A young Cranbrook woman will vie for the title of Miss B.C. this weekend in a province-wide pageant.
Jacqueline Potter, 20, is one of 50 B.C. women taking part in the Miss B.C. Pageant, which will be held June 30 in Fort Langley.
Potter said she learned about the pageant in January, and decided to apply because of what the contest stands for.
“What really intrigued me about it was that it isn’t a typical beauty pageant,” she said. “It’s more about self-esteem, self-confidence. It doesn’t matter what size you are, what height you are. They just want everybody to feel comfortable going and being who they are. That’s why I joined it.”
Pageant creator Darren Storsley said Miss B.C. prides itself on not discriminating against any women.
“The Miss BC Pageant celebrates all women, and yes, we would welcome transgendered contestants,” said Storsley, who himself was Mr. World Canada 2007.
Potter is the first woman from Cranbrook to enter the pageant. She applied online at the end of January, and was then interviewed by phone by a pageant organizer, who accepted her as a contestant.
Potter then went about securing sponsors for her candidacy.
Her top sponsor is the Hospital Employees Union, East Kootenay Regional local. Her second sponsor is Kootenay Import Auto Group. Both sponsors have been very supportive, Potter said, covering the costs associated with her entry in the pageant, such as hotel and food while she’s in the Lower Mainland, her outfits and her sash.
Potter has also fundraised for the pageant’s charity Cops For Cancer. In May, she held a barbecue fundraiser at Import Auto Group.
Earlier this month, she led a Zumba class at Core Fitness, with all proceeds going to Cops For Cancer. Potter also appeared on the Import Auto Group float on Sam Steele Days.
This weekend, Potter will head to Vancouver to prepare for Monday’s pageant.
All of the contestants come together on Saturday to receive professional training in areas such as public speaking, interview skills, media relations, modelling, manners, etiquette, leadership, self-esteem, health, fitness, nutrition, assertiveness and motivational speaking, and even self-defense.
On Saturday, Potter will participate in the talent portion of the pageant, which is held separately. She and seven other contestants will perform a cheerleading routine.
“I was a cheerleader in high school for three years, and then I did dance for three years,” said the Mount Baker graduate.
In the pageant, the contestants compete in a private judge’s interview, an on-stage interview, a sportswear presentation, an evening gown presentation, a sponsor costume introduction, as well as in charity fundraising.
“This is my first time doing anything like this. I’m feeling a little bit nervous, but I’m more excited now that it’s getting closer,” said Potter.
The public is invited to log on and vote for their favourite contestant for the People’s Choice award at www.missbc.ca.
The pageant will be held on Monday, June 30 at 7 p.m. at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley, and broadcast on Shaw Television later this year.