Beautiful British Columbia is a bit more beautiful in the Cowichan Valley.
Olivia Nelson, 18, of Duncan was recently selected as one of 12 British Columbians to compete in the Miss Teenage Canada beauty pageant in Toronto this July, after competing provincially in Vancouver on April 2 and 3 and being crowned Miss Teen Vancouver Island.
“I love adventures and experiencing new things,” said Nelson, adding that the nationals will include approximately 70 young women competing from across the country. “This is my first one,” she added.
Nelson found out about Miss Teenage Canada from Facebook and her interest was sparked. She submitted her resume and then did an interview over Skype in February about her interests.
“That’s about learning their personality and what they stand for and who they are,” Nelson explained.
Those chosen then went to the provincial competition in Vancouver, which included 21 competitors from around the province. They were mainly from the Lower Mainland, with only three from Vancouver Island: Nelson, and competitors from Comox and Victoria. It included a personal interview, a judged bathing suit competition, and modeling evening gowns onstage, a process which went well for Nelson.
“I love challenges and competing and performing. Those are my passions,” Nelson said, adding “I love meeting new people.”
Nelson, who has been home-schooled her whole life, said the flexibility of her academic schedule allowed her to dedicate time to gymnastics and dance, which kindled her passion for being onstage and performing.
“I did it through Regent based in Victoria and so home-schoolers get together and do projects together or field trips just like a normal school but we do our work at home,” explained Nelson, who works as a stylist in Duncan and is interested in potentially pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in the future.
From age three to 14, Nelson did gymnastics with Duncan Dynamics Gymnastic Club and later did several years of dance at Carlson’s School of Dance. These talents will be useful in Toronto during the week of competition July 17 to 24, where part of the judging process includes a talent show. Nelson plans to perform a solo dance to the song ‘Seven Years’ by Lukas Graham.
“In Toronto it will last a week. It’ll be my first time going out of province,” Nelson said with a laugh. “It includes everything like provincials, but everything will be more intense.”
Miss Teenage Canada 2015 was won by Sarah Wojcik of Red Deer, Alta.
Another aspect ahead of competing at the nationals will be fundraising $400 by July 7 for Free the Children humanitarian organization, which Nelson plans to raise by organizing car washes, garage sales and bake sales. She will also be very involved in the community including taking part in local parades.
Nelson is currently seeking sponsors to help with the costs of travel to Toronto, food and accommodations, which she estimates will be approximately $3,000 and welcomes sponsors to contribute to help out. She has also already incurred some significant costs in the application and competition process.
“There is the option of advertising or just out of the goodness of their hearts,” Nelson explained of potential sponsors.
Nelson said she’d be delighted if she’s chosen as Miss Teenage Canada.
“I’d represent Canada as a teen and then I would participate in events all over the country,” she said, adding thanks to her father Trevor and her whole family for their words of wisdom and financial and day-to-day help in pursuing her dreams.
Nelson is also thankful to friends who’ve given her advice and helped out and hopes that if she wins she can serve as an encouragement to others to work hard and follow their dreams.
To find out more about Nelson and help out visit www.gofundme.com/missteenagevi2016. You may also follow Nelson on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TeenVanIsld2016.
To find out more about Miss Teenage Canada visit www.missteenagecanada.com.