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The Power of a Smile

A smile can change a life. When someone is having a bad day if you smile to them it can make there day a little better. It is proven that if YOU smile even when you are upset you feel better, healthier and have more energy. This is why I created the Smile Video, to help those who ma not having some to smile at them, smile. I invite you, if you are having a bad day watch the video below. Filled with so many amazing smiles that come from all backgrounds and walks of life. 🙂

Samantha Sewell

Year in Review

As we all know, when the clock strikes midnight tonight 2016 will be over, and 2017 will begin. While I know of some exciting news about 2017 that I have yet to share, and I am super excited for 2017. It is time to look back on my 2016! So without further a-do…

 

 

Top of 2016 Pictures

January 2016

January 2016, not much happened but I
announced my offical sponsors for Internationals!! L’Amore Bridals and Formals my Gown and fashion wear sponsor!

And Kelsey Raber Photography, my offical photograph for the year. Top of 2016 Pictures (galaxy sponsor)In January I also got the opportunity to model in Vernon bridal show, I modeled for my sponsor L’Amore Bridal and Formals. Link to picture here!!

Side not look at that old logo for Kelsey Raber Photography

 

February 2016

Top of 2016 PicturesFebruary started with the Kiki fundraiser for local performer Kiki the eco elf! Then came the Vernon Winter Carnival, which is the main reason why February is one of my Busier months for events!! I was visiting royalty at the Queen Silver Star crowning, with other royalty from around BC! I took pictures for Canada’s National Flag day, which said photo soon became the most view pictures on this website. Top of 2016 Pictures I got to ride in Hot Air balloons (even if they were 5 feet off the ground still really fun), I visited the “princess Tea Part” at the Local Library, once again with the Queen and Princess Silver Star! There was the Vernon Winter carnival Parade where I got to Top of 2016 Picturesenjoy some time before the parade with the other royalty. And even so for some reason I was edited out of the TV version of the parade it was still a
blast!! Silver Star Mountain had it’s annual (will be back during the 2017 one) BC Snow Sculpture Competition!! And my favorite event of the month (and one of my favorite pictures of all time) was family Day in Polson Park, and I got to speak at my first event, yes it was not on stage but I still had a pretty decent audience listening in the tent!

 

March

Top of 2016 PicturesNot just my 18th birthday but an eye opening month as well! The beginning of March I had my first offical in crown photo shoot with Kelsey Raber Photography, the pictures she took here would soon appear across the globe in various magazines and web articles. Kelsey managed to somehow capture my bubbly personalty in just a few pictures. My favorite though (as you know if you have one of my cards) is the one where I blow a kiss! March was also the month where I raised money for my pal Samantha from RMHBC and I attend her AMAZING super hero lunch, with a Canadian Pacific Railway rep. This month was the time where I became an advocate for spread the word to end the word, and for the first time EVER I shared my story, Top of 2016 Picturesnot knowing where it would get me. Teen Fest Canada, soon invited me to speak at the event (2 hours away) and I accepted, I spoke in front of my first major audience! Where people came up to me after and told me how much of an Inspirational I am. this is the first time I noticed that I, I could make a difference in peoples lives. March ended with my final event with my sister queen, Miss Teenage Kelowna 2015,  we made it very sentimental by going to the same event we went to a year ago, and at that point it was our first event together. (it will be weird to be back in 2017 alone) March was the month where I begin to find my self!!

 

April

Top of 2016 PicturesIn the pageant appearance seasons April is one of the busyness, and filled wit first times!! HockeyVille Canada, a large national event came to my small area!! I was on national television (in the most Canadian way, hockey night in Canada). More Easter events, which are NEVER in short
supply in the Okanagan. I was invited to be the “princess” at the Vernon Autism Walk, And Lazy One Canada donated Top of 2016 Picturessome PJ’s for the Team Canada group at Internationals!! I walked in the Canadian Cancer Society Daffidol Dash, being the 8th one to finish! And I danced at the Earth day celebration in Vernon town square park!!

 

May

Top of 2016 PicturesThe peak in pageant appearance season!! May started with be formally invited to the walk so kids can talk, I got to talk some of the councilors and speak to the manager of the service about how I am a past user of Kids help Phone. I am also now in the Walk so Kids Can Talk commercial to view that click here! It was an honor to speak to these people who are one of the only reasons Top of 2016 Pictureswhy I finished High School! I attend the MChappy Day in Kelowna, where I sold bags and balloons for charity.  I was in the Rutland May Day parade, where some people knew who I was?!
Which at the time was a first for me. I finished this month by visiting the May Day Queens coronation day, where I saw the 2015 girls,who I know so well hand their titles over.

 

June

Top of 2016 PicturesMiracle weekendJune started with the worlds rainiest parade. I am not kidding my sash had to be rung out and my hair was drenched. Then I traveled to Vancouver to attend several events!! First event being Barnaby Hights Street Party. Top of 2016 PicturesThen was
was of my favorites,  The RBC run for kids (last year it was called Child Run) Where I was on TV again and handed out awards to all the participants who ran! And my favorite event of the Vancouver Weekend was miracle weekend, where I meet several fighters and inspirational other volunteer’s!  even got to face-paint beautiful crowns on some little girls.

 

July

Top of 2016 PicturesJuly, where do I start. I graduated fro Highschool, and two weeks later from College. I rode in a Canada Day Parade with my Pageant friend Miss Canada Globe forth Princess! i attend the Canada Day Celebration in Polson park, I even got to meet up with a EWC friend who moved to my town, HOW COOL IS THAT?! I rode in the Lumby Days parade, and ate at the dignitary’s lunch in (Then got food poisoning for a week :P) My Dad and I walked the Do it for Dad fathers day Top of 2016 Pictureswalk, and attended the Fathers Day Car show, which has become a tradition every year I have held a title.  And the finally of HockeyVille Canada event happened….and Top of 2016 Pictures…..Lumby……WON!! I got to be on national TV when they announced the Winning town, which was ours!! in July I also got to speak at my old entry school about my story, and I meet several young children who have speach impediments. As busy July was for me at events it was non stop at night practicing for Internationals in August.

