May has been a whirlwind…

The Upgala

On May 3rd, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the UP and Away Gala hosted by Catholic Family Service, in support of their F&ST program.  I learned so much about the F&ST program, who’s acronym stands for Families and Schools together. The program really serves to heal and grow relationships both within the family structure and within the school community.   As a young person myself, I can completely relate to the isolation that one may sometimes feel when dealing with the trials and tribulations of this thing called childhood. It is so encouraging to see that there is a program out there that addresses this.

The experience was truly incredible.  I know, this may sound cliché, but honestly, that is the only way I can describe it.  As a volunteer, I had the fun jobs of blowing up balloons for the famous balloon raffle     (with a few casualties of course), doing set up on the day of the event and greeting guests at the door.  Surprisingly, not all the faces were strangers to me, and I was happy to see that there are quite a few people that I know that support CFS.  Going behind the scenes allowed me to get a small glimpse of all the work and effort that was involved to pull off such an incredible and successful event. Altogether, the gala raised over $310 000.

( Ps: If you’re wondering you can see me at 0:14)

Heritage Fair

I had the pleasure of being a guest judge at the 2018 Calgary and Region History Fair. This Canadian Heritage Fair program encourages young Albertans to explore their history and compose a presentation based on their findings. From the history of donuts to the Canadian Arm, these kids never ceased to amaze me. It was so wonderful seeing all the talent and potential of each child. This made my job extremely difficult to chose the winners of the theatrics awards. They were all so deserving.

Mother’s Day Walk

Along with Miss Teenage South Calgary, we joined the Breast  Cancer Society of Canada as they hosted their annual Mother’s Day Walk. The day was filled with plenty of park walk festivities. The two of us rotated between stations, distributing merchandise, giving out (temporary) tattoos to the children and participating in the very popular photo booth. Before the walk was to begin, we kicked things off with a Zumba warm up while dancing to the Zoomer Radio music.  As volunteers we were all requires to wear bright pink under armour sock, however knee high socks combined with the hot weather leaves you with crazy bad tan lines. So I was stuck wearing jeans for the rest of the week.

Ranchman’s Cookhouse & Dancehall – Stampede Music Video

With the Stampede just around the corner, I was asked to join a group of incredibly talented individuals to shoot a music video at the Ranchmans. This medley of people included an international Gemini Award winning movie maker, an olympian, a world class bull rider and us pageant girls. It was quite the experience! There were some country dancers who could definitely pull off some serious cheerleading stunts. Those girls put my dancing skills to shame and made me want to brush up on them. I even had the chance to attempt to mount the mechanical bull. Sadly, not much success there; but I have all Stampede to learn.

Graduation

Although I finished High School back in late January, I didn’t get to celebrate until now.  The St Mary’s High School Graduation Dinner and Dance was held at the BMO center. Although the tickets to attend were expensive, my gown certainly was not.  I purchased it while volunteering at the Gown Town Sale last month for a mere $8.00. Yes, you read right. Although alteration cost me $90, I still came out ahead… I think.  Walking the stage took place the following Tuesday, at Jubilee Auditorium. After a few pictures, it was off to Earls. The big surprise was from my Uncle, who gave me a necklace from Tiffany, a staple in any girl’s closet.

University

Getting accepted into University should be one of the most exciting moments of your life. In my case, it was the most nerve wracking. You see, I had encountered a few unfortunate turn of events during my time in high school that put my post secondary future at risk. I’ll avoid going into detail (since I could probably write a novel on it), but let me just say that it was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. And it doesn’t help that I’m the oldest child in my family (also known as the guinea pig). But the ending to this chapter is a happy one. I am excited that I will be heading down East this fall to study Engineering at the University of Guelph. I have to mention that most of this is due to the help I received from Blake Morrison and Greg Radovan over at Admission Services at the U of G.  They are officially my heros.

Stay tuned for my summer updates!

