journey at Miss World Ontario, the provincial preliminary event which leads winners to compete at the nationals. Arriving on the first morning, I met over fifty other beautiful ladies who had the same goal as me; we were all seeking a spot at the national competition. At the end of the provincial match, I was beyond thrilled to have won my regional title of Miss World Toronto 2017, allowing me to move on to nationals representing the biggest city in Canada.
Throughout my reign, my goal has been to get involved in my community and contribute back locally. I wanted to use my title in a meaningful way, in a way that demonstrated beauty inside and out.
One of my first events as Miss World Toronto was visiting the Good Shepherd Ministries, who provide shelter and support services for the homeless and the disadvantaged. I volunteered to help out at their daily lunch program, which is a free drop-in lunch for anyone who needs it. I was so glad to be able to bring smiles to all the visitors who saw that Miss Toronto was serving them lunch for the day. It made me realize how little effort it takes from me to spread smiles to others.
For Canada Day 2017, I did a meet-and-greet at Toronto’s iconic Nathan Phillips and I was so surprised to see a line-up of people who wanted pictures with me! I spent my whole day greeting crowds and also had my own float in the Canada Day Parade. What a festive way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday!
Another highlight of my year was working with the Toronto District School Board and visiting local schools. I participated as a guest judge in an elementary public speaking competition, and I was amazed at the level of young talent. After the event, I stayed behind to pass around my crown because all the students wanted a turn trying it on. I had such a great time meeting every single one of the students!
This year has also challenged my time management skills, since I had to balance my job as Miss Toronto into my existing responsibilities. That means pulling out my school notes and studying on the way to an event, or grabbing a quick dinner to eat on the subway home. It meant staying up late to reply to one more email, and getting up early for the gym. Everything pushed me to be a better version of myself every day.
Being Miss World Toronto has brought me endless opportunities such as working with Nine West Canada Toronto Eaton Centre and Sketchers Canada. The experience of being a titleholder is exactly what you make it. The more effort you put into it, the more you will receive in return. If you have a platform, speak about it. If you are passionate about something, spread awareness about it. If you want to be the next Miss World Canada, apply today.
Thank you to the Miss World Canada director, Michelle Weswaldi, and her amazing team for an amazing year that I will never forget. It has been a dream come true to represent Canada’s largest city and compete on the national stage. I am excited to see what the new year will bring and best of luck to next year’s contestants!
Miss World Toronto 2017