 

 

August

Top of 2016 PicturesAugust we got our passports and hopped on a plane to ORLANDO!!! It is strange some of my best Orlando memories are at Disney World not the pageant LOL!! Mom and I got park hopper tickets, and we visited EVERY park and rode (almost) every ride. It was a blast and I cannot wait to go back to DW, also I cried during the Fireworks, that is HOW good they are!! Galaxy Internationals were also in Orlando, I had a blast. Top of 2016 PicturesI represented Canada to my very best and won the International Peoples choice award!! Not to mention the friend I made from around the world!

 

 

September

September was slow, but NOT uneventful!! I was featured on castanet, about winning peoples choice, and I rode on the very TOP of a fire truck in the Salmon Arm parade. But the thing that took the cake in September was me finding Live Out Loud Charity. I decided I would try for the Miss Worldwide Pageant, as I loved what LOLC stood for. So after some work, and essay, interview and form. I got the email “Congratulations you have been selected as Miss Worldwide Teen Canada”.  This words brought tears to my eyes and I instantly started my Inspirational Queens Video!!

 

October

Barly anything happened in October, I was working hard on an inspirational Queens Video and got the idea to do a calendar as well. October was my down month.

 

November

Photo credit Kelsey Raber Photoraphy

 

This month began is when things began to get busy again. I revived my new crown and sash, and did my first offical photo-shoot, with my sponsor Kelsey Raber Photography!  I started sells on my Calendar, rode in the Kamloops Santa Parade. I started to feel at home with my LOLC family. I became certified in Suicide prevention and started my Core-Character training. Not to mention working for THE PAGEANT PLANET!!

 

December

Top of 2016 PicturesI was driven in my family quad, which my dad decorated in the Armstrong Light-up parade. I attended the Victory Life Christmas Ladies gala, presented a check on the CPR Holiday Train!! And began to get booked in 2017 events. I have been told by people around my community that  am an inspiration, something I would never have dreamed of at the begin this year. I rung the Bell for the Salvation army, put Top of 2016 Pictureson a successful toy and food drive raising 200 pounds of food and more than 50 toy items!I volunteered at the Vernon BC Light-up! And now I am now working on a “smile” video to inspire youth to reach there dreams with a smile on their faces. (still looking for submissions of videos email me for details).

2016 was one heck of a year, here’s to all the 2016 memories and to even better 2017 ones <3. Thank you to all of you for making my 2016 so special <3.

-Samantha Sewell

 

 

 

 

Thank You LOLC Family

Miss Worldwide Teen Canada
Photo credit, Kelsey Raber Photography

I had been given an amazing opportunity. As all of my followers know I have suffered from speech impediments and intense bullying in my lifetime.  And this is why I compete in pageantry, to create awareness for such issues. So I had an amazing opportunity presented to me in September, to be a worldwide title holder with Live Out Loud Charity (LOLC), or at least to apply to be one. So I did, I wrote an essay about my struggles and my dream of living in a world where no matter what struggles you may face, everyone is an equal. And soon after my phone interview with LOLC founder Sherrie, I received a congratulatory email stating that I have been awarded the national title of Miss Worldwide Teen Canada. One of the reasons I was interested in going to LOLC was because they focus on spreading awareness to Anti-bullying though community participation and fashion.  Holding this title gives me the opportunity to continue spreading awareness and hope to all those, who like me, have been told they can’t do something.  With LOLC I can share my story with an international crowd. And that international crowd is already making itself known, I will be (on November 18th) be appearing on International Talk radio with YouEffect talking about my story, I will also be in the upcoming YouEffect publication with other “inspirational” youth’s stories. If you follow me on Facebook, and I encourage you too, you will know that I am already working on my first LOLC awareness event/fundraiser. I have made a video (that will be released on November 13th), this video shows 12 girls and ladies, including myself, sharing their story’s with bullying, I am very excited for you ALL to see it.

 

Though I have only been with LOLC for little over a month, I always feel welcomed and at home. The other LOLC title holders welcomed me with open arms and took the time (on Snapchat and Facebook chat) to understand my speech, which I continue to struggle with. speech-impediment-1One Worldwide titleholder made my day by saying “you have a speech impediment,
I never would have guessed”. For one of the first times in my life during an interview the director, Sherrie, said nothing about my speech (which means more than you may think). I did not have to explain that I did not have an accent, it’s a speech impediment, nor did I have to argue that I WAS born in Canada, and I do not have a foreign accent. My new LOLC family has already changed my life. For me taking the time to understand me means the world, I only shared my story publicly a year ago, and now so much is happening because of it. Thank you to everyone, to my new LOLC family, to my community, and to my actual family, I look forward to this years as Miss Worldwide Teen Canada!

Samantha Sewell

Modeling & Runway

Miss Worldwide Teen

I have been given the AMAZING honor of being crowned Miss Worldwide Teen Canada- Ambassador for LOLC (live out loud Charity) This year I will continue to travel Canada speaking at schools and events about my story and Anti-bullying. I will also be talking about Suicide prevention with QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). I am excited to start this new journey. Than you to everyone who has helped me along the way, and has helped me get to this point. Live Out Loud Charity
I am so thrilled to be your Miss Worldwide Teen Canada with LOLC this year and excited to see what this year will hold!!!

 

Galaxy Internationals

Samantha Sewell

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Galaxy Internationals (pictures)

Samantha Sewell

On castanet.net

A huge thank you to Castanet for the beautiful article, I leave for Orlando tomorrow morning. Then let the pageant feed begin!!

