By RON FANFAIR
She was the only St. Lucian representative in last year’s Queen of the Islands pageant in which she was the first runner-up.
Jamie-Lynell Ellis again stood out as her islands’ only participant in last Saturday’s inaugural Miss Creole Canada pageant that she won. A total of six contestants with ties to Haiti and two Dominicans completed the field in the event that showcased the French Creole Caribbean culture.
“Taking part in a pageant for the first time last year and being one of 17 contestants was quite challenging for me,” said Ellis. “There was more of a comfort level this time around in the Creole pageant because it celebrated my culture and who I am. In effect, I was expressing part of me and that came naturally. In addition, I had a lot of supporters rooting for me and that certainly felt good.”
Her powerful monologue in the talent section established her as a strong candidate to clinch the title.
“It was the first time that I performed that Jamaican poem, ‘It was the Singing’, on stage and I made some changes and added a Creole flavour for it to be relevant to the event,” said Ellis. “The funny thing is that it was also the first time that I had actually sung on stage and I was a bit surprised that the act went so well with the audience.”
In addition to clinching the individual Best Talent award, she also secured The Best Traditional, Swim and Evening Wear prizes.
Ellis graduated from St. Joseph’s Convent in 2001 and migrated to Canada two years ago. She plans to donate her monetary prize to help rebuild St. Jude’s Hospital in Vieux Fort which was destroyed by fire last month.
The 25-year-old Seneca College corporate media production student aspires to be a public relations executive for a charitable organization that addresses the needs of underprivileged children and abused families.
Ryerson University Acting student Kanika Ambrose was the first runner-up.
“I felt very good about my performance and I felt it in the audience,” said Ambrose, who took part in the Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association’s (CDOA) first Miss Wob Dwiyet pageant four years ago. “I gave it my best shot.”
The 19-year-old crowd favourite graduated with honours from Notre Dame Secondary Catholic School in Scarborough where, in Grade 12, she wrote and starred in her own play, My Umm Hmm, which was selected to be part of the Paprika festival for new playwrights under the age of 21.
Ambrose also enjoys reading, singing, dancing, cooking and volunteering. Her community service involvement includes the CDOA, which presented her with the 2008 Western Union Community and Leadership award, the Immaculate Heart of Mary choir and Princess Margaret hospital.
Tatiana Sylvain, who was born and raised in Montreal of Haitian parents and Haitian-born Miss Photogenic award winner Medjy Mezilus, who came to Canada in November 2007 and aspires to be a model and nurse, were the second and third runners-up respectively.
Dominican-born Roxann Thomas, who spends her spare time reading, dancing and playing scrabble, was the fourth runner-up.
The rest of the field comprised of 19-year-old Fernande Jean-Louis, Miss Congeniality Barbara Dorsaint who moved to Toronto from Montreal two years ago and is enrolled in York University’s Business and Economics program, Miami-born Yamiley Theodore who was raised in Port-au-Prince before migrating to Canada, and Orphanie Begon-Leroy who is a student at the University of Montreal.
St. Lucia’s Consul General in Toronto Stephen Julien and St. Kitts & Nevis honorary Consul General John Allen attended the pageant.