By Shari Narine
ALEXANDER FIRST NATION, Alta.
When Nance Arcand was a kid, the glamour, the excitement, the fuss of being in a beauty pageant appealed to her. And it’s still an activity she sees value in now she’s 20 years old.
“I know that it will open a lot of doors for me in the future. I want young people to look up to me. That’s pretty much what it means to me,” said Arcand.
And one of those doors she’s hoping for is a career in the entertainment business, acting or modelling.
But there is a considerable cost to taking part in beauty pageants, and over the years she become much more aware of the business side in making the glitz a reality.
In 2015, Arcand entered Miss World Canada, but was unable to continue because she couldn’t meet the financial requirements. Instead of being discouraged, Arcand worked, saved her money and entered the BEAUTIES OF 5 CONTINENTS™ pageant
She still finds herself about $800 short on her basic fees, having already paid $1,200 from her own pocket. She needs another $2,000 to pay for her dress and extras during her time on the Carnival cruise ship that will take her from Miami, Florida to the Bahamas, June 24 to July 4, as part of the contest.
The Alexander First Nation member, who splits her time between the First Nation and Edmonton, still thinks it’s all worth it.
“My platform is to be a good role model for young people… So I kind of want to set a good example for them,” she said.
Unlike other beauty pageants, BEAUTIES OF 5 CONTINENTS™ crowns six queens and six princesses and everyone comes home with a prize. There are 48 contestants.
Arcand graduated from Archbishop O’Leary high school in Edmonton. This past February, she completed a one-year acting course at the Vancouver Film School. She will be returning there in the fall for a two-year program in acting.
She has had a taste of the stage, having performed in Edmonton singer-songwriter Rebecca Lappa’s music video and having walked the cat-walk in the "Raw Fashion show" in Edmonton last July.
When she’s back in Vancouver, she plans to get an agent and seriously pursue her acting career.
Arcand says she has always wanted to act. Her favourite actors? Jennifer Laurence and Robert DeNiro.
Arcand says she’s not nervous about the beauty pageant.
“I’m more excited for this. I’ve been waiting for close to two years for this to come,” she said.
Arcand is hopeful that she can get local support for the rest of the money she has to raise. In return, she says, she’ll help promote supporting businesses by appearing with her beauty pageant sash in commercials and events, and include sponsors’ names with her picture and biography in the program book on the BEAUTIES OF 5 CONTINENTS™ website and on Facebook.
She also has a gofundme page: https://funds.gofundme.com/mobile/dashboard?url=www-beautiesOf5Continents-com://