Castanet.net

 

To read the Castanet article click here.

Samantha Sewell

HockeyVille Canada

Canadians Love HOCKEYThis year HockeyVille came to the Okanagan, and because Canada is famous for Hockey, Hockeyville is a BIG deal in here. One community across the country is chosen as HockeyVille Canada for the entire year. This year the Village of Lumby (which is just a few minutes from Vernon) was in the top 2. Over the past 10 years HockeVille has contributed over 2 Million dollars for arena renovations across Canada. The top 2 communities get a big party, and get to be on national television while awaiting the results. The arena in Lumby was definitely in need of an upgrade. I used to figure skate in that arena and I remember there were no girls change rooms so if there were boys also skating, we had to take turns in the change room, or you would have to change in the washrooms.

On TSN!!At the park there were all sorts of fun things set up for the kids like face painting, clowns and a bouncy castle, and Vernon’s own Andrew Allen performed on stage. Inside the arena Sports Net was set up and broadcasting live, which was very cool, because EVERYONE in Canada knows who these guys are. Throughout the day we were on TV cheering and screaming hoping for the announcement to come. Finally at around 2:00pm we were all called into the arena and the announcement came, but first the anticipation was being built up. They put Sports Net on the big screen The HockeyVille Trophy(which was broadcasting from Toronto)  the broadcaster opened the envelope and for a second it felt as if everyone stopped breathing holding there breath, you could see both Lumby (us) and the other Community (in Quebec) on the screen and then the guy on the TV yelled LUMBY!! We had won. The Okanagan is home to HockeyVille Canada, The excitement rose up as everyone screamed and hollered. We won. Now Lumby gets $100,000 in area upgrades (which is needed, as well as a chance to host a NHL Pre-Season Game.
The teams that will be coming to the Okanagan are the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburg Penguins, which is totally something everyone is looking forward to. Congrats LUMBY, very excited to come back to HockVille Canada!!

 

 

 

 

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A loco Easter

Love this chickOn March 28th I attended the Okanagan’s famous Loco Landing Easter Egg Hunt. I was honored to be on the special guest list next to the one and only Easter Bunny. I mean who can really say they have had their name next to the Easter Bunny!! This Easter egg hunt is more than just an egg hunt it has everything from crafts to surfing practice to full on relays. 12801220_1147552008617969_8587609032086272503_nOne of my highlights from this year’s event would be the egg hunt in the SS Sicamous, which is a vintage boat that once sailed the Okanagan waters; this boat is also rumored to be haunted. Though this boat is no longer on the water it was still very cool to walk around on. I was able to see the sleeping quarters, the mess hall, and even the captain’s wheel. I loved watching the children run from room to room searching for their Easter eggs. The loco landing Easter egg hunt is definitely an Okanagan favorite for sure.

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Easter with Emily, Miss Teenage Kelowna

With Miss Teenage KelownaJust before Easter I attended the Kelowna Victory Life Easter Egg Hunt with my good friend Emily, Miss Teenage Kelowna 2015. I am honored to have spent the last event of her reign with her. Throughout the day Emily and I enjoyed pancakes, helium balloons, dancing and more.

 
We even asked to hand Lovelyballoons out to the children who were at the event. At one point we even got to go up on stage and dance with a group of kids, who loved dancing with a couple of “queens”. The event was a hit as usual. And I had a blast. I am so very thankful that Emily spent the last day of her reign with me. Love you Emily, you will go on to do great things.

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Personal Reflection

After being bullied for most of my life I decided to take a stand against it. I had begun to volunteer in the VSS Resource room and quickly realized that they were constantly being bullied. I began to stand up for the students in that class and while doing so I felt more inclined to stand up for myself as well. In my grade 11 year it was suggested to me that I would make a good candidate for pageantry. While looking into the requirements I was struck by the term “Platform” and what this meant. To me it has meant the ability to have an audience and therefore the potential to change lives. Immediately I knew that my platform would be anti bullying and inclusion for all, and so my pageant journey began. Fortunately I have had a wonderful opportunity for the past two years and have been able to share my story with thousands of people around the world via the internet and also through speaking engagements. It has been an incredible experience to be telling my story and become emotional while speaking and to look up and see that people in the audience have been so moved they are also in tears. I was not prepared for the overwhelming positive response I have gotten from sharing my story. I have had people write to me saying that my struggles have inspired them to go on, and that they now can see an end to their own pain. This in return gives me the desire to continue spreading the message that everyone needs to be someone’s hero and not a bystander. If you see someone being bullied and are afraid to do something then get someone who will. If you see someone that’s different then you say hello. Everyone needs the same thing and that’s to be included and to have a friend. Don’t be nasty to people that may be weaker just because you can, what that says about you is way worse then what you may think it says about the weaker person. It takes way more courage and strength to lift someone up then it does to push someone down.

I will always continue to tell my story in the hope of helping anyone who is being bullied and excluded, and I am so grateful for the opportunities that pageantry has given me to do this. I have become more confident in myself and no longer let others define who I am. I have met other like minded people that have causes and platforms that they work at  by telling  their stories and trying to make changes in their communities and in the world. These are the people I choose to have in my life, not bullies.
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Cowboy Festival

Barkerville girlsOn March 20th I attended the Kamloops Cowboy Festival, the largest Cowboy festival in Canada, and one of the Largest in North America. A few weeks before the festival I was honored to be put on their website as a special guest “Miss Teen Galaxy Canada”, this was my second year attending the and as always it was great. The people who come to this Cowboy festival come from all over Canada and the USA which is really cool.singing for Sam I was able to watch the rising star talent show and one man even sang in honor of my little friend Samantha Donovan, which was amazing. In the main room there was booth’s with everything from info to food, to things to buy. The girls from the Barkervillle booth really seemed to like me which was really fun. I especially loved how they dressed in vintage looking hats. I also got to watch the talent show. Now coming from someone who usually dislikes country music I loved the music at this festival. It was cowboy not country and it was great. There was also yodeling in the show which was definitely something else to hear.

