Hello everyone! My name is Laura Pastor and I am your reigning Miss Toronto World 2020. Having been born and raised in Toronto, I am both honoured and proud to be representing such an amazing Canadian city. I am extremely excited to immerse myself into a whole new experience, and to meet all of the wonderful and strong ladies competing in this years Miss World Canada. I am looking forward to reuniting with all of of the girls I had the privilege of meeting at Miss Ontario World back in February.

Ok so, a little bit about myself…starting from the beginning! For as long as I can remember, Irish Dancing was a large portion of my life. My Grandma owned a dance school based in the GTA, The Grant School of Irish Dance, so herself, my 3x World Champion uncle and my mom put Irish dance shoes on me as soon as I could walk (my first dance competition I was still in diapers!). Little did I know then, how much Irish Dancing would shape me into the person that I am today.

I spent 7 days a week and a minimum of 3 hours a day in the studio- it was where I was able to spend time with both my family, and my friends that I now call family.  Over the seemingly short 18 years of competitive Irish Dance, I was able to achieve a North American Champion title, 6x Canadian Champion title, place top 20 at the World Championships and compete in a number of other competitions in England, Ireland and Scotland. It was always so nice being able to fly overseas since a lot of my grandparents relatives still lived there (I very vividly remember eating and loving all of their homemade goodies!). Although Irish Dance WAS my life, I still managed to join the competitive cross country team at my high school and train 4 days a week to be able to compete in OFSAA each year.

Some might (and by some, I mean all of my friends and family) say I’m a little bit of a nerd- I always took school very seriously. Many times I found myself doing homework in the car rides to the dance studio, or sneaking the work into the washroom with me when we would have a break during dance class. The work ethic and determination that both dancing and running taught me has ultimately lead me to where I am today!

So, where am I today? I graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science and Honours in Kinesiology and Physical Education. I minored in both Biology and Chemistry graduating with a 4.0. I always say that attending Laurier were some of the best years of my life (although there have only been 24 of them!). After graduating, I moved Downtown Toronto, starting a whole new chapter of my life. I got a full time job at the MOST amazing company, and have been making the most of living in such an awesome city ever since. I even took up running again and since I’ve moved I have competed in 4 half marathons!

Since moving downtown, it really opened up my eyes to quite honestly, many things. One that was glaringly unavoidable, was the homeless community living on the Toronto streets. Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to do more and be more involved in helping out our needy population. So when I moved downtown, I though I would start by making sandwiches and handing them out on my walk to work.. but it certainly didn’t feel like enough! As a city and country I think there is a lot more we can all be doing to help those most in need and it starts with awareness and education. I truly think that a little extra thoughtfulness and kindness as both an individual and a community, can go a very very long way!

On that note, I shall wrap it up and say thank you for taking the time to read a little bit more about me. I am grateful for the road that brought me here and am SO excited for this journey and the opportunities that lie ahead.

More to come!

Laura Pastor

(LP)

 

 

Written by: Laura
Comments are off for this post

Volunteering has always been a large part of my life and I don’t want a pandemic to stop me! I, of course, want to stay safe and keep those around me safe as well but if covid has taught us anything it’s that there are always creative ways around a solution.

Here are some of the ways that I continued my passion for volunteering during a pandemic:

Writing cards and giving gifts

At the beginning of the pandemic I wrote hand written letters to residences of seniors homes. Even the smallest effort can brighten someone’s day. At the beginning of the shutdown I also made gift bags for front line workers as a thank you.

Since my grandparents have been in complete apartment lockdown since March I am finding ways to surprise them and put a smile on their faces. Sometimes I go over with flowers of their favourite snacks and other times I am walking over in an inflatable dinosaur Halloween costume so that I can give them a hug. For Halloween I have put together a basket of all of their favourite candies so that they can Trick-or-Treat at home.

Finding online communities

Over the pandemic I found online volunteer opportunities where I could give back from my own home. I was a Virtual Reader for the Parent Resource Centre and every Friday night I join Live Work Play in their Zoom hangouts. Live Work Play helps the community welcome and include people with intellectual disabilities, autistic persons, and individuals with a dual diagnosis to live, work, and play as valued citizens.

Online donations

Every organization during this time can benefit from a financial donation, anything helps! I personally donate to the Ottawa Humane Society, the Ottawa foodbank, and the Make A Wish Foundation of course! It’s important to choose organizations that fall in line with your values. (It won’t be great to help everyone but we do what we can).

Start your own organization

Pre-covid I started my You Go Girl workshops where girls could come try a free workshop once a month to try out different sports. Since covid I, again, had to get creative with my goal of getting more young Canadian girls involved in sport and physical activity. Since covid started I have a weekly podcast every Wednesday where I interview a different Canadian woman who has had success in her sport. This way girls can learn about sports they didn’t know where out there and think if she can do it, so can I! I also have another project coming soon on this topic but you’ll have to stay tuned.

