The day we have all been anxiously awaiting has arrived!  Tonight is the finals and the crowning of Miss Teenage Canada 2014!  Everyone is super excited.  I am humbled by the influx of messages of encouragement and support from Saskatchewan and across Canada that I am receiving every day.  Your faith in me gives me strength and inspiration to continue to strive to be the best I can, not only in this competition, but in all things near and far, and in believing that all things are possible and dreams really can come true.  This week has been unbelievable and I could not have come this far without the support of each and every one of you.  Thank you to my corporate sponsors, without whom it would have been very difficult to finance this incredible journey – Allstar Tech (www.allstartech.com), Culligan Stewart Water (www.culliganregina.com), Dr. Ziglo (www.reginaorthodonticgroup.com), Ramada Plaza Regina (www.ramadaregina.com), RMD Security Systems (www.rmdsecurity.net), Smitty’s Regina Northgate (www.smittys.ca), and my exceptional fashion sponsor Flirt Formal Fashions (www.flirtformalfashions.ca).  Thank you to my beautiful queens for your motivation and advice – Camille Munro (Miss Canada World 2013), Annora Bourgeault (Miss World Canada 2014), Abbey Taylor-Weber (Miss Earth Saskatchewan 2014), and Kaya Palmer (Miss Washington County 2009).  Lastly, thank you to the best family and friends a girl could ask for; an exceptional foundation of love and guidance.  I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life, and now am fortunate to have met the most amazing 55 teenage girls in Canada and worked with the tremendously talented Michelle Weswaldi (Executive Director), Shawn Cuffie (choreographer), Christi Woolard, and the rest of the outstanding Miss Teenage Canada sponsors and crew.

Day 6:  Our day started off with a special treat  – pancake breakfast in bed – compliments of McDonald’s (www.mcdonalds.ca), followed by a plethora of rehearsals in preparation for the evening’s preliminary show, where we were each judged in the categories of swimsuit and evening gown.  Our hair and makeup was done by Motives (www.motivescosmetics.com), and each delegate was presented with a two-piece swimsuit design, unique to each province, and rosette heels.  The Saskatchewan girls wore a black and white, triangle bikini by BCBGeneration.

Everyone was excited to finally reveal their hand-picked evening gown designs.  I wore a dark pink and black sparkly floor length gown; an original trumpet design with an open back and ruffled slit train, with a rhinestone necklace and earrings, and black satin Fioni Night embellished masquerade sandals with a 4 ½” caged heel.  Looking around the room at all the stunning girls in their evening gowns, I felt so proud to be representing Saskatchewan and honored to be in such a high caliber pageant.  The show was a big success, and I was so happy to be back on stage where I most love to be.

 

Day 7:  Friday continued in a flurry of training workshops and rehearsals.  I once again I took to the stage, sharing my gift of music, in the Talent Gala.

The audience enjoyed a buffet style dinner and an evening of outstanding Canadian talent.

Pageanting, like life, is not always perfect.  Sometimes there are bumps and curves in the road, so it is important to face each day with confidence, meet challenges with optimism and conviction, live each day to its fullest, and cherish in each memory made.

It has been an incredible week in Toronto, and I made some wonderful friends and lifetime memories.  Thank you MTCW!

Don’t forget to tune in tonight to the live streaming of the final show www.livestream.com/missteenage or http://genesismultimedia.tv/mtcwebcast2014/mtcw2014webcast.html - it is sure to be another night to remember!

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Each new day is filled with an adventure more exhilarating than the last, and you never know what surprises the day will hold.

Day 5:  Breakfast being a very important meal of the day, provides a plate of bacon, eggs, toast and hashbrowns, hosted in the relaxing atmosphere of Grenadier Cafe (www.grenadiercafe.com), located in the centre of High Park. Delicious!

After breakfast, it was back to the hotel for extensive training. The opening number is almost finished.  We trained through the lunch hour and afternoon until 4 pm, took time for a quick salad, and rushed off to the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament – Toronto Castle (www.medievaltimes.com/toronto.aspx).

A dinner theatre unlike any I had seen before, took us on an amazing trip back in time to the Middle Ages with live jousting knights, falconry, and a four-course royal feast with the King.