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Team Super Everybody

My HeroLast year at Ronald McDonald House BC I met a wonderful little girl who is so inspirational. Her name? Samantha, my name twin. Samantha was at that time and is still presently fighting cancer. In March Sam was admitted to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice House. On March 13 a a fundraiser dinner was held to raise money for Sam and her family, so of course I attended. The theme was Sam’s favorite theme “SUPERHEROS”. It was great to see the community come out to help out a local family. We originally raised $7,615 but a local couple brought over a cheque for $385 to make it an even $8,000 for the family, which is just so amazing.

Before this event my family and I organized the Canadian Batman for SammyPacific Railway (where my Dad works)
staff to help out so I am happy to say CPR staff raised $2,500. When we asked CPR if they could donate to the family they weren’t able to, but they sent off $1,000 to Ronald McDonald House and $1,500 to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Sammy’s name, which is great!! Then we also had a couple of CPR employees auction off items, which raised another $400, then we also received another 225$ so all together CPR raised 5625$ which is truly amazing.

If you would like to help out this family you can donate, and read there full story HERE.

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Happy Birthday Kelsey Raber

A special shout out and happy birthday to my wonderful sponsor Kelsey Raber. Kelsey you have followed me from my first regional title to now the largest title I have held. You are and always will always be part of my pageant experience!!!

 

My Story: Not just a Pageant Queen

I was born with a severe speech impediment; no one could understand what I was saying. My parents were told that I may never speak like everyone else, and may never be understood by most people. On my first day of school I was looked at oddly when I struggled to speak and be understood. I had to learn some Sign Language and carry a large picture book around with me so when someone spoke to me I could open my book and point at the picture that was the answer to a question. For those answers I couldn’t just point at the picture for, I would say the answer while signing and hope that somehow they would understand me. I’m sure you can imagine I was teased and called names because of this. People thought that just because I could not talk normally that I could not HEAR or UNDERSTAND them, but they were wrong and still to this day the words they would call me haunt me. Because of my speech I had to learn the alphabet by sight not sound I had to learn how words were spelled because I could not sound them out. I had to work twice as hard in school, so therefore I was always behind. As my speech improved I thought the bullying would stop but was I ever wrong I would go to school and there would be notes written on the bathroom stall about me. There would be whole games about not playing with me. I spent almost every recess and lunch sitting alone praying for the bell to ring. Then in high school it got even worse. I would go to school and someone would have broken my lock on my locker, and there would be obscene words written on my locker. I would walk down the halls and hear whispers say “that’s that retarded girl who can’t talk”. This is part of the reason I am so involved it the “spread the Word to end the word” campaign, because I know what it feel like to have the “R” word used to describe you. The sad thing is that eventually I started to believe them and think I was a worthless loser who would never do anything with my life. In grade 9 it reached the worst level of bullying and I would phone home begging to go home and beg my mom to let me skip school. Fortunately thanks to one French Teacher and a group of grade 11 girls I was able to move my locker so I was right beside the older girls who befriended me and between my mom talking to the principle and the French teacher the bullying eased off . This teacher is one of the only reasons I stayed in school. Now I still to this day have a speech impediment and I always will, but I now accept it as a part of me. It has gotten much, much better and people often think I sound like I am from New York. Due to all of the bullying I endured and because I’ve  had to fight all my life I started working with my platform of Anti-Bullying and Inclusion for all.

The inclusion portion of my platform started to form at the start of grade 10. I was in a class with my school’s Resource Room (class for Students with various special needs) I witnessed one girl being bullied and I knew I had to do something, because I knew how awful it was to be bullied for being different. So I went up and started walking with the girl who was being bullied. Soon after that she invited me to come eat in the Resource room. I have to admit my first reaction was stereotypical and I was scared and was going to say no, but I knew what it was like to have no one to eat with you so I went. That day changed my life. I walked into the Resource Room and all the kids looked at me and they looked scared. They didn’t know what I was going to do or say, and they were afraid of me. The moment I sat down the talking started and I noticed they were no different then everyone else. I began going into the resource room almost daily and I still do, now I am even starting my education to work with different people with special needs. I know all to well the frustration and the anger they and everyone who has ever been bullied faces. To this day I continue to be bullied and insulted but I now tell myself that it is not me who has the issue, its the bully. I want to put the end on this note, one out of three children will be bullied. For every person who reads this who either has or plans on having three children one of them will/are getting bullied, if you have two children chances are one of them is getting bullied. But the good news is WE can change it, you may not be able to change the Bully, there will always be bullies but we have the power to stand up for those who are being bullied, “Be Someone’s Hero Not A Bystander”. I also want to help educate people to use “person first” Language, which is saying the person before the special needs for example “a Person with Special needs” not “A Special needs person”. We shouldn’t be defined by our faults but rather by our attempts to reach our full potential!

🍁 TeenFest Canada đŸ

TeenFest welcome youTeenFest Canada is a one day exhibit festival that gives tweens and teens across Canada the opportunity to connect with other youth, their community and community leaders. My day started with welcoming the teens and the youth into the festival. I even got asked a few times to sign autographs which was really cool. At TeenFest they had filled the Tournament Capital Center’s race track with several vendor booths, games and performers. Teens were able to get hair and makeup done and they could also have a gem glued to their tooth. We watched some great performances from Telus and a karate school, Speaking at TEENFEST CANADAand then I spoke about my story, and how I have been bullied and about my platform (anti-bullying and inclusion for all) I will post my FULL story tomorrow so you can all read it then. After my speech I was overwhelmed with a really positive response including people crying. Knowing that people were so supportive as well as inspired by something that I have lived with my whole life was so humbling.
Afterwards I went out and got my hair, nails and makeup
done by one of the venders, and they did an amazing job. I also was able to try out “drunk goggles” Welcome and look at that crownwhich simulate if you have been drinking. Then I had to walk an obstacle course. I knocked over almost every cone and all other obstacles. (Please don’t EVER drink and drive) I walked around and tried every game that was there, and I some how managed to break the rope pulling record.
It was an amazing day and I want to thank the people from Teen Fest Canada for letting me come out and share my story with everyone.

