Last year, this time, this day… Team Canada left their heart and souls on the mats of Youth World Cup in Croatia. Last year, this time, this day… I brought honor to my Nation. Last year, this time, this day… I took the maple leaf to the world podium. Last year… the National Anthem rang all across the stadium. To many, it was a foreign language… To us Canadians, O’Canada meant so much more… Our beautiful landscape, diverse cultural mosaic, freedom and democracy, traditions and modernity, Natives and Tim Horton’s, or over-friendly expressions… You name it! This is what makes us, uniquely us!
That was when I decided, I’m loving this feeling of pride so much that all I want to do from now on is to represent my country of birth, Canada. I want to have the maple leaf on my chest, as long as I can and to as far as possible in distant lands. I wish to take it to the Olympic stage and beat all odds to get there. I wish to be a good representation of what it means to be Canadian. We are a colorful country from diverse backgrounds, and although once our parents or grandparents had been immigrants, we are now one nation under the maple leaf.
Little did I know last year, that a year from then I would not be displaying a medal around my neck, but this time a crown on my head. I cannot express my gratitude. This is an honor that I never, ever take for granted. I know many girls wish to have this chance. I’m here to tell them that anything is possible and no dream is ever too big to strive for. This is the land of opportunities, for everyone, all shades, religions, ethnicities and identities.
This Canada Day, I took the opportunity to join in the festive celebrations that took place in my hometown, Newmarket. My community did not allow the inclement weather dampen their joyous mood. They came out to celebrate regardless of the extreme heat weather alert. And let me tell you, it was scorching HOT! With no exaggeration — 35°C feeling like 47°C …
The celebrations were held in Main Street as well as Riverwalk Commons (11:00 AM – 4:00 PM) and it was sponsored by Tim Horton’s Canada Day 2018 Kanata Festival. The entire event consisted of the following: Tim Horton’s Family Zone, Inflatables, Rock wall, Splash in the Tim Horton’s Water Feature, Food vendors, Free rides on the Tim Horton’s Express Train, Photo booth, Beer garden for adults and BBQ, Live music at the Main Stage, Action-packed motocross show, Re-enactment of Newmarket’s military history, Rookie baseball game show, Vendors, food and more!
I took this chance to make an appearance as a community public figure, to promote my title as well as spread awareness about my platform by conversations and through handing out flyers with my picture, title, signature and a statement about my platform.
Not only that, but I also left an impression and tried to spread joy in my own way by handing out lots of prizes to kids out of my “Basket of Goods.” I had a special basket decorated just for this occasion and it was overfilling with gifts — Canada Day stickers, kids tattoos, pencils/erasers, pins, magnets, all sorts of stuff! I also carried around with me a Canada Day hat and head bow in case either girls or boys wanted a photo with me, so I allowed all to wear them. It was very fun! I enjoyed it very much! The smiles on the children’s faces
and some adults too to be fair made up for all the heat exhaustion. But I tried to keep hydrated throughout the entire event by drinking lots of water! 🇨🇦
A walk down the Main Street with all the shop owners and workers standing by their tents and desks was quite fun too! Many wanted to take pictures with me when they noticed my sash and crown. I was not expecting this level of enthusiasm, but I was ready to step out of my comfort zone and speak while I had the chance. It was a great learning experience at the same time.
Lastly, the day ended with Fireworks Celebration of course! My family and I drove to George Richardson Park where there was live music by bands performing on stage. Families were camping out under a starry, clear night sky. The weather had cooled down by that time. Fireworks began at precisely 10:15 PM. It was a sight to behold.
I guess what I would take away the most from this experience is learning to freely express my personality and to not let fear of socializing with other people, strangers or friends, kid or adults alike. Until next year, Happy Canada Day, eh!
By yours truly,
Mahta – Miss Teen Newmarket 2018