Guelph’s Kween is bringing home the crown from the Canadian National Miss pageant.
Earlier this year, she took on the title of Ms. Guelph to compete on the national level, undergoing months of intensive training for the 48-hour pageant, which took place Aug. 26 and Aug. 27 in Mississauga.
“I wanted to come back stronger than ever, not only for that crown, but for myself,” she said, noting she hasn’t felt herself since being in an accident that left her with a concussion in October of last year.
But it all paid off, as she walked away with the Canadian National Ms. crown and several other titles along the way.
The pageant started on a high when she won the hometown costume competition for her Guelph-inspired outfit: a jean jacket with logos of local businesses and the Guelph tartan.
Judge interviews took place Sunday, where contestants have three minutes to impress each judge by answering any questions thrown their way. Then after one last rehearsal, they headed into the final show: an opening number, personal introductions, and fun fashion and evening gown competitions.
Afterwards, the judges compile overall scores to crown contestants from the three age divisions: Teen Miss, Miss and Ms.
But it wasn’t just the crown Kween won: she left with a number of other titles, including best evening gown, best fun fashion, best introduction best hometown costume and best interview, though she was most proud of winning miss congeniality.
“Miss Congeniality is one of those awards, that to me, is just as big as the crown. It really comes from a place of care and passion. At the end of the day, I always just want to help people,” she said.
And that’s exactly what this new title will enable her to do.
She said the crown allows her to expand the work she’s been doing around anti-racism in Guelph, since the national title broadens her platform and gives her more sway in the political landscape.
“What I love about pageantry is it allows you to have this national Canadian title that can really hold almost just as high as a city councillor, a mayor. Sometimes people like pageant queens more than some of our politicians,” she said.
“But the glorious thing about pageantry is we aren't tied to any federal or provincial government holding us from getting the passionate, on the ground, frontline work done. This is definitely my route of creating change.”
One of her goals during her reign is to develop a Miss Guelph pageant based around philanthropy.
“Guelph calls us the city that makes a difference, and I don’t see us making enough of that difference, whether that’s with the homelessness crisis, whether that’s with mental health, whether that’s the fact that we still celebrate John Galt day.
“So I think Guelph has a lot of work that can be done with integral motivation from someone like myself, and from hopefully future delegates," she said.
Another goal is to extend Black-owned business accessibility, through things like markets and galas.
But first, she’s taking some much-needed rest, having won a cruise to the Bahamas with the other two queens.
“We get to sit back, relax and get to enjoy the work that we did for the crown,” she said. Next spring, they’ll also be heading out to Blue Mountain to do some sightseeing and public-figure work.
Kween will be holding a meet-and-greet at The Wooly Pub on Sept. 22 as a way to meet the community and thank those who have helped her along the way.