Michelle Saine, representing Nanaimo in this year’s Miss B.C. pageant, credits role models, such as her stepmother Liz Reddick, for being positive influences that helped her create a good life for herself and her family. Saine sees the pageant as a vehicle allowing her to deliver a message of how women of all ages and backgrounds can draw on inner strength and courage to achieve anything they want. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Miss B.C. contestant’s goal is to empower women

Nanaimo’s Michelle Saine will be competing in the Mrs. category at pageant on Monday, July 2

Life pitched Michelle Saine curveballs from the first inning.

Her grandparents adopted her at birth. They cared for her until she was six when their health failed and she was placed in care of her biological father. He suffered from bipolar disorder, and she and her brothers moved multiple times.

Without the continuity of a stable home, Saine struggled with forming long-term relationships and a strong sense of family and security.

Saine promised herself if she were to ever marry, she’d provide a loving, secure home.

“My dad … was a really good person, but he struggled…” she said. “He did the best he could, for sure, but it made me who I am and it made me strong and it made me want to have a different life.”

Saine, now 54, has been married 29 years – she met her husband 35 years ago on the day she arrived in Nanaimo – and has three grown children and has had a 25-year career with the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and is Nanaimo’s Mrs. category contestant in this year’s Miss B.C. pageant.

In her work, Saine faces societal issues. Social housing and working with young people are are important to her and she plans to complete her degree in social work. She’s also trained in suicide prevention and credits much of her success to the positive influences from people who appeared at critical times in her life, including her grandparents and her stepmother Liz Reddick.

“My dad was with a woman who was a saint,” Saine said. “She took us on – myself and my two brothers – and she was an amazing role model for us and I miss her a lot … she made a total difference … at pivotal moments, at the beginning when you’re a teenager. There were really positive people in my life that guided where I was going.”

Those influences will also guide Saine’s future.

“What I’m hoping to do when I grow up is work with families … work with children, integrating families that are struggling, working with children and parents and keeping families together,” she said.

The pageant happens in Fort Langley on Monday, July 2, but in the days leading up to it, contestants participate in workshops on public speaking, interviewing, etiquette and manners, self-defence, personal expression, self-esteem awareness, modelling choreography, on-stage presence, lifestyle and leadership. With a lifelong interest in education and personal development, the pageant is up Saine’s alley.

“When I was 17 I lived in Calgary and I was at a mall and they were asking for contestants for Miss Teen Calgary,” Saine said.

A friend of her’s had competed in a local pageant and loved the experience. Saine, being shy, wondered if she could do it too.

“I was in the second or third from the table to sign up and I jammed, I just couldn’t do it. I thought, no way, so here I am, years later and I thought, you know, this might be a really good thing to do. Face your fears,” she said.

This time around she has support from her family and her friend and sponsor Sybil Worthington, owner of Xcessoreyes Cosmetic.

“To me I look at she’s representing everybody,” Worthington said. “She’s a wonderful representation of a female … she’s just a beautiful person inside and out.”

Saine admitted she’s as terrified facing the prospect of walking across a stage in high heels and speaking publicly as she was when she was 17, but pushing through the fear is part of her message.

“Don’t be afraid of who you are. Don’t be afraid of who you think you are. Don’t be afraid of what people think of you. It’s how you feel about yourself and having the courage to stand up and do something that scares you, that you’re afraid to do and do it anyway,” Saine said.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Crews fighting fire northeast of Terrace

The 10-hectare fire was discovered Saturday near the Cedarvale - Kitwanga backroad

Thornhill firefighters respond to fire at Terrace asphalt paving plant

Firefighters arrived on scene to discover an oil heater ablaze

Red Cross volunteers needed for Terrace’s aging population

The Canadian Red Cross in Terrace is looking to grow its volunteer… Continue reading

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Northern B.C. cadet goes from English Channel to BC Summer Games

Amber Ly is taking her experience aboard the tall ship Royalist with to Cowichan July 19-22

Intertidal Music Festival back for round two

More than 20 performances throughout the day at the North Pacific Cannery on July 21

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Most Read