Q&A: Miss Canada 2020 talks crown to community.

Q&A: Miss Canada 2020 talks crown to community.

Cloverdale’s Bremiella De Guzman was crowned Miss Canada 2020 this March.

Bremiella De Guzman, former Miss BC, was crowned Miss Canada 2020 this March. Born in the Phillippines, Guzman immigrated to Canada when she was ten and currently lives in Cloverdale. She shares her pageant milestones with Black Press Media from the crowning moment to her growing sense of purpose in the community.

The discussion has been edited for length and clarity.

What does the Miss Canada pageant experience mean to you?

I think people don’t realize that most pageants aren’t just a one-night event. The Miss Canada event ran for almost a week-long, and in those times I’ve met and become friends with some of the most incredible and accomplished women across the country. To me, sharing the stage with them alone was already empowering, and I think the nerves only came when I got called in for Top 6.

That’s when it clicked for me. Being Miss Canada was a dream I had for a long time, and I actually had a shot. All I needed was to answer a question and to speak from the heart. I was asked, “what was the most difficult time you’ve experienced in your life.” I talked about being an immigrant and moving to Canada at such a young age. My parents had dreams of a better life for our family in a brand new country and it came with a lot of sacrifices. So at that moment, when my name was called and I was being crowned as the new Miss Canada, it was validating and I felt like all of my hard work had paid off. Truly, it was a remarkable experience and I will never forget it.

How has your journey been so far as Miss Canada?

During my time as Miss BC, I had worked on some community projects, including my “Spread The Word: Inclusion” campaign, that I planned on expanding and bringing to the rest of Canada. Unfortunately, my reign has been affected by COVID-19, and so my travel plans have been put on hold, and understandably so. The novel coronavirus has hit our country and put several communities and people in a vulnerable state. I am fortunate in that I was still able to continue working fulltime and from home, so I dedicated the “extra” time I had from not having to commute, in giving back to my community.

I have been making and donating cloth face masks to long term care facilities, donated blood and provided meals to health care workers. I still continue to sew some masks, but my focus is on my job as a facilitator to people with diverse abilities, who are also very much affected by the onset of the virus.

Reflecting on the pageant, how have you grown from it?

The Miss Canada pageant was held back in March, and it’s been about four months since I was crowned. I have to say that the crown has given me a boost of confidence and a higher sense of purpose. I have always been committed to serving my community, but being a titleholder has taught me to make those necessary connections to drive bigger impacts. Some might criticize pageants and feel that they have no place in modern society, but as Miss Canada, not only am I given a range of opportunities, it has also allowed me to practice leadership – which in my introverted nature, I have always shied away from.

I believe I have grown and will continue to grow from this experience by proving to others that a figurehead like me could truly make a difference. While I’m not able to reign as I had expected under the circumstances we’re in, I do think that being Miss Canada has taught me to be innovative and creative. I don’t expect to find solutions to worldly issues, but I do hold myself accountable to at least try.

What advice do you have for others who want to participate?

Lead with purpose. Whether you want to experience something new, have a platform to share your message or join a sisterhood, whatever your reason for wanting to join a pageant may be, be sure, be ready and be confident to share your own story, and the rest will follow. I have gained more friendships and connections than crowns and to me, that is what matters.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maria Lewis president of the Prince Rupert Royal Canadian Legion accepts a $5,000 donation gifted via an artillery shell from Shawn MacDonald governor of the Prince Rupert Loyal Order of the Moose 1051 on Nov. 13.
Major donation overwhelms Prince Rupert Legion

Prince Rupert Moose Lodge 1051 donates $5,000 to local veterans organization

Air Canada /Jazz flight AC8280 on Nov. 16 from Vancouver to Prince Rupert had a confirmed case of COVID-19, said Air Canada on Nov. 20. (File photo)
Flight into city had confirmed case of COVID-19

Nov. 16 flight from Vancouver to Prince Rupert affected by coronavirus

Prince Rupert carving artist Henry Kelly is having his work installed on Nov. 20, as a permanent art exhibit at the Prince Rupert Regional Airport. The traditional cedar canoe is a welcome symbol to those arriving at YPR. (Photo: supplied)
Art unveiling ceremonies at YPR cancelled due to new pandemic restrictions

Coast Tsimshian Cultural Exhibit at Prince Rupert Regional Airport features local carvers

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Most Read