Sima Saxena is living out a childhood dream.
The Gordon Head resident has set her sights on becoming the next Mrs. B.C. in the pageant set for July 3 in Fort Langley.
“This is something that I wanted to do for a long time. When I was young I wanted to be a part of the entertainment industry, I wanted to work on commercials or in TV. It’s just something that I’ve had a passion for since I was young and didn’t get the opportunity when I was in India,” said Saxena, who is representing Victoria in the pageant.
Saxena came to Saanich from India in 1988, but family soon became her primary focus.
“When you’re young you always want to do so many things, but as time passes the priorities change. You have a family and you have to put food on the table. But in the back of your mind you still have a passion to do it if you ever do get the chance,” said Saxena, who works in administration with Island Health.
That chance came earlier this year when she heard about the Mrs. B.C. pageant. “My daughter saw it said, ‘Mom why don’t you go for it,’ so I put my name in.”
And when she saw the competition also benefits Cops for Cancer, she knew it was for her. “It’s following my passion and also helping Cops for Cancer.”
She said her husband Manoj and daughter Neha, 17, have been very supportive and encouraging of her following her dream. They will join her son Kunal, 21, to make up her cheering section for the pageant. She also credits her aerobics instructor Pam Glover for her words of encouragement and helping raise $250 for Cops for Cancer.
The pageant includes a variety of workshops July 1 and 2, with subjects ranging from self-defence to choreography, and public speaking to healthy living. She is still deciding what to do for the talent portion of the event, debating between performing a song and giving a comedic monologue.
No matter what she decides on, Saxena is sure she will be filled with butterflies when she takes the stage.
“I even have butterflies just talking to you.”
She hopes the community will rally behind her and show their support online. You can cast your vote for Saxena for the People’s Choice award on the website. People can vote up to 10 times a day until the contest closes at noon June 29.