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Written by: Allyx
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“I don’t do normal” is probably the best way to sum me up.  And that works just fine for me.  Most of the time.  It sure has been the theme of 2018.  In January, I started at Mount Royal University, all the while finishing up high school diplomas.  It was a whirlwind, but the reward was an early university start and a quick trip to New York in February to celebrate my 18th birthday.  Yes, New York was freezing, but hey New York is New York.

After I arrived back to YYC, I was excited to celebrate my little brother’s birthday.  He is born on St Patrick’s Day, so needless to say, this kid is a lucky one. His birthday also fell on the day on the pageant for Miss Teen Alberta!  The stars seem to be aligning, and leaving my comfort zone behind, I thought I would jump on the chance to participate.

To my delight, the experience was fantastic.  The girls and organizers were an incredible bunch of ladies!  I was honoured to be given the Title of Miss Teenage North Calgary.  The experience was really special and humbling at the same time. Special, because I connected with some great people.  And humbling, that there are people that are able to see past all your flaws and insecurities and see something positive in me.

In the short weeks that I have been Miss Teenage North Calgary, I have had some amazing experiences.  I have been to be photographed by Olympic medallist Lascelles Brown and by Tino Photo. I was able to volunteer with the other winners at Gown Town, attend the Hope Charity event and help out in preparing for the upcoming UP Gala, which is happening on May 3rd at the BMO centre. (https://omny.fm/shows/calgary-today-with-angela-kokott/up-away-gala)

I hope y’all will stay to tune to my journey to Toronto, where I will compete in Nationals.  And a big thank you for the support and well wishes.

Written by: Allyx
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Written by: MTC Blog Team
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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Canada

Finally, after 5 months of planning, preparing, and fundraising; a four hour plane ride containing 8 excited princesses; and lots and lots of practice… it has begun! The 2017 search for Miss Teenage Canada started with a party for all fifty nine regional delegates that was hosted entirely by our amazing sponsors.

To start, our amazing photograph Darren Lee! Was there to capture all the best moments from the night.

The Sponsors included the social media aggregator that was fetching pictures from Instagram all night. Hashtagio social media aggregator was set up to show the Instagram feed for the hashtag ‘MTC2017’.  

Just like last year, all the best shots are being collected and displayed on the website in a special Go Behind the Scenes via Instagram page. The unique service is co-sponsored by Standard Telecom business phone networks and all week long weare encouraged to use our cell phones and mobile devices to post our best moments using the #MTC2017 hashtag.

The beautiful Dahlia Desouza from UptotheTime Watches was there helping us delegates try on some of the beautiful and stylish watches. The lucky winner of Miss Teenage Canada 2017 will receive one of their watches as a gift. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with a stunning blue one! They had so many gorgeous watches to choose from. Some had funky designs on theface of the watch, while some were a very simple yet elegant silver! Each delegate received a gift bag from them containing an adorable gold or silver necklace, which obviously I can’t wait to wear this week.

Another special guest we had was Miss Toronto-World 2017, Alice, who placed fourth in the 2017 Search for Miss World Canada pageant. She was at a table for the Super Adorable ‘Super Adorbs” accessories. This is a brand offering jewellery and fashion accessories that will accentuate any outfit no matter your style or occasion. Based here in my home for the week, otherwise known as Toronto, the company sells online all across Canada; Super adorbs is built with feminine style for individual expression. At the table, they had necklaces, headbands and other cute accessories for us to pick from! I was able to snag a cute dark blue headband with a bow, I’m already thinking of all the different ways I can wear it!

the Wandering Minstrel Music School in Mississauga was also in attendance running an Instagram #MTCSongSolo challenge. Delegates were invited to select one of five instruments and record a musical performance on Instagram using the #MTCsongsolo hashtag. I was playing around with the ukulele for a while but I never got a chance to perform. The prize for the video with the most likes at the end of Wednesday night will get to take home a new cordless microphone! This awesome set up gave us a sneak peek at some of the incredible talent that will be showcased this Saturday at the Talent Gala.

We got to look at and try out our sponsored shoes as well. Nine West has generously provided a beautiful pair of black heeled sandals for our opening number and swimwear competition. Our shoes from Nine West were on display and we were encouraged to try on the shoes and get our shoe sizes recorded. We get the actual shoes later this week when the orders are sorted. 