We were selected to cheer for the red knight, who fought valiantly and showed expert horsemanship, winning the entire competition! Hooray!

 

But the wonderment of the day didn’t end there; I was also surprised with a room switcheroo. I relocated from the 3rd floor to the 4th floor, and was reunited with Michaella Shannon, Miss Teenage Saskatchewan 2014. We are in an adjoining room, so there’s a passage to the girls next door. Tasha Toulouse, Miss Teenage Lakeshore 2014, Shovanna Partap, Miss Teenage Fraser Valley 2014, and Michaella immediately accepted me into their living space. Thanks girls for making me feel welcome in my new home away from home. Tomorrow is the preliminary round, and I am extremely excited.  Hold on tight as we take to the stage!

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Do you ever wonder why the robins sing in the morning?  It must be the beauty of the sunrise; sure puts a spring in my step and a song in my heart.  I haven’t slept past 5 am since arriving in Toronto, which suits me just fine because I don’t want to miss a single minute of this incredible journey.

Day 4:  Today was the hottest day of July in Toronto with temperatures reaching 30°C. Our day started with a live broadcast outside Global TV (www.globalnews/toronto/), showcasing the Miss Teenage Canada delegates on both the local and national news segments of The Morning Show, topped off with our signature ”snap” greeting to onlookers near and far.  Look up, look way up, and you will have seen Miss Teenage Canada delegates high atop the CN Tower (www.cntower.ca).  At a height of over 550 meters, the view is magnificent.  The glass floor, a mere 2.5 inches thick and 113 stories above the ground, was a little scary, but since it can hold the weight of 14 hippos, it was totally safe and super cool!  Today we traded in our heels for the comfort of our HiTec (www.hi-tec.com/ca) walking shoes and stopped in at the largest mall in Toronto, the Toronto Eaton Centre (www.torontoeatoncentre.com) for, yes, another shopping extravaganza.  I decided that, today, I would spend my money wisely so the only things I bought were some eye shadow, a phone charger, and a delicious supper from Extreme Pita (www.extremepita.ca).  After the mall, it was more crucial runway training for the final show.  Everything is really starting to come together.  Only one more day before preliminary judging!!!

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I’m finally here!  All of my hard work has led me to the journey of a lifetime.  It kicked off Thursday night with a Bon Voyage party hosted by my band, close friends and family, as we played, sang and laughed into the night, followed by a day of final preparations – nails, final dress fittings, words of wisdom from my pageant coach and designer, and of course packing.  Saturday was an early start – 3:45 am.  My posse of body guards and well-wishers ushered me to the airport for my 6:30 flight to Toronto.  Thanks to WestJet, my first ever air flight was both exciting and relaxing; breaking through a sea of white to a magical aerial scene.  Flying over Toronto was breathtaking.  I was fortunate to share this experience with a sister delegate from Saskatchewan – Jolene Creely, Miss Teenage Eastern Saskatchewan 2014.  You would have to see it to believe it!  It is absolutely beautiful here.  Sometimes when I look out the window it feels like I’m in an old- time movie; it so surreal.

Day 1:  At the Toronto International Airport, Jolene and I were greeted by our chaperone, Courtney, who just so happened to be waiting with another of my sister delegates from Saskatchewan – Jensen White, Miss Teenage West Central Saskatchewan 2014.  We all hopped on the hotel shuttle bus and headed for the Holiday Inn, where many of the delegates from all of Canada were awaiting our arrival, and we had an opportunity to get to know each other as we waited for our rooms to be ready.  Being one of the first delegates to arrive, I also had the privilege to meet our video and photo shoot photographers.  Security is a number one priority - we were escorted, one by one, to our respective rooms, with direct orders to remain no matter what, keys were held by our chaperones, and everyone was closely monitored to ensure each of us were safe and accounted for.  I then eagerly awaited the arrival of my new roommate and was elated when Nicole - Miss Teenage Vancouver 2014 walked through the door.  The first formal event was a Welcome Party, with pizza and cake, and a chance to meet some of our amazing sponsors who welcomed us with gifts and advice - cosmetics by Motives by Loren Ridinger (www.motivescosmetics.com), stylish and super comfy sandals from Hi-Tec Canada (www.hi-tec.com/ca), massages by Wright Spa Mobile Services (www.wrightspa.com), and spray tans by Golden Glamour Goddesses(www.gggoddesses.com).

