Kensington Harvest Festival rebranding 54-year-old community pageant to include all genders

·2 min read
This photo was taken at the 1971 Miss Community Gardens pageant, just four years after it was established in Kensington. Harvest Festival chair Robert Wood says the new rebrand will still honour the pageant's 54-year legacy. (Town of Kensington/Facebook - image credit)
This photo was taken at the 1971 Miss Community Gardens pageant, just four years after it was established in Kensington. Harvest Festival chair Robert Wood says the new rebrand will still honour the pageant's 54-year legacy. (Town of Kensington/Facebook - image credit)

Organizers of the Kensington Harvest Festival are updating the Miss Community Gardens pageant to a brand that will open its participant pool to all gender identities.

The Kensington, P.E.I., town council voted unanimously in favour of the proposal this week.

The pageant will now be replaced with a gender-inclusive youth ambassador program or competition that aims to enhance the leadership and personal growth of all youth between the ages of 16-21.

Harvest Festival chair Robert Wood says it's great to see council support since his community has talked about rebranding the pageant for more than a year.

The Town of Kensington/Facebook
The Town of Kensington/Facebook

Wood is unsure what the new title will be, but said that will be determined in the coming weeks.

He said he wants to reassure those in Kensington that the festival will maintain its 54-year-old legacy by keeping the same format as far as formal talent interviews and categories go.

"It's not about changing. I think it's evolving and adapting … and I think this is showing our good leadership and being ahead of the curve for Kensington," said Wood.

"[We hope to] make sure that everybody feels welcome."

'Equality, equity and inclusion'

The erasure of the pageant's history was a question for some councillors who didn't want to forget the past, said Mayor Rowan Caseley.

But he said it did not deter council from making sure the new brand would be more inclusive to all youth.

"Equality, equity and inclusion and all the things are being considered — and we're trying to educate ourselves first," Caseley said.

"Hopefully by our actions, we start to educate and make things more acceptable for the rest of society. And I think this … rebranding to the youth ambassador program is just another fine example of it."

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