Kassidy Stewart had never entered a pageant before, so it was a bit of a surprise for the Comox resident when she walked away with the Miss Teen BC crown earlier this month.
“My next step is to go to nationals,” she says.
She decided to give it a try this spring and submitted her entry. With the pandemic situation, she had to do an initial interview with the executive director for the pageant online.
The BC Provincials were moved to the first weekend of July in response to COVID-19, though Stewart did appear in person in Vancouver, as one of 20 or so finalists.
There were still pandemic regulations in effect, of course, so that meant the contestants were spaced apart and did not appear before an audience for the annual contest.
Contestants at the finals faced swimsuit, gown and opening number categories, as well as another interview, and in the end, she won the crown.
Stewart is going into Grade 11 this fall at Highland Secondary. She has a number of interests including soccer, theatre and music. She has taken part in CYMC Youth Theatre and other productions on stage, and she is also a singer and songwriter.
The pandemic not only meant more time on her hands this spring, but it also influenced her decision to put her name forward for the event.
Before, she was already active with volunteering, especially through Northgate Church, where she has worked in the soup kitchen and helping underprivileged families.
“My church is totally a base-point for me,” she says. “The environment there is so great.”
The pandemic only heightened her sense of the growing need of many people in the Comox Valley.
“At the beginning of quarantine, I got interested,” she says. “I thought, ‘Oh, this could actually happen.’”
The other thing she’s realized of late is the importance of making every day count.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” she adds.
For her, the aim is to stay positive and focus on those things she can do to help other people who, she realizes, may not be as fortunate as she is. She hopes to inspire others, including her friends, to help out at soup kitchens or get shelters arranged for homeless people.
“I feel the need to help people,” she says.
The plan now is to attend the nationals for Miss Teenage Canada in Toronto later this summer, though the event is tentative depending on the public health situation and travel. She has lined up the Bride’s Closet as a sponsor for her gown for the nationals, and she is getting ready for the event. At the same time, she is not forgetting what got her motivated in the first place and plans to be back helping at the soup kitchen.
“I feel like I want to give back,” she says.
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