Rob himself was running the Archer Dental booth and giving away dental supplies, like some toothpaste! 

Lastly, Golden Goddess was giving out some amazing products to all of the delegates, as well as offering discounted spray tans for anyone who wanted them! They were providing some amazing products and services.

I was so excited to finally arrive in Toronto and I can not wait to see what the rest of the week has in store! This is going to be a very memorable week, especially with all the remarkable ladies by my side!!

Written by: Emily
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Posted On: Categories:Blog Assignments

At the beginning of this week I had the pleasure of Writing an article that was published on StreetChic. This was our second blog assignment and the challenge was to find individuals whose fashion we admired, and take their photos on a street that connected well with the story and the style. When I was first reading over the blog assignments, I was particularly excited about this one. I have always had a love of unique styles, writing and photography, so bringing the 3 together into one assignment was a blast! I chose Kensington Village because it is an area not only filled with adorable houses and perfect pathways, but it also is home to cafes, book stores, and bars. It’s always been a beautiful place to spend an afternoon or evening with friends or family, and located right next to memorial drive provides opportunities for a relaxing scenic walk

I had the pleasure of writing about my sister Julia and her best friend Sarah. These two ladies are talented working women with a strong and independent fashion sense. They each chose 3 looks for this article, in varying degrees of casual to classy.

Julia chose 3 looks that are perfect for almost any occasion. Her first outfit was an edgy tube top and ripped jeans, paired with some stylish heeled sandals. This look combines classy and edgy into a balanced harmony. I especially love how this simple look is so easy and affordable to make! Her second outfit was a comfortable pink dress and some classic converse. This look is one you can find her in frequently during the summer,as its light and fun! Julia’s ‘less is more’ style is classic, easy, and gorgeous.The final look Julia wore follows the latest ‘off shoulder’ trend. She’s rocking a floral off the shoulder long sleeve shirt and some dark denim jeans. She’s paired this look with some adorable brown loafer style shoes.

Sarah follows a more pink colour scheme when styling her outfits, as demonstrated in the photos. The first outfit is an adorable salmon coloured tank top paired with blue denim jeans and brown heels. Especially as we are in the peak of summer, Sarah knows exactly how to make the days even brighter. The next outfit that she’s wearing is a body con red skirt with a white bodysuit, and lastly some cute simple blue heeled sandals. The final photo only has pink in the flowers found all over Kensington village. She’s paired a slim fitting dress dark blue heels.

At 19 years old, both of these girls know exactly how to make the most of this summer by feeling gorgeous in what they wear. They definitely know how to stand out and make a memorable impression!

Check out the article and more photos here!

Written by: Emily
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Beautiful view!

 

Calgary is Beautiful. Between visiting the penguins and elephants at the Calgary Zoo, taking photos of all the hidden treasures in downtown Calgary, or conquering your fears on the roller coaster at Calaway Park, It’s never hard to find something exciting to do with your favourite people. Having lived in Calgary for my whole life I’ve had the pleasure of really getting to know the city. There are little treasures to be found all over the city, such as the creations on the side of the Arts Commons building in downtown Calgary! Eighteen years later, this city never ceases to amaze me, as some of the newest places that I’ve discovered have come to be my favourite.

One of these places is the Mid Summer Night Swing at Poppy Plaza in Kensington. The first thing I noticed upon arriving at this location was the beautiful view. During the 1 hour class, and the 2 hour social dance, you are surrounded by busy city life, the Bow River, and a stunning view of downtown Calgary. On occasion there is live music, and when there is, the melody draws the attention of those who happen to wander by. The dancer’s smiling faces and laughter only add to the unique spectacle.

Dancers in action!

My fascination with Swing Dancing was also aided by the fact that it is something almost anyone can learn. I personally have only attended a few classes so I still fall into the “beginner” group, however the environment is beyond welcoming and members who have been dancing for longer are always excited to teach the newcomers a few extra tricks. People of all different shapes, sizes and ages come to these social dances, and you only dance as much as you are comfortable. If you don’t want to dance, you can take advantage of the beautiful weather and 50’s style music. There are benches dotting the plaza, as well as empty spaces to sit down for a picnic or to lay down and relax.