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Lake Country Children’s Festival

baby goatOn February 27th Lake Country hosted their first ever indoor children’s festival, I was not expecting such a huge turn out and was really surprised at how many people and vendors attended. When I got there I was shocked the parking lots (even the streets) were jam packed and the inside of the building where it was hosted was also jam packed. Amazing turn out! From the second I got in the door little children were all over me some just coming to say hi others just coming to look. Walking around there was many cool exhibits to look at. My heroThere was a Lego land, a historical photo booth, clowns, gold panning and so much more. My Mom and I took a walk around the vendors, where venders gave us samples everything from apple juice to essential oils. Happily Holistic an essential oil place gave my mom and I 2 big samples of room spray to relax and be calm. The children’s Mickey Mouse bouncy castle was a riot to watch as it was an obstacle course and some of the kids were just jumping all over the place. Puppy dogThere was a place where little kids could try on a turban, and soon every child inside had a turban on. One guy from Hoof Print Barn Yard was carrying around a cute little baby goat which I posed for a picture with and it started bahing, then it snuggled in and fell asleep. Outside the firemen had a cute little obstacle course for the little kids to run, they even had little fireman jackets and helmets to wear when doing so. It was a very fun event and I had a blast attending.

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Fancy Nancy Tea Party

The princesses The Vernon Okanagan Library is infamous for putting on some of the best children events around Vernon. On February 11th I was at the Fancy Nancy Tea Party. The Fancy Nancy tea party was based off of the children book “Fancy Nancy”, it was organized beautifully. The children loved having me there. crown girlzThere was pink lemonade, and lots and lots of yummy treats. It was very cute that all of the children dressed up as little princesses, they were so cute  I had to get a picture with some of the most known princesses like Elsa, Anna and Cinderella. At the end of the tea party everyone made crowns, they colored them and put glitter all over them. The after math of giving children glitter is insane by the time the crowns were made there was glitter from one side of the room to the other. It was fun to watch all of the kids (even the brothers) put the crowns on and dance around. It was a great event, as the Vernon Library events always are.

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Family Day in the Park

Family DayOn February 8th it was family day in BC, also known as NO SCHOOL day. I was running a bit late for the family day event in Polson Park, but we still stopped to get the mail, and what was in the mail?? It as my CROWN!!! So we raced back home to get it unpacked and on my head. Then we went down to family day. Family DaySo for me this wasn’t just any event it was the first in my beautiful crown. At the event my crown was an instant hit, all of the kids loved the sparkle. At the event there were games, like the classic throw a bean bag into a hole only in this version of the game there was a fun twist. The kids had to throw a fish into a bear’s mouth.  In another game you had to catapult fake food into a pick-nick basket, it was really creative and fun for the kids. The local firefighters had a huge bonfire going where one of the Little Miss Carnival girls was giving out sticks and marshmallows and cookies to make S’mores. I got to watch the little skit which all of the children loved of Jopo and Jopet (the Winter Carnival mascot’s) It was a fun filled day that was perfect for families.

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BC Snow Sculpture competition

Snow compAnother very unique event, to not only Vernon but to BC and all of Canada is the BC  Snow Sculpture competition. These sculptures are not your average snowman, these are full on words, pictures and even music notes carved out of snow. This was my first year going up to Silver Star Mountain to see them, and they were so cool. (no pun intended) The teams can only use hand tools which is even more amazing.  The winner of the BC competition, Snow compwhich was I ❤ Posing, gets to go to Quebec and compete for the national prize and represent BC at the nationals. Up at Silver Star Mountain I got to see my new friends again the Silver Star Queens, so it was fun to say hi to them again. The snow sculptures were one of a kind and it must have been a real challenge to finish them in just a few days.

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Winter Carnival Parade

Princeton roylatyFebruary 16th I was in the Vernon Winter Carnival parade. Before the parade all of the visiting royalty hung out and took endless selfies and just chatted a bit. Then the Carnival Society took a beautiful group picture of all the royalty. Once the parade started I was shocked to see how many people lined the streets of Vernon which is considered to be small but since the Winter Carnival is Waving to the crowdfor all of the North Okanagan about 4 towns and villages got together to watch which was amazing. I love parades because the look on kids faces are priceless. The theme of the Parade was Mardi Gras, my mom had made a beautiful mask for me to wear, the crowd loved when I put it on. The newspaper even got a beautiful shot of me with the mask up. The parade was great, and it was fun to see all of the royalty from the surrounding communities for one last time during Winter Carnival.