Next steps

Covid has also been great the re-evalutate what future volunteer opportunities I want to participate in once things re-open. If you make time for volunteering now then you will never have to say “I am too busy”. We make time for things that are important to us. I have been going to the Ottawa Family Cinema my entire life, they are a volunteer run cinema that gives back to the community in enormous ways. Last year I hosted a Make A Wish Foundation fundraiser at the cinema and once they re-open post covid I have already applied to be a volunteer and find another way to give back to my community.

If this pandemic has taught us anything it is about what we value most in life and that we can find creative ways to solve any problem. Let’s go out and make a difference!

Written by: Erin
Comments are off for this post
Posted On: Categories:Erin, Miss World Canada

Hello and Happy Saturday!

It’s so important to know that daily reflection is essential for a healthy and happy mind, body, and soul. The truth is I think that most people know what self-care is and what reflecting means, however I don’t think most people know how to go about doing this. Especially not on a daily basis where they can truly start to see the benefits in their own life. To me, the most important part of reflection is having a way to complete it each day.

Reflection is simply looking back on the day prior, determining what went well that should be brought into the next day, and what did not go so well that we should let go of. There is a multitude of ways to go about doing this (meditation, prayer, reading etc), my personal favourite is through journaling. I love being able to physically write down and see what my day was like and what I can do to make it better. I find it to be much more effective when the pen hits the paper because it actually makes me do the work, rather than just assuming I am.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Søren Kierkegaard

The process of reflection is very effective when you follow the 3 R’s:

  1. Review- Review the days events in a non-judgmental manner. Simply note anything of significance that occurred and write it down.

  2. Reflect- Identify the days events as either good or bad. ‘Good’ meaning the event brought you joy, strength, resiliency, or if the event brought out the best in you. ‘Bad’ meaning that you did not respond or react in a way that was most beneficial to your well-being or there was something you could have done differently to change the course of the event.

  3. Return- Focus on how you would go about the next day knowing what you learned from your reflection process. Return to the day ahead with more wisdom and knowledge to handle situations that occur in your best interest, and in the interest and well-being of others.

Simple right?! So simple everyone can do it. Try adding some reflection at the end of your night for the next seven days to see how your mood and behaviour improves throughout the week. You’ve got nothing to lose. After all, starting with one step at a time is the best way to start! Taking time to reflect on how you can show up as the happiest and and more true version of yourself each day is what living life alive is all about.

Maria Giorlando

Written by: Maria Tagged with:, , ,
Comments are off for this post

To All The Athletes:

I grew up spending my days on the ice in a cold arena, but loving every minute of it. Since the age of five I haven’t spent more than two weeks off the ice in fifteen years. When the pandemic broke out many of us athletes were not able to do the sports we love. As things return back to normal, we are all able to get back to doing what we love! I recently got back on the ice for the first time in six months. I had to remind myself that;

It’s going to be a challenging journey to get back to where I once was.

It’s going to be hard mentally and physically.

Your mind is going to worry and try to think about a million things at once.

Your body is going to be sore for weeks to come. 

You may want to give up.

You’ll say;

“I’ll never be as good as I once was.”

“It’s too hard.”

“I’m too weak.”

“It’s been too long.”

But, don’t give up.

Don’t give up for the little girl who loves this sport more than anything.

Don’t give up because this sport taught you better. 

This sport taught you determination, motivation and perseverance.

This sport taught you to fall and get back up. 

To fall a thousand times and get back up.

You’re going to fail, a lot.

But, hard work is built in your DNA.

You will get back to where you once were.

Believing is the first step.

It will take time, but we are in this together. 

Your coaches, teammates, family and friends are there to support you.

 

And remember;

 

Strength doesn’t come from what you can do.

It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t. 

 

On my Instagram many shared their struggles with getting back into their sport…

We are all in this together! We can push forward and achieve our goals.

     

Written by: Melina Tagged with:, , , , , , , , , , ,
Comments are off for this post

Hey my loves! I am back and ready for my next post!!! I honestly have lost track of how many I made so far, oh gosh.

Well today I am going to show you how life back to school is going for the younger generation. Can you believe that we are already back to school? It was just yesterday that we went into lock down! And  now we are currently in stage 3 and trying to adjust to the “new normal.” Growing up and attending was very different compared to this years generation of kids attending school. Whether if its completing you last year of middle school or high school or college/university or if you are just starting JK/daycare. We all have to adjust going back to school and realizing that this will be the new normal for a litle while.