Teaching my brother some moves!

I had the pleasure of asking a friend of mine, who also introduced me to swing dancing, a couple of questions. She has been swing dancing regularly for almost a year now, although she tried it for the first time about a year before that. I asked her what she loved most about attending these dances and she answered with ease that she loves how silly it is, and how easy it is to express yourself with perfect strangers. When I have the opportunity to attend a class, I love to take some time to watch all the other dancers, you can see just how easy it is to get lost in the rhythm.

Growing up, my mother and father would dance together all the time. Before they were married, they’d take classes together and participate in dancing competitions and were even able to bring home a trophy! As they got married and had my siblings and I, they continued dancing whenever a song came on that carried a good rhythm. Although they didn’t swing dance, they would jive or two step, and try to teach me and my siblings whenever they could. Having the opportunity to watch my parents share that moment together was an important part of my childhood, and I believe it only sparked my interest in dancing even more.

The entire evening only costs around $5 for the Thursday evening outdoor dance, otherwise there is a Friday evening indoor dance that costs around $10 for the beginner lesson and social dance. Swing dancing is such an inexpensive way to spend quality time with your friends and family, and although this group is still widely unknown, I believe that it is a diamond in the rough.

 

Written by: Emily
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I’ve been trying to think of how to write this particular blog post for a while. I have been so excited to talk about my platform, I just wanted to find the perfect way to do it. I wanted it to be good enough for my lovely readers. I began to stray away from what I was trying to teach others with my platform, and I decided that this post would be a more personal one.

My platform is Self Acceptance and Empowerment, and as much as I’d like to think that I’ve found the secret to living a wonderfully happy life filled with acceptance, I, like the majority of the population, still struggle on almost a daily basis.

Something we all need to remember is that perfection is an illusion. Between taking a photo, and posting it on the internet or publishing it in a magazine, there is a gap dedicated to altering the viewer’s perception of beauty through photoshop. Individuals come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no “ideal” body type. Whether you are a size 2 or 22, you are gorgeous.

Originally I wanted my platform to focus more on individuals like myself, who live, or have lived with physical disabilities whether visible or not. For example, my hip dysplasia, the cause of both of my hip reconstructions, was only visible through a “waddle” I had when I walked, or the forearm crutches I used to help me get around. Now, my only reminder of the past is two fading scars and a small limp when I walk. I wanted to use my experiences to empower other youth who spend a great amount of time in hospitals, encouraging them to understand and believe that their illness or disability doesn’t define them. However, through my last 3 months as Miss Teenage North Calgary, I have been made more aware of the other illnesses and disabilities people face.

Finding ways to incorporate my crutches into family photos.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression at a young age, and through high school, they both found their way to suffocate any feelings of love I had for myself. It was another huge challenge for me to get out of bed some mornings with the knowledge that I would be plagued with the face of depression yet again. One day, I saw a photo on instagram by an account called Wear your Label They had a shirt that read “It’s okay not to be okay”. This idea slowly began to change my perspective. I eventually no longer felt that my mental illness was my fault, and I slowly stopped feeling the pressure to force myself to feel happy. Through further exploration I found that there was a whole community who was dedicated to empowering individuals like myself, and just how many lives had been changed by this ideology.

I saw the importance of not only empowering individuals with physical illnesses and disabilities, but the mental ones as well. This led to my passion for encouraging others to see themselves in the best way, to love themselves the best they can, and to see how truly incredible they really are.

Emily, Miss Teenage North Calgary 2017

Written by: Emily
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This past weekend was incredibly busy, from Thursday to Sunday I was volunteering at something new every day! I was so thankful for the beautiful weather Calgary received, after a few nights of brutal wind and rain.

