Former Brandon resident Elva Deng, 18, is among more than 40 Canadian women who will participate in the Miss World Canada competition, which will take place in Vancouver in May. (PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK)
A former Brandon resident hopes to represent Canada on the world stage.
But 18-year-old Elva Deng has her work cut out for her, as she’s up against more than 40 other Canadian women all looking to represent the Great White North at the Miss World competition in September.
Deng is currently in her first year of fashion design program at the University of the Fraser Valley in B.C., a lifelong goal of the Vincent Massey High School grad.
Although she has had her sights set on the fashion industry since childhood, it wasn’t until recently that she decided to enter the beauty competition at the behest of a friend.
"Now that I’m in fashion design, I think it would be a great platform for my future," she said.
She said she doesn’t care about the results of the competition, but can’t deny the opportunities it could open for a woman in her field.
"It will be a really good experience in my life."
With the Canadian competition set for Vancouver at the beginning of May, the aspiring fashion designer has plenty of time to learn to walk the runway and exercise her vocal chords — singing will be her talent.
The Miss World competition is an annual competition in which women compete against each other on various merits, including looks — it is a beauty pageant after all.
"It’s not just about beauty, it’s about beauty with a purpose," she said, which has been the tagline of the Miss World competition since the 1980s.
The Chinese-born Canadian is taking it all in stride and not letting the pressure get to her.
"I’m not that nervous," she said. "I think my attitude is good, I have a positive attitude."
The pageant bills itself as being focused on humanitarianism and philanthropy, and has a close relationship with Variety, a U.S.-based children’s charity.
With franchises in more than 130 countries, the Miss World organization said it has raised US$450 million for charities in its 62-year existence.
Deng won’t be representing Brandon in the competition, and the last woman from Manitoba to represent Canada at Miss World was Marilyn Anne Keddie of Flin Flon in 1958.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 30, 2013