On June 21st, the cultures of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit are celebrated in regions all across Canada. It’s a great opportunity to recognize the amazing contributions they have given to their local communities and to our country. Culture is one of the subjects that I am highly passionate about, and our multicultural diversity we have is one of the many  things that make me proud to be Canadian.

 

When I found out that the Mi’kmaq reserve of Millbrook, located approximately 10 minutes away from my home, was having their annual National Aboriginal Day at the Cultural Heritage Centre, I signed up right away to help out. What a great way to spend the afternoon of the first day of summer (after a morning of writing a math exam!).

When I arrived, there was already a ton of festivities going on for youth and adults alike! Some of the activities included a 50/50 raffle, traditional drumming and dancing, a barbecue, a giant teepee tent for children to play in, craft booths, music performances, and a reptile zoo! I had the pleasure of helping out with the barbecue, where we sold hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pop, and water. There was amazing turnout for not only the barbecue, but also for the entire event! It really is a great way to get everyone together to celebrate indigenous culture. I even got to meet this little guy, who was among the children and families dressed in a traditional Mi’kmaq ceremonial outfit.

On July 1st, Canada will be celebrating her 150th birthday. As this exciting time is approaching, it is important to recognize the culture and contributions of the aboriginal people. It is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and to learn from our mistakes, so we can create a brighter future for Canada. In fact, I am pleased to announce that I will be traveling to Ottawa for Canada Day with Experiences Canada and 150 other youth from around the country. We will be attending forums, visiting museums, volunteering, discussing the past, present, and future, and best of all, doing a group performance on Canada Day at Parliament Hill, broadcasted live on CBC Television! The details of the performance are TOP SECRET, even I don’t know them yet, haha! I am super pumped to be spending 10 entire days with some of the most inspiring youth and leaders in this country! I hope you will get a chance to watch the broadcast, or even the youth forum (which will also be streamed live!).

Anyway, happy first day of summer, and of course, happy National Aboriginal Day!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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I can’t believe its been nearly a month since I earned my title! Time certainly flies when you are busy! A couple weeks ago I wrote a post summarizing the pageant-related activities I was doing throughout the week. And so, I have decided to do another post, where I will be focusing on my new article in the paper, gown-shopping, and attending the Johnny Miles Running Event!

On Tuesday, I had a local reporter come by to interview me about my new title. We discussed how I found out about the pageant, my plans to make the most of my platform, and the national Miss Teenage Canada competition I will be attending this summer in Toronto. A couple days later, the article was published in the Truro Daily News, and I have to say, it is really well-written and will hopefully raise more awareness on my title and the   pageant.

Another thing that I did during the week was search for the perfect evening gown for the final night! There is a lovely boutique in my town called Elegant Steps, it is where many local girls go to get their prom dresses. I spent Saturday morning trying on some of their selections, and of course, I just had to take some pictures!

         

I even chose an evening gown for Toronto, but alas, my dress selection will remain a secret until nationals 😉

After that, I did some more shopping for outfits and shoes to bring to Toronto. Below are some pictures of the outfits that I purchased!

      

Last of all, on Sunday I went out to attend the Johnny Miles Running Event in New Glasgow. It has become a tradition for our family and many other Nova Scotians alike. Participants can choose to run in a 5k race, a 10k, a half-marathon or a full-marathon. The reason the race is so important to many people is because “Johnny Miles” was a well-known local runner in the 1920s who won the Boston Marathon not once, but twice! As a former runner myself, I know that taking the initiative to signup for a race takes courage and guts, especially if it is something you have never done before. Many people  use races as an incentive to work hard and reach their fitness goals, some love the exhilaration they get from the sport, and others do it just for fun! Regardless of all that, I’m so proud of everyone who took part and came out for a day of fresh air, exercise, and Father’s Day fun!

           

I hope you enjoyed this blog post as much as I loved writing it! Ever since the moment I found out that I would be crowned Miss Teenage Nova Scotia, my life completely changed for the better. It’s only been one month, but already, the amazing memories made during that time period will stay with me forever. The national pageant is only 49 days away, and I can’t wait to see what new adventures I will discover as a Miss Teenage Canada delegate!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

 

 

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Good Evening 🙂

As we all know, community service and volunteer work is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make a difference in your region. There are already many organizations one can volunteer their time at, including food banks, nursing homes, big brothers big sisters, and the salvation army. They are definitely all worthy commitments to make, and the impact you have on the citizens of a community can create a butterfly effect, creating vibes of positive energy and empowerment.