My weekend started off at the Health and Fitness Expo just beside the Scotiabank Saddledome, home of the Calgary flames. I spent the evening handing out t-shirts to the Marathon runners after they traveled through the expo, eating delicious subway sandwiches, and meeting inspirational people from all over the world. One man I had the pleasure of meeting flew in from California to run his 60th marathon, he was so enthusiastic and passionate about running. Another man was told he couldn’t run anymore after undergoing two hip replacements, so he made it his mission to walk the full marathon. There was one adorable little girl who was staring at my crown as her mum picked up her shirt, and so I offered to let her try it on. The look on her face was one of pure joy, and she giggled the whole time, especially when I told her she looked just like a princess. During my spare time that evening, I was able to wander around the expo in my sash and crown, visiting all of the different booths, entering contests and playing little games they had.

On Friday, I spend my morning at the Calgary Children’s festival! I was at the “Wishing wall” where kids, parents and volunteers wrote their wishes for Canada’s 150th birthday on a strip of a plastic ribbon, and tied it to a wall. My wish for Canada was for more opportunities for the homeless. The kids wished for everything you could imagine. A new puppy, no more war, a longer school year, and more sports. One parent supervising the field trip decided to write a more personal wish for a better head of hair! The children’s festival had so many exciting things for the kids to make and do. Some of the things I saw were sketch artists, costume designing, dance parties and puppet making, which was where I volunteered on Saturday! The tent for puppet making was certainly more busy that the wishing wall. There was a constant line of kids hoping to make one of the adorable puppets. The line went as follows: Get a paper tube and chose some coloured and patterned duct tape to cover it. Glue some googley eyes onto a small ketchup cup for the head and hole-punch the holes for the legs (The volunteers did that part) Now this is where I came in! I showed the kids how to put the legs on their puppet. We used pipe-cleaners, and I showed them how to thread the pipe-cleaners through the leg holes, and guided them as they tried it on their own. Last but not least, they got the head attached to the body, and the puppet string as well! We also provided emergent care for any puppets who had been stepped or sat on.

On my final day, I got to hand out medals with the wonderful Miss Southern Alberta-World. I arrived just in time to give medals to the 5k and 10k runners! It was such a great experience to see the pride on peoples faces as they crossed the finish line, and I could only imagine what running those races meant to some of them. One man I gave a medal to was in a wheelchair. When he saw me he pushed himself slowly out of the chair and asked me for a hug and a picture! I had to help support him as he stood for the photo, and it was such a moving moment for me. I also had the pleasure of giving medals to some dogs who crossed the 5k finish line with their owners. 400 other individuals who I didn’t get the chance to meet signed up for the 150k race, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. While 325 of those people were participating in a relay, there were 75 who signed up to complete the race solo. Each runner or group had around 19 hours to complete the race, although they had to complete the first 100k in 13 hours, otherwise they would be disqualified and couldn’t finish the last bit of the race with the marathon and 50k runners. I don’t know for sure how many actually completed the entire 150 kilometers, but when they called the top 3 solo runners on stage for their awards, the crowd went wild!

A message to the runners,

Whether you ran 150k, 50k, 42.2k, 21.1k, 10k, or even 5k. Be proud of yourself. On Sunday you accomplished something that so many people only dream of doing. You set out a goal, and regardless of what time you crossed the finish line, you crossed it. That alone is a huge accomplishment. So please, be proud, and remember it as a time of courage, determination, and strength. The heat mixed with exhaustion couldn’t turn you away from the idea of finishing the race, and you have walked away with the knowledge of some new great things you are capable of doing. Congratulations.

Sincerely,

Emily

Written by: Emily
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It’s been a while since my last blog post, so I thought I would write an update about what’s been going on in my life!

