Abbotsford’s Maiher Gill has advanced to the finalists stage in the Miss Teen Canada 2021 event.
Gill, a 17-year-old Grade 11 student at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School, said she was inspired to compete in the contest to help build her own confidence and also be an example for those younger than her.
“I’ve always wanted to do a pageant as I’ve had self confidence issues growing up and I know that taking the opportunity to do this will help build up my confidence more and help myself grow,” she said. “I also wanted to take the opportunity to represent young girls that have confidence issues because I feel it’s really hard for girls to build self confidence with so many models and influencers out there on social media.”
The COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into the plans of the Miss Teen Canada event, which runs in conjunction with the Miss Canada pageant. The current contest is an online vote, but there have also been Zoom classes with other finalists discussing skin and make-up advice and techniques. Zoom has also allowed the finalists to get to know each other, as they are spread out from areas all across the country.
Previous years saw the Miss Teen Canada pageant crown its champion based on the candidates general attitude during the event and activities, performance at the gala event and a vote. It’s unclear when the finalists will come together for a gala at this time due to the pandemic. The original plan was for the gala event to occur in Montreal.
Gill is an avid dancer and has been participating in the activity since the age of five. She trains at the Abbotsford Dance Centre and does jazz, ballet, acro, contortion, lyrical, modern and also musical theatre. The pandemic has also seen Gill take up baking. She’s experimented by creating everything from cakes to cookies to cupcakes with her newly acquired free time.
She has volunteered at Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, which saw her help organize a food drive for the local homeless shelter and Indigenous communities in need. Gill also participated in the Girlkind Foundation project, which saw she and fellow volunteers gather donations from local businesses to provide needed personal hygiene supplies to girls and woman in India.
Gill hopes to attend law school in the future. Those wanting to support Gill on her journey can purchase votes at misscanada.org/maiher-g.