Melissa Francis did not hesitate when she saw on ad on Craigslist for models for the inaugural Miss Eternity event in Toronto recently.
“I love the energy that comes with being on stage and I thought it would be a good opportunity and exposure,” said the 22-year-old Newtonbrook Secondary School graduate who entered George Brown College’s Business Administration Studies program this semester.
Inspired by some family members, Francis started modelling three years ago.
“It’s funny, but that has led to an acting career that has allowed me to express myself,” said the aspiring entrepreneur. “I am enjoying it and having fun.”
Miss Eternity is the brainchild of Botswana-born Temo Gare who arrived in Canada four years ago via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where she spent a year and San Jose, California where she was resident for three years.
She said it incorporates a new concept that brings a unique twist to the traditional beauty pageant by remixing it and fusing old school fundamentals with new school ideology.
“I did not want it to be a beauty pageant because there are many of those around,” said the York University Communications Studies student who also freelances with CHRY Radio. “This is not about physical beauty. It’s about providing a vehicle to discover new talent and showcase existing talent who have had difficulty securing a platform. The other thing I wanted to do was expose local designers.”
A total of five designers took part in the inaugural show at the Bloor Theatre.
“This is an idea that I came up with several years ago,” said Gare, who appeared in TV commercials in Botswana and Malaysia. “It has taken much of my time since I have been in Canada and I am glad that the first event is done.”
The model winner, 24-year-old Diana Serban, will be the spokesperson for events and charitable functions that the Miss Eternity brand plans to be part of in the next 12 months.
“The goal was to come up with a unique prize package that would help that individual establish their career,” Gare said. “Over the next year, we will work with the winner to help (her) get publicity and work with professionals to gain experience.”
About 80 models responded to a casting call earlier in the year and the final eight were chosen from a group of 20 by online voting. The winner was selected by judges.