Happy Canada Day! Bonne Fête du Canada! To mark the anniversary of our nation’s confederation and 50 years of our beautiful Canadian flag, I was part of two major Canada Day events where I had the honour of meeting Toronto Mayor John Tory not once, but twice!
My day began bright and early as I arrived at Dieppe Park for the East York Canada Day Parade. As one of the most renowned Canada Day events, I feel honoured to have appeared in this long-standing parade. Not only did it mark my first time standing through a sunroof, I met Mayor Tory as well as Toronto City Councillor Janet Davis! I had an awesome time speaking with the volunteers, greeting the parade audience, and interacting with the children (who were very taken with my crown!).
Additionally, I had the opportunity to work with the very talented Jen L. once again to design my official poster that I am using in my fundraising efforts for Free The Children. Staples on The Queensway generously donated the poster, so thank you again to Staples for the support!
Following the parade, my next appearance was at Yonge Dundas Square for Multicultural Canada Day hosted by The Community Folk Art Council of Toronto (CFAC). This all day event featured live performances from various cultural groups around the world, including those from Venezuela, Poland, Armenia, Colombia, Brazil, Hungary, and more. An international foods market and cultural fine arts and crafts was also displayed throughout the Square.
The most exciting moment took place when I had the privilege of addressing the crowd during the Opening Ceremony. Check out my video here to listen to my speech! Being a special guest at the event granted me the opportunity to speak with the many people who came out to celebrate Canada Day with the CFAC. As I handed out flags to the crowd, so many adults, teenagers, kids (especially kids!) were taken by my sparkly crown that I was asked to pose in photos! It was a true celebrity moment for me! What I enjoyed most, however, about my encounters with my fellow Torontonians, was that I had the opportunity to share my experience as Miss Teenage Toronto and discuss my position as a role model for youth and as a proud supporter of Free The Children. Though pageantry is commonly portrayed in a negative light by the media, attending events in which I can interact with the public to share my story allows me to contribute to erasing the stigma and strong stereotypes associated with pageantry.
New to the Multicultural Canada Day celebrations this year, the CFAC organized the first ever Living Flag to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our flag. The Living Flag was formed in the centre of the Square while people donned white and red t-shirts as a live recording of the flag was displayed on the screen above the Square. As a special guest to the event, I was positioned at the front of the formation alongside – you guessed it – Mayor Tory! It was great to see him again on such a special day, and when he arrived he greeted me with “it’s the celebrity!” Flattered by this compliment, I replied, “you are the true celebrity here, Mr. Tory!” It was awesome to have the chance to speak to him again before he was off to his final appearance for the day.
Last but not least, during my day at Yonge Dundas Square, I was interviewed by CBC News, The House of Iran Broadcasting Network, and The Central News Agency Taiwan! I had a blast answering questions about what it means to be a Canadian and what importance Canada Day has on our nation. To watch my segment on The Central News Agency Taiwan, click here.
All in all, my Canada Day was filled with excitement and was a great opportunity to be involved in our community’s Canada Day celebrations. I feel so proud to be Canadian and to live the life that I have!
Until next time,