Q&A: Miss Canada 2020 talks crown to community.

Q&A: Miss Canada 2020 talks crown to community.

Cloverdale’s Bremiella De Guzman was crowned Miss Canada 2020 this March.

Bremiella De Guzman, former Miss BC, was crowned Miss Canada 2020 this March. Born in the Phillippines, Guzman immigrated to Canada when she was ten and currently lives in Cloverdale. She shares her pageant milestones with Black Press Media from the crowning moment to her growing sense of purpose in the community.

The discussion has been edited for length and clarity.

What does the Miss Canada pageant experience mean to you?

I think people don’t realize that most pageants aren’t just a one-night event. The Miss Canada event ran for almost a week-long, and in those times I’ve met and become friends with some of the most incredible and accomplished women across the country. To me, sharing the stage with them alone was already empowering, and I think the nerves only came when I got called in for Top 6.

That’s when it clicked for me. Being Miss Canada was a dream I had for a long time, and I actually had a shot. All I needed was to answer a question and to speak from the heart. I was asked, “what was the most difficult time you’ve experienced in your life.” I talked about being an immigrant and moving to Canada at such a young age. My parents had dreams of a better life for our family in a brand new country and it came with a lot of sacrifices. So at that moment, when my name was called and I was being crowned as the new Miss Canada, it was validating and I felt like all of my hard work had paid off. Truly, it was a remarkable experience and I will never forget it.

How has your journey been so far as Miss Canada?

During my time as Miss BC, I had worked on some community projects, including my “Spread The Word: Inclusion” campaign, that I planned on expanding and bringing to the rest of Canada. Unfortunately, my reign has been affected by COVID-19, and so my travel plans have been put on hold, and understandably so. The novel coronavirus has hit our country and put several communities and people in a vulnerable state. I am fortunate in that I was still able to continue working fulltime and from home, so I dedicated the “extra” time I had from not having to commute, in giving back to my community.

I have been making and donating cloth face masks to long term care facilities, donated blood and provided meals to health care workers. I still continue to sew some masks, but my focus is on my job as a facilitator to people with diverse abilities, who are also very much affected by the onset of the virus.

Reflecting on the pageant, how have you grown from it?

The Miss Canada pageant was held back in March, and it’s been about four months since I was crowned. I have to say that the crown has given me a boost of confidence and a higher sense of purpose. I have always been committed to serving my community, but being a titleholder has taught me to make those necessary connections to drive bigger impacts. Some might criticize pageants and feel that they have no place in modern society, but as Miss Canada, not only am I given a range of opportunities, it has also allowed me to practice leadership – which in my introverted nature, I have always shied away from.

I believe I have grown and will continue to grow from this experience by proving to others that a figurehead like me could truly make a difference. While I’m not able to reign as I had expected under the circumstances we’re in, I do think that being Miss Canada has taught me to be innovative and creative. I don’t expect to find solutions to worldly issues, but I do hold myself accountable to at least try.

What advice do you have for others who want to participate?

Lead with purpose. Whether you want to experience something new, have a platform to share your message or join a sisterhood, whatever your reason for wanting to join a pageant may be, be sure, be ready and be confident to share your own story, and the rest will follow. I have gained more friendships and connections than crowns and to me, that is what matters.

Just Posted

Ucluelet local Geoff Johnson snapped this photo of a Risso’s dolphin that washed up near Chesterman Beach in Tofino on Wednesday, Jan. 13. (Geoff Johnson photo)
Washed up Risso’s dolphin offers glimpse into “whole other world” near Tofino

“It’s like a UFO crash landed and you can come look at it”

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
Vancouver Island minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

3L Developments has stated it is pulling the plug on its plans to build a residential neighbourhood in the Stotan Falls area. The company has repeatedly offered to turn the Stotan Falls area into parkland, if the CVRD were to amend its Regional Growth Strategy to allow for a residential community to be built in the area. The CVRD has steadfastly turned down the development company. File photo.
Plugged pulled on decade-old Comox Valley development project

3L Developments say there will be no further development applications filed for Stotan Falls

The profitability of Victoria International Airport dropped by almost $17 million in 2020 because of COVID-19. (Black Press Media File)
Victoria International Airport revenues in a tailspin

While airport made $9.2 million in profits 2019, COVID-19 brought estimated losses of $7.5 million

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Jackie Hildering, whale researcher with the Marine Education and Research Society, and Nanaimo Area Land Trust will present the Return of Giants, a webinar about the humpback whales’ return from the brink of extinction and how boaters can help protect them. (Jackie Hildering/MERS photo taken under Marine Mammal License MML-42)
‘Return of the Giants:’ B.C. getting a second chance to coexist with humpback whales

‘Marine Detective’ partners with Nanaimo stewardship group on webinar

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The Gardens at Qualicum Beach is now owned by family-owned The Care Group. (thegardensatqualicum.com)
The Gardens at Qualicum Beach has new owners

Family has travelled to Qualicum Beach for more than a century

Most Read