I know my workplace and I are still adjusting to every thing that we are doing. We were taught to educate our kids at work to share, to play and socialize with other kids. Now we are teaching our kids the OPPOSITE of what we taught them. We have to strip them away from what they had learned from there parents and educators. It feels like we are teaching the kids the wrong way to grow up, because from from what the parents and there educators taught them, its not allow anymore when going to school. I feel like it also hard on the kids as well because with or without there mask, they cannot interact with other kids. They still have to social distance.

If you can;t get an idea of what the “New Normal” is, here are some pictures that I took from my workplace and tried my best to make everything COVID-friendly!

As you can see in the pictures, We have to now separate the kids from sitting next to each other. I had personally assigned names on the tables to make sure that the kids are not sitting in someone else’s spot as well as making sure they are sitting 6 feet apart. Also we can only have 6 kids per table when sitting and of course they will have there names person section of the table.

We also have a cleaning log where we make sure what we are cleaning, we are writing it down (time, initials). For example; if a child used a pair of scissors, they have to put it in a grey bin where one of the co workers would wash them with soap and water and THEN bleach and water to sterilize it. I would say there are extra precautions that we are all taking to make sure that we do not spread the virus, whether we have it or not. We have to get into the routine of making sure we CLEAN everything that we touch and cleaning the tables/benches constantly.

Another way we can keeping the kids from not sharing anything is that we have gotten containers for the kids to have there markers, crayons, pencil crayons and etc. We did this so that the kids DO NOT share there supplies while coloring/drawing. The good thing about this is that we can stock up on there containers if they want more drawing utensils. Also, we do not have to clean eat crayons and etc, we only have to clean the container itself since they also touch them.

I know most kids love to read when they have nothing to do. So, my workplace came up with the idea of using a certain amount of books for the kids to read for the week and every Friday, the ECE’s would put the used books in a container sealed so that they books can “Quarantine” for the week. So every week the kids will have new books to read during the week.

Since my room is in the gym, we do not have hooks or a place to put there bags and jackets. SO my work place came up with with a way where they would all have there own box to put there bags and jackets in.

Well, this is the new normal for now and honestly it is overwhelming to deal with because our or my goal is not get the kids infected by this dangerous virus. Numbers have been going up since he start of school and it will be going up unless we all take proper precautions everyday. We are working with children and we understand that children need that space to be free after a long stressful day at school and then coming to an after school can be tiring at times. Some, we make sure that they get there full energy out in the open while planing outside in there designated area. But we are all in this together and I know that we will get through this

Thank you for reading!!! See you soon my loves <3

Simone M.

Written by: Simone Tagged with:, , , , , , , , , , , ,
Comments are off for this post

For the past two years my Beauty With A Purpose has been all about getting girls involved in sport. Being physically active can bring you so much in life like a healthier body and mental health, a sense of belonging, teamwork, dedication, and so much more!

I never thought that I was athletic growing up because I did not excel in gym class yet I was dancing competitively 25-30 hours a week.

I started the You Go Girl project as a free monthly workshop in my community where girls could come out and try a new sport each month that might not be offered in their gym class curriculum to show them all the amazing sports that are out there! In Canada if a girl has not participated in sport by the age of 10 then there is only a 10% chance that she will be physically active later in life- I am trying to change that.

Since COVID-19 temporarily put a pause on in person workshops I have started a podcast where each week I interview a successful Canadian women about her sport to show that representation matters. I also have a third secret project that I am working on, but more about that later.

I have always loved dance since I first started when I was one and a half years old. These past few years I have been teaching tap, jazz, and ballet at a local dance studio and I was quite nervous going back to teach my first classes this week since the studio re-opened.

The second I started teaching all those nerves disappeared! Of course we have strong COVID measures in place so we all felt safe in our environment but I forgot a few things about teaching dance. The first, is that it reminds me how much I love the sport of dance: moving, creating, listening to music, and interacting with others are just some of the reasons  that I am absolutely in love with the sport. The second is that there is no greater feeling than empowering the next generation of athletes, giving them tips and tricks to improve their skills and cheering them on every single step of the way. I absolutely love teaching dance so I can share my skills and see young women grow not only in their dance abilities but also as people. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the season brings!

And as an added bonus for my own physical fitness, after I am done teaching there is still half an hour left of the adult aerials class. For those who don’t know aerials are an artistic acrobatic form done in the air on difference apparatuses (think like Cirque du Soleil). I used to compete across North America in aerial competitions before a shoulder injury forced me to stop for two years. It was great to get back on the aerial hoop and see what I can still do- but there is still so much to learn.

Erin in an aerial hoop doing a split

Written by: Erin
Comments are off for this post
Posted On: Categories:Erin, Miss World Canada

This past weekend I got the opportunity to volunteer at the RVNG Couture, virtual New York Fashion Week for the designer Jordan Stewart 2021 Spring Collection.

