At right: Cranbrook’s Jacqueline Potter is Miss Rocky Mountains B.C. At left: The titleholders from the Miss BC pageant

At right: Cranbrook’s Jacqueline Potter is Miss Rocky Mountains B.C. At left: The titleholders from the Miss BC pageant

Cranbrook woman named Miss Rocky Mountains BC

Jacqueline Potter, 20, was the first person from Cranbrook ever to enter the pageant, and she said the event surpassed her expectations.

A Cranbrook woman who took part in the Miss B.C. pageant this week has come away with the title of Miss Rocky Mountains.

Jacqueline Potter, 20, was the first person from Cranbrook ever to enter the pageant, and she said the event surpassed her expectations.

“It was so well organized and the event flowed so smoothly. The event was amazing and everybody who puts on the event – it really is like a family.”

She travelled to the Lower Mainland on Friday, June 27 and took part in a weekend of workshops to prepare her and the 49 other contestants for the pageant, which was held on Monday, June 30 in Fort Langley.

The professional training included seminars on interview skills, leadership, modelling, public speaking and self-esteem.

A class on self-defense was particularly valuable, Jacqueline said.

“It’s not typical self defense, it’s situational awareness. (The instructor) teaches you to be aware of your surroundings so that you don’t get yourself into a situation where you need to use it. She teaches you how to use enough to get away and get safe.”

Jacqueline said she learned public speaking skills that will help her throughout her life.

“They had ladies there who have gone to world speaking competitions and have won first or second place, which is amazing. The way that they talk and pronounce their words – it’s so intriguing to listen to.”

On Monday, after getting hair and makeup done, the ladies went through two rehearsals to prepare for the pageant.

Jacqueline said she was very nervous before the show began, particularly because she had to dance in high heels, which she doesn’t often wear.

“In the opening number, I was dancing in high heels in the front row. I was like, oh my goodness, I better not trip. I didn’t, I did great and people were commenting on how well I did and my stage presence. It was encouraging to see that other people were noticing my hard work.”

The highlight came at the end of the pageant, she went on. Although Jacqueline didn’t make the list of 15 finalists, she was on stage when they began to announce the winners.

“I was standing there waiting to see who wins, then they announced Miss Rocky Mountains and it was me. I was just like, oh my goodness. I could not believe it. I was shaking, and now I had to step off this riser in this long dress and walk to the front of the stage. I was so overwhelmed and nervous and smiling, staring at the audience, just like, oh my goodness, I did it.”

The moment was even more special because her mom, grandmother and sister were in the audience watching.

Jacqueline already knows what issue she wants to focus on for her year with the title.

“I would like to advocate mental health awareness, especially among youth and young adults.”

She thanked her sponsors – the Hospital Employees Union, East Kootenay Regional local, and Kootenay Import Auto Group – who helped her pageant dream come true.

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