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Hot Air Balloon Glow

Hot Air Balloon GlowThe annual Vernon Hot Air Balloon Glow was held on February 5th this is one of my favorite events of the Vernon Winter Carnival, because people from all over the WORLD come to  take part in the winter carnival and put their hot air balloons up. This event is also a chance to get up close and personal with real hot air balloons. In the morning the balloons took to the sky, and looked beautiful. I always love looking up and watching them float across the sky with all their fabulous colors.
The Hot Air Balloon Glow is when they fill the balloons  at night and have them tied down so you can get into some of them and see how huge they are. The balloons look spectacular
at night with the colors seeming to glow. For the first time I watched a balloon getting set up. I could see them (up close) blowing flame into a balloon that was on the ground until it was Hot Air Balloon Glowfilled and in the air, the huge propane torches roar when they blast the flame up into the Balloon and give off a lot of heat. I was lucky to get the chance to hop into a couple of the balloon baskets, and one even became airborne for a few seconds. The flame shooting up over my head made me jump as you can feel the extreme heat coming from it. It was all really cool and the pilots were really awesome about letting me take pictures in their balloons

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Queen Silver Star the 56th

PeaceOn February 4th I was visiting royalty at the 56th queen and princess Silver Star coronation. This event was the beginning of a very busy week for me, it was the first event of the Vernon Winter Carnival, which is an annual event in Vernon that attracts people form across Canada to come and enjoy our little town. The queen and princess Silver Star are my town’s local ambassadors and represent Vernon across BC for the next year. At the show there was over 20 royalties who came from all across BC. This included the May Day Royalty that I watched get crowned last year it was great to see them again. The show begins with speeches from the mayor and the BC MP.
Then there was a beautiful opening number and the presentation of the top in Miss Okeefe Ranchtalents, the candidates were very impressive. Then the Fathers and Brothers of the candidates presented them to the crowd. This was followed by the question and answer round, and all of the candidates presented themselves very well. There was an intermission, during which the visiting royalty went back stage and had fun talking and taking photos. We presented ourselves to the crowd and announced who we were and which city or country we were representing. After all of that, the retiring Queen Silver Star gave her farewell speech about her year and the events she had attended. It was a great night to kick off Vernon’s Winter Carnival. Congratulations to the new Silver Star Royalty and to all the beautiful candidates, you are all great representatives of your local area and of BC. More Pictures located here.

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Happy National Flag Day Canada!

On February 15, 1965 our national flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. Our flag is now 51 years old. Happy Flag Day Canada!!

Shriner’s variety show

showThe Shriner’s variety show was held on December 4 2015 and I was an honored guest!! All the money raised goes to the Shiners Hospitals for Children. The variety show was truly state of the art. It was amazing. There was a magician, a ventriloquist (who was my personal favorite) and others, including a guy who got his whole body through a tennis racket (minus the strings). The magician continued to cut his assistant in half which is a trick I always love. showAs for the ventriloquist his puppet was a dinosaur. I know that sounds odd but it was really cool and funny, and the other guy was a little of everything a comedian a juggler and a contortionist. He juggled over top of peoples heads, he juggled while on a unicycle. I don’t want to say too much to ruin the show if it comes to your town but it was a 10/10 show and I loved it!! Two thumbs up!

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🎅 Vernon Christmas Light Up đŸŽ…

12314046_907364839351744_4965654575716435302_nOn November 29th/2015 I attended the Vernon light up. This is an annual event that happens every holiday season. I remember going to this event as a young child and loving it. I was at the letters to Santa station. The letter to Santa station is where a child would write a letter to Santa and if you include your address SANTA WRITES BACK!! 12108027_907612482660313_3032023435438068305_nAll of the kids were really excited to do this so it was really fun talking to all of them. I even met my buddy who I peer tutor at school and she hugged me and posed for pics. Lots of community members came by to say hello to me and this was great!!! Then at 6:00 it was time for the infamous lighting of the town tree which was sooo cool. All the way down the streets you could here the countdown. This day was really action packed between this and the Kamloops parade.

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Ringing the Bell for Charity

photo 4Twice in December I volunteered with the local Salvation Army to ring the bell at the mall. This is an activity that I did last year as well and loved it. This year I was able to do it on a sash and people just loved that. This year in Vernon alone there was 5500 hours by 1500 volunteers, which is a lot in a small town. This year the goal was to raise $150000 and I’m happy to say that the goal was surpassed and it was a record breaking year. The money from the Kettle campaign is the main fundraise for the food bank. The Salvation Armys also put on food drives and other events like teddy bear tosses. The Salvation Army is a big part of our community and I am happy to have been a small part of it.

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Kamloops Santa Claus Parade

12278720_1159753870719987_3885250301257624150_nNovember 28, 2015 was my first parade as Miss Teen Galaxy Canada, it was the Kamloops Santa Claus parade. In this parade I had a gorgeous Corvette sponsored by Smith Chevrolet in Kamloops. I loved the big bow they put on the hood!! When we got down to the marshaling area I was able to catch up with the local royalty (Kamloops, Summerland, Peachland, and Kelowna) since none of them had seen me with my new title, it was great to see their expressions and then take pictures together. I also was able to meet one of the British Columbia Ambassador’s. There were lots of community clubs in the parade, my absolute favorite (except for the royalty of course) was the cheer leaders it was cool seeing all of them practice before the parade started. Once the parade started I realized that I had underestimated how cold it was and I kept taking P1020345my gloves on and off. It was really fun hearing all of the people read my signs as we went by and the little girls waving at me with the “queen” wave. Then when the television (did I mention it was televised) was filming me my hand went numb due to the cold and I began to wave oddly. LOL. But we had a good laugh about it after. After the parade I was going back into town for the Vernon Light up……But that’s for next time.