On Saturday, I volunteered at the Truro Chapter Walk for Autism. It was a beautiful day to walk around town supporting a cause!  The goal of the event was to have participants raise money to donate to fund programs and support opportunities for families living with autism. Many individuals and teams where walking in support of a relative or a friend who has autism. As of now, 1 in 68 children will be born with an autism spectrum disorder, which means that it is important to raise awareness on the cause so autistic children can continue to live wonderful lives where they feel included and celebrated for their uniqueness!

 

We started off at the Victoria Park bandstand for registration, where there was an array of games for children to play, and colorful t-shirts were distributed to the walkers as well. There was even a small petting zoo! I was in charge of the frisbee throwing station, where children tried their hands at throwing disks into a hoop. After that, the other youth volunteers and I helped to lead a fun warm-up dance, to get everyone pumped up for the walk. And with that, we were off! There was two routes, a shorter one for younger children and families, and a longer one, which covered the perimeters of the town.

In the middle of the walk, both groups of walkers congregated at the town’s civic square to freshen up on some water and to put together a giant puzzle before heading off to return to the park.

   

Once we got back, the Atlantic Superstore was kind enough to have a free barbecue for the hungry walkers. To top it off, we enjoyed a delicious slice of cake before heading home.

Overall, I had a great time volunteering at the 2017 Truro Chapter Walk for Autism. It was a wonderful opportunity to not only get out and enjoy the sunny weather, but also to get involved in the community and make a difference in the lives of children and people living with autism. Everyone deserves equal love and respect, and when we recognize the strengths of those who are diagnosed with autism, ADHD, down syndrome, etc. and honor their contributions, we will have a society that celebrates the unique power of every single individual.

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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Hello again!

After dance classes finished for the year, I happened to have a lot more time on my hands. So, I thought, what a great opportunity to start doing more charitable activities, wearing my crown and sash in public, and bringing more awareness to my platform! In today’s post, I will be going over some of the activities I took part in this week and what I plan to do next 🙂

To start off the week, I performed in my school’s choir concert for the international day against homophobia and transphobia. We sung a large variety of songs to raise awareness on the issues that the LBGTQ community is faced with on a daily basis. Some of our pieces we performed included “Born this Way”, “Don’t Cry Out Loud”, and the “Rainbow Connection”. Overall we raise quite a bit of money and had a pretty good time.

The next day, Tuesday, was election day for my province! All day, I was working as an information officer to greet and offer any additional assistance. At the end of the night, we counted up all the votes for our specific polling station. It was great to see all kinds people getting out to vote and making an effort to have their voices heard!

On Wednesday, I attended the awards gala for my school. Hundreds of students were rewarded for their extra-curricular involvement, good citizenship, and academic standings. As for myself, I was awarded a math achievement award for placing in the top 25% in the school for the University of Waterloo Galois Contest, as well as a general achievement award for my participation in Student Council, Shared Reading Program, the French Oral Speaking Contest, Rotary Club Leadership Day, School Choir, and volunteering at the French Preschool. Last Sunday, I also earned the Grand Jeté Award, a prize that dance students who contribute significantly to the dance community as well as the local arts and theater communities.

On Thursday, I had musical practice and voice, so that was pretty regular day for me!

On Friday, I volunteered at my local veterinary clinic, which is not only a great opportunity to help out the hard-working vet doctors, but also to deepen my own understanding of the medical and veterinary fields. Since my platform is career and life coaching, I firmly believe that exposing yourself to a work environment in a field that interests you is one of the best ways one can find their perfect profession. All the vets in this clinic are just so friendly and fun to work with, and your furry friends will always be in good hands with them!!

On Saturday, it was not only the first day of the weekend, but also the day of our amazing farmer’s market. Dozens of vendors gather under the old fire hall to sell an array of desserts, fresh vegetables, and art! There is also some pretty good music there. Since the musical I am involved with will be opening in less than a week, we decided to seize the opportunity to advertise for our show right at the farmer’s market, only to then break out into a flash mob of 80s songs, dance, and rock and roll! This was also my first time wearing my crown and sash out in public, and I spent three hours walking around town, introducing myself to businesses, educating pedestrians and market goers about my platform, and in general just promoting my new title!

I also came across a charitable barbecue by a local church, and an Acadian music group performing some good songs! My friend actually had a booth set up to fundraise for a project to build a school in Ecuador for her school’s We-Act group. Of course, I just had to stop by and help her out for a little while!

And finally, on the last day of the week, Sunday, I got an opportunity to perform a dance at my church along with several other students of the Sunday School. It turned out to be a fun service of comedy, musical theater, piano music, and dancing! Best of all, the church was hosting an end of the year event and BBQ outside, and I got the pleasure of volunteering at the face painting booth, along with a couple of other lovely ladies! I finished off the weekend by singing a couple of songs in my studio’s annual voice recital.

