Two young women from southeast Saskatchewan were recently in Toronto for the Miss Teen Canada World pageant.
Estevan's Brittany Orsted (entered as Miss Teen Southern Saskatchewan) and Lampman's Jade Wallin (competing as Miss Teen Central Saskatchewan) were among the 62 participants in the July 14 to 21 competition.
Orsted and Wallin said they were very busy throughout the eight days of activities. They made appearances on CityTV's “Breakfast Television” and “CityLine” programs, visited the MuchMusic studio, toured the CN Tower and the Eaton Centre and travelled to other attractions. Everywhere they went, they had to wear their tiaras.
Most days they had activities from early in the morning until very late in the evening. When they appeared on "Breakfast Television," they had to be up at 3 a.m. Their eating schedule was also irregular.
But it was still a great experience, they said.
The first round of judging took place on July 19. Participants modeled an evening gown and a swimsuit on the runway.
"Then they judged us, and from that judging, they picked the top 20 girls," said Wallin.
But the top 20, along with the pageants award winners, weren't announced until July 21 – the final day of the pageant.
Between the first round and the announcements, each of the contestants continued to participate in promotional activities.
Orsted was chosen for the top-20, and finished in the top four for the most photogenic contestant.
"Before I came into the pageant, I set a goal, and it was to make the top 20, and I achieved it," said Orsted. "So I was really happy. I didn't know I was very photogenic, but apparently, I am."
She also finished in the top 10 for on-line voting that took place before the pageant.
After Orsted was announced for the top 20, she entered another swimsuit contest. Then the top 10 was announced. Orsted was eliminated at that time.
She also raised $2,005 for the Miss Teen Canada World's charity of choice, Free the Children. Estevan area residents were very generous in their support, she said.
Wallin didn't crack the top 20, but she was still thrilled with the experience, she said. She raised $400 for Free the Children, made a lot of friends, and experienced a week of being in the limelight in Canada's biggest city.
"Everyone wanted to take pictures with you, so it's kind of like being a mini-celebrity for a while," said Wallin.
Miss Teen Canada World also allowed them to meet celebrities, and to make contacts in the fashion and modeling industries. Wallin said she learned how difficult it could be to have a career in fashion and modeling.
"We had a mentor night, and there were four women who came to talk to us," said Wallin. "One was an Olympian … another woman modeled for Ford, and now she has her own beauty line. Another one was a plus-sized model, and now she's a personal trainer. The other lady has her own dental company."
Orsted has since been invited to attend an international modeling convention in Vancouver in November.
Wallin is eligible to return to the pageant in the future, and she said she would welcome the opportunity to compete again. Orsted won't be eligible, but she recommends the pageant for anyone who has the confidence, the energy and the endurance to participate in the event.