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Encounters With Canada part 6 (last)

With our group leader
With our group leader

Friday, was my last full day at EWC with all my newly made friends. At 9:30 till noonish, we got free time in down town Ottawa, my friends and I went shopping in the mall. Jessica and I got lost at first and it was just her and I to begin with but by the end we had a group of about 6 of us. It was cool looking down the escalator and seeing a sea of the orange lanyards we had to wear you could see them everywhere you looked. After a long time shopping I tried something that is a bit of a delicacy in Ontario, A beaver tail, it is tastes like a donut but it is shaped like a beaver tail. It was so yummy. Back at EWC we did a clicker evaluation, about how much we liked different activities at EWC.IMAG2287 It was interesting to see what people liked and disliked about EWC. Then we went to our groups and had our last group meeting, which was sad to know that it was over, it was hard to know that tomorrow we would all be our way home. Then we all dressed up FANCY for the banquet, which was a special dinner that we all spent with our new friends. It was really fun, and we all exchanged numbers and snap chats. Then we watched a video of our week, and most of us broke down seeing all the fun we had all week, it was a nice video though. IMAG2292Before the dance my group leader had dancing classes, a few of us showed up and it was fun. Though we didn’t use any of our new “skills” during the dance. We ate pizza and watched people perform their “talents” which was great, everyone sang “Don’t Stop Believing” which was hilarious!! We took a break before the dance began to pack and this is when it really hit us that it was over, and helping some of my friends move there luggage downstairs because they would be leaving in a few hours, was sad. The dance then started and we had the time of our live’s it was so fun and so great, this dance went till midnight. That night I woke up every 30 minutes to say good bye to someone who was leaving. The worst thing was I was on the last bus to the airport so I had to say goodbye to everyone before I left. I made some amazing friends and memories to last a life time, and friends to last the same, it was an experience like no other.

IMG_20151113_224247The day after the dance we left at around 4 o’clock, and new people were already arriving for the next week. It was bitter sweet to come home as I didn’t want it to end but I also I was excited to sleep in my OWN bed. The airport in Ottawa was huge and we nearly got lost going though security. But we found our way, and made it back home. It was a fun week and I will NEVER forget it. Thank you EWC for having me.

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Encounters With Canada Part 5

DSCN1551The next day was really fun my group went to the National War museum for the whole day, and we were allowed to put on and handle some of the gear the veterans actually used, we even got to try on helmets. I never knew how heavy the helmets were, they weigh a ton. We also got to see in person the difference between a German concentration camp and a Japanese concentration camp; we saw the activities they would use in the trenches and much, much more. IMAG2258After lunch we walked through the rest of the National War museum, we saw so much interesting stuff, like real tanks, cannons, guns, torpedo’s and much, more. To be standing next to things that cause so much mass destruction is almost scary. In this museum they even had Hitler’s car which was interesting to see. It was really cool to walk through the different sections within a room where they were simulating what it was like to be in that situation, one room was like you were in the trenches, another was what a destroyed house was like with dead bodies on the ground, it was really sad and scary to think people have and still do go through this.
Then is the no photo room they had the first Miss Canada’s apron, back then being a pageant queen meant you did volunteer work in your Miss Canada Apron for you community. Now IMAG2322_BURST004we have sashes, and crowns instead of aprons. We also saw real tanks, like the ones that were actually used, standing right in front of them made you feel small and helpless. We also were able to see the real grave marker of the Unknown Soldier.

Dinner this day was really cool because we got to eat with some of the veterans. The meal was actually great; it was a replica of what the veterans would have eaten for a good meal, There was even a glass bottle of coco cola inside of the bread. It was a great meal, and really fun to see everyone dressed up all fancy!

After dinner, and after all the veterans left we all IMAG2320went on another outing. My group went on a haunted tour of the Ottawa Jail Hostel; the hostel was originally the Carleton County Gaol, more commonly known as the Nicholas Street Gaol or Ottawa Jail. We toured the top floor which was the old DEATH ROW!! The jail was the site of the hanging of Patrick J. Whelan on February 11, 1869, for the assassination of Thomas D’Arcy McGee. Over 5,000 people witnessed Whelan’s hanging, which was a large number considering the size of Ottawa at that time. DSCN1810Ghosts are often seen on location, and staff and guests have reported that Whelan’s spirit is one of many that haunts the hostel and will appear at the end of guests’ beds or in his death-row cell. I got to sit and stand in Whelan’s cell which was creepy and my friend even closed the door, and it was just me in this creepy cell. Sadly my camera as well as my (and several others) phones died or were acting strange so a lot of the photos I took turned out blurry.

Whelan’s cell
Whelan’s cell

A creepy thing happened however when we were outside of Whelan’s cell, a light flicked on and off. We also were able to see the famous gallows were he was hung, which was creepy. The creepiest thing is that the parking lot is paved over where they buried the people who were hung. This jail is now a hostel, and I definitely want to stay there for a night in the future.

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My Platform

My platform is anti bullying and equality for all. My motto for this platform is “be someone’s hero, not a bystander”. What this means is that you will never stop the bullies but the bystanders can be taught that they don’t have to enable the bully, and that they can stand up for the victim or get help for them. Another part of my platform that goes hand in hand with anti bullying is equality for all. What this means is that all people need to be treated equally and that race, religion or IQ should not be acceptable reasons to treat someone badly and that when this is done it is a form of bullying.
12801410_1126314430741727_4571105485161103891_nI want everyone with a disability to be able to know that they can do whatever they put their mind to, and that they have as much human worth as anyone else. When I was little I had a sever speech impediment and because of this I was bullied. I was called terrible names and made fun of constantly. As my speech improved I thought the bullying would stop but it didn’t. When I started high school it got really bad, but thanks to a teacher and my mom and a group of girls that befriended me I was able to get through this really horrible time in my life.  People need to know that words do hurt. I have learned that it’s not me that’s the problem it’s the bullies. It’s what’s wrong with their lives and what’s going on with them that makes them want to bully. I can’t change them I can only help their victims and stand up to them. Many kids with special needs are bullied and excluded by the mainstream. I befriended a girl with special needs when I was in grade 9 and through that friendship I started volunteering in the schools resource room. I learned that although we might all learn differently that we all just want to be included and treated equally.Speaking at TEENFEST CANADA I love to meet people and interact with everyone. As Miss Teen Galaxy Canada I would have the best opportunity to not only speak about my platform but to also show others how to interact with people with special needs, young kids, the elderly and people who are sick. I know what people feel like when they aren’t included and when they are bullied. I would love to travel to different provinces and speak at schools on this subject and to talk about ways to change things to reduce bullying and to treat everyone as an equal. I would promote the use of Kids Help Phone and Erase Bullying which is a program that is done through the schools where kids anonymously report bullying and then the bully is turned into the school principle. I believe ending bullying starts with changing the kids from bystanders to hero’s and equality for all.

