(Top 5 pageant participants and People’s Choice Award winner moments after being announced as the winners of the Miss Universe Canada Western Ontario Regional Pageant at the Capitol Theatre in Windsor, Ontario, on July 21, 2019. From left Azarria Saleem, Gabriella Walker, Silvia Morar, Sonny Borelli (pageant director), Kaitlyn Pecaski, Jamie Pfiefer, and Melissa Jacobs. Photo above by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.)
Saturday night’s Miss Universe Canada, Western Ontario, Pageant, at downtown Windsor’s Capitol Theatre, was not only a “nail-biting” evening for 18 intelligent and attractive young women but also a glamourous night of unprecedented entertainment. Five of the contestants, plus the winner of an online people’s choice, were selected to carry the region’s banner to the Miss Universe Canada contest next month in Toronto.
Cottam’s Early Childhood Educator Jamie Pfiefer won the on-line People’s Choice contest. She will join visual arts and architecture student Gabriella Walker, Leamington University of Windsor student Melissa Jacobs, St. Clair College pre-health program’s Azarria Saleem, Tecumseh business student Kaitlyn Pecaski and St. Clair pre-health student Silvia Morar in the 17th national competition.
Three of the top five also won pageant awards. Walker was given the nod for being the most photogenic, Morar picked up the fitness award and the runway award, while Jacobs won the most dedicated honour.
Throughout the evening masters of ceremonies, Sonny Borrelli, a Miss Universe Canada Western Ontario Regional Director, and Chelsae Durocher, Miss Universe Canada 2011, presented an array of exceptional talent. They were aided by the attractive Marta Magdalena Stepien, who holds the 2018 Miss Universe Canada title.
The evening started with 16-year-old Christina Apollonio singing the American and Canadian anthems and stunning the audience with her remarkable ability to reach the highest of the high notes. What was most distinctive was the unique personality she gave each anthem and then wowed the audience with two more numbers, including a particularly stirring Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Solo singer Adriano, with a considerable spring in his step filled the room with Spanish ballads. With Jamaican and Ecuadorian cultures as his birth right, the Toronto-based artist talks of revolution. It is, in his parlance, a mode of living whether it be the revolution of the heart, the mind or the soul. He was backed up by the highly impressive local quartet Transeo
If that wasn’t enough, two young ladies, grade six student Ariana Baptista and 22 year-old Kaila Ilyssa Delarmente charmed the audience with solo numbers proving Windsor has more than a few up and coming artists. Speaking of future stars, Robbie Agnew, with his depth of delivery, aptly demonstrated why he was one of the two finalists emerging from this year’s “Raise Your Voice” competition.
It was as much of an exciting night for the audience as it was for Agnew who leaves the city in September to enroll in Fanshawe College’s Music Industry Arts program. His song, Once In A Lifetime, is posted on iTunes. He told Eyes On Windsor the most enjoyable aspect of being on the largest stage ever so far in his young career was having the audience join with him singing the chorus.
In the realm of dance, Aliyah King, this year’s Miss Teenage Southern Ontario, performed an interpretive dance number while the Industry Dance Company filled the stage with dancers in a carefully choreographed number that brought together a variety of young performers.
The evening’s entertainment was topped off with the award-winning duo Martene Clayton and Kerri Brown performing their 2018 release, Crown. The pair recently won a Vox Pop award, as voted by fans, for the track in the best song used in a film, television or game score category at the Independent Music Awards in New York. It was, reasoned Master of Ceremonies Borelli, a very appropriate song for leading up to the announcement of the five top contestants.
Borelli also stressed the openness of the pageant saying any young woman could become a contestant. There were many in the audience who might take him up on the offer, including the 17-year-old daughter of former Windsor city councilor Caroline Postma. Alicia spent the evening taking it all in, part of her exploration of pursing a modelling career.
And, although only six of the contestants will travel to Toronto, Borelli was quick to proclaim that all were winners for getting up and testing their ability to compete against their peers. They were judged by a panel of fourteen local men and women, many from the business community, on formal and swim wear and on their answers to a unique question.
The complete 2019 Miss Universe Canada Western Ontario regional pageant contestants included:
The 2019 Miss Universe Canada National Pageant will be held in Toronto on August 17, 2019. The winner will represent Canada in the Miss Universe 2019 pageant that will be held on December 19 in South Korea.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit https://missuniversecanada.ca
Article by Robert Tuomi
For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.