Designer: Jordan Stewart

It was honestly a dream come true to be apart of an event as amazing as this one, that will make its mark in history. As a volunteer, I worked side by side with the incredible stylist Cynthia Florek. Myself along with many other talented volunteers were able to assist by taping shoes from L’intervalle,

dressing the models,

organizing the accessories from Rebekah Price

and Jaycow Millinery,

steaming garments and overall ensuring the show ran smoothly.

Being surrounded by so many talented woman was so inspiring. Jordan’s designs were truly breathtaking from the colour schemes to fabrics. Jordan’s collection was so dreamy and truly unforgettable. Each garment complimented the next and it made for an outstanding runway show.

The stylist Cynthia has an eye like no other. She demonstrates the ambition, strength and confidence that I will always look up to. She is a woman of many talents and creates an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable to share ideas and become friends.

I am so grateful to have received this opportunity, I left this weekend feeling so empower and inspired. It is so important to cherish moments like this and take them in for everything they have to offer. I learned so much and accomplished so many new things. I made new friends and new role models.

Fashion brings people together.

It takes teamwork to put together a show.

It takes hard work to ensure the best.

It takes passion to inspire others.

Created by Me!

My photograph featured on the Harper’s Bazaar Greece Official Instagram Page!

Sign up and watch the full show!

https://app.nyfw.com/login

RVNG Couture:

https://rvng.ca/

Cynthia Florek:

https://www.thetrendoffice.com/

 

Written by: Melina Tagged with:, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Comments are off for this post

Hey all my lovey’s, I am back with another update about how I am raising money for the Children’s Wish Foundation!

As you know I have been coming up with creative ways to raise money for the Children’s Wish Foundation! Due to COVID-19 it has been hard to find “COVID” friendly ways to raise money. I came up with a charity photo-shoot since I know a lot of people do love to just dress up and take photos of themselves. So, what a great way to just have PROFESSIONAL photos taken just for fun and you money will be going somewhere where it won’t go to waste!!

My first taught of this idea was;

“Who would partner with me on this AMAZING cause?”

“Will people response to our event?”

“Will this succeed in the end?”

I had a lot of questions going through my mind but at the end of the day, it didn’t hurt to just try and reach out to potential photographers willing to help out such a great cause. Thankfully, I got positive response from one of my photographers, ROHAN, was very excited to partner with me on this amazing journey of mind. He was very organized and was had sooo many ideas to bring to the table. I was very thankful to have him help me for this good cause.

Here is a poser that he had made for our event! I was so amazed from all the FEEDBACK that we had gotten!! We had majority of out time session all booked up! Within 3 days we were FULLY booked BUT we had a plan. We decided to DOUBLE book! Since we did have another photographer in our hands, MALA, we might as well use her talent ability to help out! We decided that each session for a photo-shoot would be $50.00/30 minutes. Which is a very good deal if you think about it!

Soon we decided to add a makeup artist since we did had a lot of request from our clients. Thankfully our makeup artist came to us, DEMI! She is very sweet and has such an amazing personally. Demi is also very talented as well! Since we are still in a pandemic we decided to keep our makeup COVID friendly. Clients are allow to bring there own foundation and makeup brushes to the session for a cost of $25.00 including there mask when coming to the session. $30.00 for those who do not bring there brushes-foundation.

Well here you have it! Meet our team for this years charity photo shoot! Each individual has such an amazing personality and I have very thankfully for them to join me on this journey to Miss World Canada!

Thank you everyone who has been keeping up with me and my journey to MISS WORLD CANADA 2020!!

Written by: Simone Tagged with:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Comments are off for this post

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting one of my new pageants sisters for the first time. Julie is Miss World Gatineau 2020 and nationals this November will be her first ever pageant! It was so great to meet her and share all about my knowledge of pageants so she had as much information going into pageant week as possible, but even better, it was incredible to hear about all the amazing things that Julie has accomplished.

Julie has a winning mindset and makes actions toward all the goals she wishes to accomplish. That is what I love most about pageants, you surround yourself with likeminded women who are making a positive impact on their communities. I cannot wait to see Julie again at nationals if not before then.

Written by: Erin
Comments are off for this post
Posted On: Categories:Erin, Miss World Canada

Hello, everyone! I hope you guys are all safe and well. I know that this year has been one of the toughest times we’ve ever gone through.. We have lost and suffered so much as a community. I don’t know about you, but I definitely lost hope and purpose countless of times this year. 2020 was definitely the most challenging year of my life. There were many unexpected things that happened which hindered my health and growth. BUT, I can say that I am a completely different person because of these tough times. I truly believe that tough times make you stronger. With that being said, I just wanted to share my personal story in hopes to encourage and motivate you during the most difficult times of your life.

Continue reading

Written by: Julia
Comments are off for this post
Posted On: Categories:Miss World Canada