Day 2:  We were up at dawn to begin Day 2.  We were pampered with hair and makeup by the official Miss Teenage Canada sponsor Motives by Loren Ridinger, and then “Lights, Camera, Action!” - a professional photo shoot, video shoot and our official interview portion of the competition with the panel of judges.  What an amazing day - like a dream come true – I truly felt like a star!  It was a very long day, but the excitement and anticipation of the next adventure kept me bright and inspired.  We had pasta salad and sandwiches for lunch and a delicious home-cooked meal in our rooms for supper (chicken – yum!) followed by some relaxation and time to reflect on the events of the day.  I couldn’t sleep without peering out my window to take in the awe of the Toronto night sky, and panoramic view of the city lights.  Amazing!

Day 3:  Another early start- looking our best and with a hearty breakfast we prepared to take on the adventures of Day 3.  At 6:20 am we appeared on the live telecast of Breakfast Television and then took in the sights and delights of downtown Toronto.  Next stop, Schwarzkopf Professional (www.facebook.com/SchwarzkopfCanada) for tips and tricks on hair styles and products and a fun group braiding project.  Then a delicious lunch catered by Panera Bread (www.panerabread.com) followed by a shopping extravaganza at the Yorkdale Mall (www.yorkdale.com).   Located in the Greater Toronto Area with over 240 retailers Yorkdale is definitely the place to shop!  At the mall, we were treated to an exclusive shopping experience at the ever-popular Bench (www.bench.ca) clothing and lifestyle store, and of course no mall adventure is complete without a trip to the food court, but Dine On 3 is not your average food court, it is stylish eating with skylights, an outdoor patio, fireplaces and signature tableware!  Thank you to all of these sponsors for the gift cards and VIP experience.  After shopping our hearts out and filling our stomachs we headed back to the hotel for some super fun training.  We have already started learning the great technique we will be using onstage.  Oh and did I mention we also started our choreography today!  It already looks amazing.  Just before Michelle sent us off the bed she left us with a little surprise.  Today we received our very own Hi-Tec sandals!  Thank you so much Hi-Tech!  I can’t wait to show the world my new stylin’ sandals.

As the sun sets on the third of three incredible days in Toronto – I can’t wait to see what adventures lie in wait ahead – take my hand and through the wonder of social media we will continue this journey together!

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Since winning my title I have been touring Southern Saskatchewan talking to people and it became quite evident that there are many misconceptions about the Miss Teen Canada Pageant (www.missteenagecanada.com), so here goes a little history lesson about this fabulous pageant that I am competing in.  The list of names of those whom have held the title of Miss Teen Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com) dates back to 1969.  For the first three years to 1971, it was known as Miss Teenage Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com), and was renamed Miss Teen Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com) in 1972.  The pageant was a beauty and personality competition for Canadian female teens ages 14 to 17, sponsored by A&W Drive Ins and owned by Cleo Productions.  My mother fondly recalls watching the Miss Teen Canada pageant (www.missteenagecanada.com) on CTV television, especially the year 1975 when Regina’s own, Katherine Eckel, was awarded the coveted crown.  In those days, beauty pageants were reserved for those with primarily outer beauty – Barbie doll figures and sex appeal.  As the seasons changed, so did the way women were viewed in society.  Through the 1980s, the Canadian women’s movement (feminism) in Canada matured.  Attitudes began to change, and women were viewed as having equal rights to men, and as valuable contributors and leaders.  Coincidentally, in 1990, financial concerns forced Cleo Productions to close the Miss Teen Canada contest down.  Beauty pageants for teens, however, did continue in the United States through the 1990s.  Canadian born Michelle Weswaldi
(http://www.missteenagecanada.com/about-mtcw/meet-the-team),