Phew! I sure had a lot of fun this week, especially since I was just starting to make my first couple of appearances! This weekend, I plan to participate in the Walk for Autism, either as a walker or a volunteer. And in the next couple of weeks, I plan to continue to make appearances at places such as races and larger-scale festivals, including out of town events. In the future, I would also love to create a youth empowerment or a peer mentoring group, so youth can get together and harness their potential to make change! I have already started contacting event organizers, so I am eager to start marking my calendar with days of volunteering, festivals, and even more fun!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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Wow!! After four days of nonstop dress rehearsals, tech runs and performances, dance recital has come to an end! Hundreds of dancers got to perform in the end of year show, to show off all the hard work they have been doing over the past couple of months. Each year, the recital is based on a different theme, and this year’s theme was “A Trip to the Art Gallery”. There is always so much excitement around recital weekend, and I am honored to have all these opportunities to do what I love.

In today’s post, I will talk a bit more about my own passions and the challenges I encountered pursuing them. I will also share some insights on what YOU can do to overcome these types of challenges. Enjoy!

So, in total, I performed in four shows and eleven dances over the course of the weekend, and I also helped out with the younger dancers. It was quite busy at times, but the joy I get from giving my gift of performance makes it all worth it! As a teaching assistant, I also enjoyed sharing the excitement of recital weekend with my pre-ballet class, who performed as an adorable group of black kittens!

I have been dancing ever since I was four years old, but it wasn’t always a walk in the park. There have been many times where I felt discouraged with my ability, times where I felt like I simply wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t very flexible and I felt like I didn’t fit in. I almost wanted to quit. Yet years later, here I am, still dancing proud with my head up high.

 

One year ago, I strained my voice while being involved in a theatre production. Having a sore throat and yelling on stage is not a good combination!! When this happened, I couldn’t sing properly for three weeks, and I was terrified of straining it again for many months after! I know it may sound like a trivial thing, but at the time, I thought it was the end of the world. Everyone of us has experienced some hardship in life, but hey, failure isn’t a roadblock, right? “Failure” is instead a crossroad of new opportunities!

It is during the hard times where I realized that I had two options. I could take the “easy” route and give up, or I could work my hardest until I became the dancer or the singer I dreamed to be. Of course, I chose the latter, and that turned out to be one of the best choices I have ever made. To get something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done. You must do it 100% full-out, with confidence, discipline, and conviction, and most importantly, you should NOT TURN BACK!  Do not let anyone ever tell you that you aren’t good enough, or that you will never achieve your goals in life. Keep moving forward, trying new things, and doing what you love, and you will be surprised at all the doors that open up once you start implementing this process.

Anyway, recital weekend 2017 is definitely one I will remember! I had so much fun and I enjoy watching little ballerinas grow up into confident young women over the years. And finally, my passion is performing, but what is yours? Whatever it is, never stop pursuing it and you will be able to make some great contributions to the world!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

 

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Spring has definitely sprung here in Nova Scotia! The leaves on the trees are coming out, the flowers are blossoming, and that exciting, busy time of the year is just around the corner. For me, the last couple of months have been full of surprises. As a freshman in high school, I am finally starting to discover who I am and what to think of the world around me. This year, I have been taking more risks than ever before. I have learned that each one of us has the power to shape our destiny, that the sky is truly the limit. Ever since I started taking advantage of the all the wonderful opportunities available to youth, I have seen a world of a difference in my life.

So, you can imagine the surprise I had after learning that I would represent my province at the Miss Teenage Canada national pageant in Toronto! For years I wanted to be someone, a role model, a change-maker, or a better version of myself, and finally, I got the opportunity to be exactly that! I knew that there would be a lot of responsibilities to take on as a titleholder, but nevertheless, I felt 100% ready to accomplish my goals and determined to make the most of my year as Miss Teenage Nova Scotia.

Sometimes, I like to call myself a dreamer. This type of perspective helps me keep an open mind, an open heart, and an open soul. Just think about it. . . We are only here for a short amount of time, and during that time, each one of our actions and choices has a profound impact on not only our own lives, but the lives of the ones around us. You do not need to solve world hunger, or become president of a major organization to be considered a leader (but if you want to, go ahead!). Leadership is already within us, and the small acts of kindness that build up over time are just as meaningful. Never underestimate the true power you have inside!

