Caylin Rutherford never pictured herself in a beauty pageant. But the Miss Teen Canada Globe Pageant proved to be a crowning moment for the Gordon Head teen.
Rutherford, 17, was named first princess at the pageant held last month in Toronto, finishing as runner-up to Ontario’s Carly Wheelans who was named Miss Teen Canada Globe for 2015/16.
The excitement built as Rutherford earned a spot in the final five contestants, and the list was narrowed down until only she and Wheelans remained on the stage.
“It was really exciting. I could see my parents in the audience, they were holding hands and so excited,” said Rutherford, who wasn’t disappointed in finishing as runner-up.
“It’s actually still a very big honour for me. The girl who won definitely deserved it so I wasn’t upset at all.”
Rutherford had never given much thought to entering a pageant until one of last year’s Miss Teen Canada contestants approached her and asked if she would be interested.
“It was something I haven’t ever tried and something that sounds pretty cool, so I said sure.”
Rutherford filled out an application and answered a few questions during a telephone interview. The next day she received a call saying she would be representing B.C. at the pageant.
“It was a very quick process. You go in there thinking, what the hell I’ll try. And the next day you’re like Oh, OK I guess I’m doing this now,” said the Mount Douglas graduate.
She spent the year leading up to the pageant lining up sponsors, performing volunteer work and getting herself known throughout the community. By Aug. 6 the preparations were complete and Rutherford boarded a flight for Toronto.
“The first week is basically pageant boot camp. They teach you how to walk, how to talk, how to answer questions. They give you the rundown on everything,” she said. “It really helps because a lot of girls like me have never done a pageant before.”
The first week ended with the regional competition, where Rutherford was crowned Miss Greater Victoria. The second week was nationals week – something Rutherford calls “the most fun you’ll have” – where she had a chance to relax and even take in a visit to Canada’s Wonderland.
And being named first princess is just the beginning of a busy year for Rutherford.
“Because I won a national roster title, I’m going to be sent to an international pageant,” she said, adding she doesn’t have the specifics yet on where and when the pageant will take place. She will also head back to Toronto next year to hand over her title.
Rutherford will be pursuing a criminology degree at Vancouver Island University in the fall, and expects to be kept busy fulfilling her obligations as princess.
“I’m moving to Nanaimo for school so it’s a little more difficult coming down to Victoria, but I’m going to try and do some events,” said Rutherford, who plans to take part in Paws for a Cause and other community events around Victoria “to help out in the community and use my title for good.”