who was one of the first Canadians to compete in, and win, beauty pageants in the USA, won the title of Miss Canada World in 1996.  Michelle envisioned the production of a Canadian teen competition for female youth that would “surpass all existing Canadian pageants”, and in 2008 MTC-W Inc. was launched promoting the ideal of “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful”.  Several teen pageants exist again in Canada today but Miss Teenage Canada (http://www.missteenagecanada.com/about-mtcw/company-profile), formerly Miss Teen Canada-World (http://www.missteenagecanada.com/about-mtcw/company-profile), is the largest teen pageant in all of Canada, and the stepping stone for the Miss Teen Universe pageant in Nicaragua.  It is the only pageant whose delegates are selected by holding provincial pageants across Canada.  MTC-W Inc. has a vision to revolutionize pageants by providing opportunities to celebrate the holistic beauty of young women – mind, body and soul; a reflection of herself as an individual with the power to change the world for the better; and providing her with fundamental tools to achieve her dreams.  Every little girl dreams of being a princess and I am no exception.  After meeting Camille Munro, Miss Canada-World 2013, I knew instantly that I wanted to apply for Miss Teenage Canada (http://www.missteenagecanada.com/become-mtcw/apply-now)!  Winning the title of Miss Teenage Southern Saskatchewan has already been a life-changing experience and now I am only days away from my greatest

adventure!  In 2014, Miss Teen once again meets AnW, except this time it has nothing to do with the fast-food franchise or its famous root beer.  Amanda Noel Walsh (that’s me) will join 60 teenage girls from across Canada to compete in the national Miss Teenage Canada pageant (www.missteenagecanada.com) in Toronto from July 19th – 27th.

Winning Miss Teenage Canada would provide me with more opportunities to change the lives of children and youth living in poverty.  I want to motivate our youth to believe in themselves and to instil in them trust that they can succeed in  their dreams and goals regardless of their financial status or popularity.  I want to give confidence to those who are scared to follow their dreams; to take a leap of faith and go for it.

If chosen Miss Teenage Canada 2014, I would promote my title through community leaders, worldwide organizations, community events, radio, local news, and social media.  I would tour the world and speak publicly to create awareness of the importance of arts and culture to the fundamental development of a child, fundraise for children’s charities such as Free The Children, and visit hospitals and newcomer gateways to touch the lives of families struggling with poverty and illness.  I would visit schools and girls clubs and help them embrace the ideal of “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful”.  I would share the power of music and creativity with struggling teens opening their minds to the expression of emotions through art, without violence or drugs.  I would host events such as mini pageants to provide an opportunity for children from different cultures to interact with each other in a fun, safe environment while learning about the mission of pageants such as Miss Teenage Canada.  I would continue to promote arts and culture programming for children and youth to encourage increased participation and leadership for new generations.

So Dare to Dream girls!  Follow your heart and pursue your dreams because dreams really do come true – I am living mine!

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Do you dream of entering the world of high fashion modelling?  If so, MTC-W (www.missteenagecanada.com) has a new competition known as Top Model Search Canada (www.topmodelsearchcanada.com) that may be the lifetime opportunity you seek.  Also produced by the beautiful and talented Michelle Weswaldi (www.missteenagecanada.com/about-mtcw/meet-the-team), Top Model Search Canada (www.topmodelsearchcanada.com)  is the official preliminary competition to international pageants such as Top Model of the World, Supermodel International and Miss Supranational.  The competition is open to Canadian residents between the ages of 17 and 27, who are at least 5’7” tall, and who believe they have the talent, perseverance, and passion for fashion modelling.  The competition will be held August 12-17, 2014 in Toronto.

Having modeled for Flirt Formal Fashions, I have experienced first-hand the excitement and glamour of the catwalk, the feeling of stardom as the cameras flash, and the thunderous applause for incredibly talented designers from around the world.  Although I am too short for this competition, I know there are ladies out there fancying the life of a supermodel.

Apply now for your chance to spend five incredible days in Toronto to compete for the Top Model Canada crown (http://topmodelsearchcanada.com/apply-now) and launch your career in modelling.  Dare to dream, and Canada’s next rising star could be you!  Good luck!

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