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

Shawn Magnus of Sidney Courier has partnered with Sidney Business Improvement Area Society for free commercial delivery for society members. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney business association partners with courier for free commercial delivery

Service started Oct. 26 and extends to a radius of 35 kilometres

The Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd. closed permanently on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Google Maps)
Cadboro Bay Starbucks closes despite petition signed by nearly 250 residents

Closure part of transition to more drive-thru locations, Starbucks spokesperson says

The iconic and well-loved live music venue Logan’s is permanently closing its doors due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Google Maps)
Fernwood pub Logan’s permanently closing its doors

Live music venue unable to weather COVID-19 storm

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)
Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

Theft of $120 in Sharpie is among the files Oak Bay Police Department responded to last week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man steals $120 worth of Sharpies from Oak Bay Village

Police respond to daytime break-in and theft, among other calls last week

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

Most Read