Below is Taylor Swift’s award winning music video “Mean” this helped me to survive being bullied!1f451

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Encounters with Canada part 4

DSCN1291On November 11th , I woke up really early, at about 6:30am to get ready to go to the national Remembrance Day ceremony!! We also were fortunate to listen to Operation Veteran again and this presentation took place in the famous Canadian hotel “Fairmont Château Laurier”,
which is where the queen stays when she visits!! Then after the Operation Veteran presentation, which was great, we got to watch IMAG2249the national Remembrance Day ceremony, which was so cool. The planes that flew over after the minute of silence were so loud and we didn’t realize how close to the ground they would be it was a little scary. My favorite part of the ceremony was seeing some of my friends in the cadet parade and also seeing the older veterans in the veteran parade! We also got to see Prime Minister IMAG2315Trudeau, whose wife gave him a little nudge and got him to wave at us.. We tried tweeting him to come to the Terry Fox Center but he never responded, :(. Any ways the Remembrance Day ceremony was excellent. After the ceremony we listened to a woman speak, she was the first woman air fighter, she was so inspirational and so fun. When we went up for a photo she made us do IMAG2250the “air fighter pose” which is where you have your thumbs up. Then after she left, (which took a while as she was a crowd favorite!!) we wrote post cards to veterans about how thankful we were that they fought for us.

After supper was my absolute favorite speaker, Terry Kelly. Who is a singer/song writer who wrote and sung the famous song “Pittance of Time”. IMAG2255Terry Kelly is 100% blind, and he attended a school just for the blind. He spoke and told us how he did not let that define him or control his life. When he asked a question for the first time we all put our hand up and he told us that for him we had to clap, to answer which was cool. After a lot of singing, dancing and a conga line, he sung his sad but famous song a “Pittance of Time”, (I’ll put the video at the end of this blog). After that we had a group photo and I went up to talk to him, he called me an inspiration and wanted a photo with me, which was an IMAG2316honor because I had wanted one with him, lol. He told me to never stop dreaming and to reach for the stars. He was such a nice guy and I hope I can meet him again, soon. And that was the end of the day, I could not believe that my week was half over.

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Encounters with Canada Part 3

12241604_901604149927813_7359036829087207318_nOn my third day at EWC we left the center at 9:05am, to walk downtown Ottawa and take a tour of the war memorials across from the city center. We were able to see all of the famous memorials, even the National War Memorial where we placed our crosses in remembrance of veterans who had lost their lives on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There were so many stories to go with the several of the memorials we saw, I went a little crazy taking DSCN1282photos of them all, or most of them at least. The history and the stories about the wars were heart breaking and gave me a whole new perspective on War itself. After the memorial tour we hopped a bus and crossed the bridge to look at a few more memorials in QUEBEC, which was just across the river. On the way back to the center we stopped to look at the “Curtain Falls” which were water falls that shot straight down and looked flat, like a curtain hanging, hence the name. When we came back from the tour we had a presentation by DSCN1404the Director General and heard a story about one veteran who was kind enough to share his story. After supper we heard from the founder of Operation Veteran, who is fighting for veterans rights, and his stories were really heart breaking. And that was the end of day three I could not believe that three days had already passed. Wow how time flies.

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Encounters with Canada Part 2

IMAG1963On Monday November 9th I IMAG1968woke up at 7:00am at Encounters with Canada to get ready to tour parliament!! I ate breakfast with my new friends; most of them were from an all French school in London Ontario, so I got to brush up a bit on my French. Je suis vraiment rouillé. After meeting the others in our group we were off, lucky for me several of the new friends I met were in my group, even my bunk mate!! This was my first time in Ottawa, let alone Parliament. IMAG2113The people I was hanging out with were from Ottawa and had been to Parliament 4 times prior to this, however they had never been inside. The first time I heard the loud bell from the bell tower I jumped about 6 feet it scared me it was so loud. Once inside parliament all of the parliament workers loved talking to me about my title, and I thought it was so cool how they said both hello and bonjor. The tour was amazing I loved all of the history in just one building. The library was my favorite, IMAG2185because it was all original and so old. Some new Cabinet members also stopped and talked to me, they were so nice, unfortunately they had not been sworn in yet so they weren’t allowed to take photo’s . After the tour we went up to the Peace tower which is a room just below the large clock head. On the way up to the Peace tower we rode in a small clear elevator where we could see the bells of the clock, on the way down we even saw them ringing!!. Up in the peace tower we could see all the way down to the ground, and we could even see the large pointy top of the library and all around Ottawa, it was amazing. After we visited the Peace tower we went and picked up IMG_20151110_184511souvenirs at the gift shop, where I got to try a Canadian delicacy that is not available in B.C, a maple syrup lollipop (very Canadian lol). My new found friends and I had such a great time, and we took millions of pictures. On the bus ride home we got to see our newly appointed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s house, wow talk about a mansion!!

IMAG2222After lunch we made crosses for people who had fought in wars, I put my late Grandfathers name Edward Sewell and a family friend, Beryl Nerling who both served in WWII, on my crosses, (in an upcoming blog I place the crosses on a memorial). After this activity we had a presentation by one of the Canadian Peace Keepers, who talked about how the RCMP are involved with Peace keeping missions, this presentation was great. Then we went to our evening activities which for me was Neon Mini Golf, It was really fun and the group I was a part of were really cool. After Mini golf and some arcade games it was the end of an event filled day and lights out!!

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