Miss India–Canada 2014 Crowned At A Night to Remember

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By Aalia Rangnekar *

Cameras flashing, music beating monotonously in the background, and tension so real in the room. This was what the banquet hall of the International Plaza felt like when it hosted the Miss India-Canada pageant on August 16, 2014.

The much awaited evening began with a delicious 3-course authentic Indian meal. Then, the show started off with a bang when a very talented trumpet player began to play a familiar popular Bollywood tune: "Badtameez Dil", and all the delegates did a Bollywood dance style performance that got everyone's hearts racing.

Then the honoured emcees, Francis D'Souza, Senior Manager and Editorial & Anchor/Reporter for City News,  and Karen Johnson, on air television personality, introduced the esteemed judges: Monisha Aurora, Suby Bhardwaj, Dr. Alkarim Damji, Parveen Dhanoa, Hossein Hassani, Rajesh Jain, Huse Madhavji, Sharon Mejia, and Shushmita Sharma; as well as the sponsors for the evening.

The first segment of the show was evening gown. Each delegate entered the room wearing dazzling formal gowns, and answered the question: "What makes you unique?" and then posed for the cameras. Each girl's answer was inspirational and well-written.

The talent segment was next. Many of the contestants-delegates displayed their Indian heritage by doing a Bollywood and Indian classical fusion dance. Some of them sang or played instruments. Annu Gaidhu performed yoga and did a balancing act by standing on her head on a raised platform, and Suruchi Srivastava delivered an inspiring speech about finding one's inner talent.

All sixteen delegates then entered the stage wearing dazzling Indian outfits, and the hosts announced the winners of the various awards. For Miss Congeniality, the winner was Natasha Balakrishnan. The winner of Miss Photogenic was Angel Bhathal. Annu Gaidhu won the Sears Miss Pure NRG, and the People's Choice Award winner was Shravya Gunda. And finally, the top five delegates were announced: Jasreen Cheema, Annu Gaidhu, Natasha Balakrishnan, Rohini Kaur Singh, and Suruchi Srivastava.

After the sponsors for the night were recognized by the Miss India Canada pageant, it was time for the question-answer segment. Each delegate/contestant received tough questions but responded with confidence.

And then the moment came at last. The final result of the show. The announcement of the winner of Miss India Canada 2014! The position of 2nd runner up went to Suruchi Srivastava, and 1st runner up went to Natasha Balakrishnan. And the winner of the pageant was...Annu Gaidhu!

It was an extraordinary night, filled with suspense, upbeat music lot of laughter and great energy.

About the Winner

Annu was born and raised in in the beautiful city of Mississauga, as the youngest daughter of three siblings. Dreaming big, believing in yourself and always having a positive attitude has been a philosophy of hers which has kept her to remain grounded, confident and focused for this year. Currently, Annu is in her last year completing her bachelor’s degree at Ryerson University majoring in Child and Youth Care. Her ambition in becoming a child and youth care worker originates from a genuine desire she has to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Annu considers one of her proudest accomplishments is becoming Toronto’s youngest certified yoga instructor at the age of 23. She has an infectious passion for teaching yoga and has trained adults and children for over 5 years now. As a first generation Indo-Canadian, family and heritage have always been important to her. It has been a dream come true to proudly represent her Indian culture and to celebrate diversity woven into the Canadian mosaic as the new Miss India-Canada 2014.

Celebrating 25 years in 2015

After the show, Mr Sanjay Agnihotri remarked, "This certainly was the most successful Miss India-Canada event to date… the incredible talent that the delegates showcased on stage all contributed to a momentous show. We are overwhelmed by the great support received from the community this year. Our team is already planning for next year since we will be celebrating 25 years - it’s going to be something special!”

* Aalia Rangnekar is a 14-year-old who has a passion for writing short stories, and they have been highlighted in her school. She has also had vocal training and is actively involved in a community theatre group. She recently played a lead role in a production of "Bye Bye Birdie" at the Maja Prentice Theatre. She has been learning piano for the past 9 years and hopes to one day be able to teach piano as well. Aalia looks forward to starting her following year of school at a renowned arts school where she will be majoring in voice.

JULY 2018

Vol. 12 - No. 12


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