In April 2017, I traveled to Montreal for a week along with 37 other youth for a Canada 150&Me forum. During that week, I realized that young children and teens in our country already have everything they need to reach their goals in life, but yet many youth still feel like they are not capable of taking the big leap. I believe that passionate, hard-working and motivated youth are the key to a brighter future, and everyone has a talent just waiting to be uncovered. Thus, I have made it my mission to empower youth, to guide them through their passage from childhood to adulthood, to not only help them choose the right career, but to help them lead the life they want. My ultimate goal is to start a peer mentoring  organization community where youth in need of positive influence in their life can talk to people who will listen.

Now you know a bit more about my platform and why I choose it, I am going to tell you  more about myself! I consider myself a very musical person. I dance approximately ten hours per week, in the styles of ballet, contemporary, and jazz. This weekend happens to be our studio’s annual dance recital, which means I have a fun couple of days of performances ahead of me! I also really enjoy singing, I am a coloratura soprano and I have performed songs in German, French, Italian, and Spanish. I take weekly piano lessons to complement my singing training as well. And finally, I love to act in musicals whenever I can! Currently I am participating in a student-run musical, and there is only two weeks left until show time! How exciting!!

So to wrap it up, I already have many ideas on ways I can promote my platform, how I can give back to my province and my community, and how I can use my title to accomplish larger scale projects. I will be posting my adventures as a delegate for Miss Teenage Canada on my social media platforms and on this blog, so stay tuned! I am beyond grateful for this wonderful opportunity, and I hope you will all get the chance to head out to enjoy the beautiful weather. Have an amazing rest of the week! 🙂

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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Today consisted of some touring around Toronto! I even got some really nice photos of the CN tower! For breakfast, we ate at Eggilicious, which is a Canadian restaurant!

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A photo of the outside from the tour bus!

A photo of the outside from the tour bus!

 

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This photo was taken before saying our goodbyes after visiting the Nuvango store & studio! Was an awesome tour of the building and changed my view on the fashion industry. After the tour, we tried on Nuvango clothing and got to strike many poses in a photo shoot !

I was also very surprised to find out, this amazing studio was managed by a brilliant Nova Scotian, Dawn Laing!

Dawn is a sweet heart! She gave me her contact information and offered to send me Nuvango clothes once I return home as well as a $50 gift card for there!!

I highly recommend you go visit them and see their retro designed building, and clothing at 2738 Dundas St. West. Besides, you might as well go see their adorable studio dog!! He’s so cute and super lovable !

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Here are photos from the photo shoot where the girls and I are decked out in our Nuvango clothing!

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The outfit I chose! So vibrant & colourful!

The outfit I chose! So vibrant & colourful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All their clothing can be found on their website at https://www.nuvango.com/

Stopping by is not for you? You can also support them by  liking their Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/nuvango/,  following them on Twitter at  Nuvango as well as their Instagram at nuvango !!

My own personal tourist photo’s !!!

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Then we went to The Bata Shop Museum! Talk about fascinating!

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Parrboro, NS is where I call home. It is known for it’s record of high tides, beautiful islands and low bush blueberry picking.

Here are some examples of the beautiful landscapes that I live by:

In a lawn chair, pole between my legs and bass fishing.

Bass fishing on the Bay of Fundy

Making memories on one of our many local beaches

Making memories on one of our many local beaches

The view from the farm land

The view from the farm land

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from the pier !

View from the pier !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Representing this province allowed me to travel and see all the great tourist attractions. Since I have been just about everywhere, here is a list I put together of the top five best things to see and do in Nova Scotia!

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  1. Drive Along The Cabot Trail

    Drive along Highway 105 connecting Cabot Trail and Sydney in Cape Breton. It is absolutely beautiful!
  2. Tour The Alexander Graham Bell Museum

Stop into the impressive museum honouring telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell, also in Cape Breton.

3. The Fortress of Louisbourg

Learn about history and see where they fought, back in the day.

4. Explore the city of Halifax

The city has so much to offer! Be sure to eat at Cut Steakhouse & Agricola Street Brasserie.

5. Peggy’s Cove lighthouse

Go check it out! Has the best sea food chowder I have ever eaten!

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Today, I had to be ready by 8 am. The getting ready consisted of just slipping on some leggings and a baggy t-shirt because we got makeup artists and hair experts to get us all ready for the photo shoot and video interview!

Still waiting... watching the other girls

Still waiting… watching the other girls

I have never felt more like a princess until today with this title. It was the first time, I had my makeup professionally done and I loved the result!

 

Below are some photo’s from getting ready.

After the video taping and pictures, we had a very long rehearsal in heels!  We got to meet, two of choreographers that we will be working with all week and found out what our dance song is.

The girl that did my hair! Such a sweet lady!

The girl that did my hair! Such a sweet lady!

Waiting for the hairspray to set!

Waiting for the hairspray to set!

The final result!

The final result!

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