Former Miss Osoyoos Gina Pereira has her eyes set on the universe
A former Miss Osoyoos, Gina Pereira, is now hoping to represent all of Canada and even go on to become Miss Universe.
Pereira learned recently that she’s been accepted as a Western Canada participant in the Miss Universe Canada pageant being held in August in Toronto.
Pereira, whose actual first name is Jorgina, represented Osoyoos along with other Osoyoos Royalty from 2013 to 2014.
She is currently a student at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, but she’ll be spending the summer in Osoyoos after her classes wind up at the end of April.
The winner of the Toronto pageant will become Miss Universe Canada and will go on to compete in the international Miss Universe pageant.
“I wanted to get back out there into my community this summer,” said Pereira. “I also want to represent Canada.”
She admits she misses being Miss Osoyoos.
“I think that’s why I chose to do Miss Universe Canada,” she said. “I missed the pageant life and being around so many incredible young females.”
In particular, she enjoyed improving her public speaking skills – something she found difficult before entering the Osoyoos Royalty program.
“All that training and how you represent yourself and how to be confident – I think that’s what I really took the most from the Miss Osoyoos pageant. I want to improve those skills even more and now I’m ready to go to the Miss Universe Canada pageant.”
Pereira said she applied to Miss Universe Canada back in November and in January she learned she had an interview.
The interview was held in Vancouver, first in a big boardroom with other girls and then she had a personal interview.
In the end, they chose 31 candidates from Western Canada and Pereira was among them.
She believes her experience as Miss Osoyoos prepared her for the next step. Some of the girls at the interviews had never been in a pageant before, she said.
Her mother, Frances Schmidt, is brimming with pride.
“I’m super excited,” said Schmidt. “I’m so proud of her. She’s such an ambitious young lady.”
Schmidt says she was overwhelmed with pride when Pereira was first picked to be Miss Osoyoos.
“I was the Queen’s mom,” she said. “Her reality was always my dream.”
The pageant in Toronto will choose a winner based on judging of an interview, evening gown, bikini, people’s choice, best hair, best Canadian flag themed dress, personality, humanitarian work and other criteria, Schmidt said.
Pereira will go to Vancouver once a month in the lead-up to the pageant and then she’ll fly to Toronto on Aug. 11 to do dance rehearsals, dress rehearsals and the interview. The pageant itself takes place Aug. 18.
For now, Pereira is continuing her studies in the tourism management program where she is in her second year.
She said she hopes to work in events planning when she graduates, and she definitely wants to work in the travel industry.
Asked if she aspires to go on and become Miss Universe, Pereira said she does.
“If I was Miss Universe, I think that would be amazing,” she said. “You get to travel and spend your time volunteering and working with organizations and helping people, attending events and being in the public eye – being a public figure not just in Canada, but for the whole world. I think that’s every little girl’s dream.”
Pereira said there will be about $6,000 in expenses to attend the pageant in Toronto and she’s looking for people to help by sponsoring her.
Those interested can contact her at email@example.com.