Prepping for the pageant

Fawnia Robitaille

Personnel Support Programs’ administrative assistant to the manager, 25-year-old Fawnia Robitaille, hopes to be the next Miss Universe Canada.

The next Miss Universe Canada could be CFB Esquimalt’s Fawnia Robitaille.

The 25-year-old works at Personnel Support Programs as administrative assistant to the manager.

Strutting down the runway in Canada’s top pageant is familiar terrain for the brown-haired, brown-eyed beauty. She put herself under judge’s scrutiny in 2010 in the same competition. While she didn’t win, it didn’t deter her from slipping on a gown again in hopes of a tiara, and a chance at the world title.  

“Doing pageants builds character,” she says. “It keeps me motivated to achieve a goal, whether it’s to improve my fitness, to look good in a bathing suit, or to improve my public speaking during the interview with the judges.”

The road to the May 25 competition has been a testament to self control.

Most after-work hours are spent at the gym – almost three hours, and every day she considers her meals, choosing small healthy choices to boost her metabolism over alcohol and fast food.

She’ll know April 15 if it paid off when she gets fitted for her gown. 

“The gown is sponsored by Victoria Bridal Boutique and after a meeting with them we mutually decided on a few dresses. I won’t go into detail about the dresses so as not to spoil it, but they are gorgeous dresses and I am very excited to wear one of them during the Miss Universe Canada pageant. The bathing suit is the same for all delegates, and we receive those once we arrive in Toronto.”

And which does she prefer – gown or bathing suit?

“Both. The gown is what identifies me and my flavour for fashion. Being in a bathing suit shows off the hard work I put in at the gym.”

More than 60 Canadian beauties will compete in the week-long event in hopes of moving on to the Miss Universe International pageant held in Las Vegas in December.

“During the competition we are judged on swimsuit, formal gown and are interviewed by the judges on charity and humanitarian work we do,” says Robitaille.

She is working hard to raise money for the pageant’s two charities: Operation Smile, which provides surgeries for children with cleft lips and cleft pallets, and the SOS Children’s Villages, a non-profit organization that provides a safe home environment for children.

“The delegate who will be crowned will promote these two charities during her run as Miss Universe Canada,” she says.

Bikram Westshore is helping her in this charitable pursuit by donating funds from their next Kharma Class on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. to help SOS Children’s Village.

And what’s it like to be judged on her appearance and poise?

“I keep focused and breathe. I’m lucky that I experienced it in 2010, so I know what to expect this May. But basically I need to have a clear mind and set goals so I’m not nervous when I am on the spot and being judged,” she says.

For this part, she trains once a month in Vancouver with the regional director, and the Miss Universe Canada runway trainer flies in from Toronto to coach them on their walk and stances.

Of course, the toughest part of the competition, the one that has everyone holding their breath, is the question.

“The interview portion of the competition takes place in Toronto. To prepare for the interviews, I will be reading the news to keep track of politics and other relevant world issues. I will also prepare with my public speaking skills by having my family and friends ask me questions and critique me on my answers.”

Whether she wins or not, the journey is what she says she’ll remember the most. And to those young women watching wide-eyed at the event on TV, dreaming of one day wearing a sash and gown, Robitaille says “compete with your whole mind and heart.”

“It is a great growth opportunity for character growth. Also, ensure that you have fun leading to and during the competition, as it is a unique experience.”

The Victoria-born Robitaille is a University of Victoria graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Public Administration.  She is currently doing her Masters in Exercise Sciences at UVic.

-Shelley Lipke, Staff Writer

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  1. Pierre Robitaille says:

    She s the daughter of recently retired (28 Jul 2012)Petty Officer Second Class Pierre Robitaille Nav Comm. Just an fyi!!

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