About a two months ago, I got my official pageant photos taken by the brilliant Jodi O! She kindly sponsored a photo session, and I absolutely loved how the photos turned out! She was so sweet and passionate about her work which certainly made me feel confident and beautiful. I have also been getting some other pretty awesome donations from my sponsors! I’m holding a silent auction in June,and the generosity from places like Denny’sHome Depot and Ranchlands Dental are really helping to make this all possible

Another exciting thing going on is that I’ve been getting more into modelling! I’ve had a strong interest in modelling since I was about 12 years old, but I was encouraged to wait until I was older. Now that I am 18, so many possibilities are opening up, and I’m so excited to see where this all leads me! A few weeks ago, I did a shoot with Tony Chan, a brilliant photographer who contacted me after being the photographer at our provincial pageant. We planned a photo session together and the photos turned out amazing.
Now most recently, this past Saturday I had an amazing experience in Airdrie at Chinook Winds Park! I’ll start this off with a little back story. I submitted an article to my community newsletter and was very honoured to have it published. Following this newsletter, I received emails from different members of my community wishing me the best of luck in my journey to the Miss Teenage Canada pageant, and how their children, or grandchildren had participated in pageants years ago just like the one I was in. One message in particular stood out to me the most. It was from a lady named Jayne. Jayne has been helping her
daughter fundraise for months so that they could fly to Ecuador to help build a school with the Free the Children or WE charity. We met at our local Starbucks so that we could get to know each other prior to the event. Jayne was genuinely one of the sweetest people I have ever met! She gave me some great fundraising ideas, and shared her experience with the charity and with WEDay. They held their last fundraiser on Saturday and invited me to come out and participate as well as to get my title out there and promote my platform of self-acceptance and empowerment. It was amazing to see so many people come together to raise money for such a great cause! I am so thankful to have such an incredible community support me on my way to Toronto!

That’s all for now! ‘Till next time

Emily

Written by: Emily
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Today I made my first appearance as Miss Teenage North Calgary 2017, and let me tell you, it was probably the most adorable appearance I’ll make. I spent the afternoon at my old elementary and junior high school visiting with a 1st and 5th grade class! This was the first time since crowning that I had gone out in my sash and crown, and it was amazing. When I attended this school, I was in the library every lunch period helping our librarian with anything I could. So when I was thinking of things I could do with my sash and crown, the first thing that came to mind was to throw it back to junior high and help out in the library again! I called the librarian and we made plans for me to come and read to a first grade class in the afternoon the following day. I was talking to my family about what I would be doing at dinner that night, and my youngest brother asked me to come and visit with his class, so he could show everyone that “the sister who had hip surgery was now a princess.” I thought it was a great idea, and could hardly wait to get started!

The following afternoon, I was sitting in the office while waiting for the grade one students, and I got the chance to talk to some of the teachers about what I was doing. It was so fun being able to talk about my platform and how I won my title!  Eventually, it was time for me to go begin. I walked in the library, smiling and waving at all the little kids who were looking, and picked books called Frog on a log and Knuffle Bunny. The little girls in the library continued to watch me as I talked with the librarian and the teacher who taught me when I was in grade one, who was coincidentally the teacher of the kids I would be reading to! I was introduced as “Princess Emily”. They all listened and giggled as I read, and afterwards we had about fifteen minutes for me to answer their questions. I got the classic “What’s your favourite colour?”, and more regarding favourites, including what my favourite princess dress is, and what my favourite thing to do as a princess was. Of course I told them it was reading to them. When I told them my favourite colour is blue, about half of the students eagerly raised their hand to tell me that their favourite colour was blue too. My favourite question I received from their class was if I lived in a castle, it was so cute! At the end of their library time, the librarian took a group picture, and they all hugged me goodbye. One boy shouted “Princess Emily you’re really pretty!” and after thanking him he giggled with all his friends.

My next stop was my brothers 5th grade class. I talked to them about my platform, and bullying, as well as the pageant itself and how I got my title. Most questions I received were regarding how much money I make for being a princess, and how to become Miss Canada (the student who asked that was teased and corrected by his friends because “It’s Miss TEENAGE Canada”). They were eager to know how I became Miss Teenage North Calgary, and why I chose to enter this pageant. It was great to be able to work my platform into the answer, explaining how I wanted others to know that they are still capable of amazing things despite the differences and setbacks that they might have.

All in all, it was a great first appearance, and I’m so happy I got to make those kids day. I look forward to all my events to come, and all the opportunities I’m going to have to change lives.

Keep on shining,

Emily

Written by: Emily
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