Sudbury pageant for women over 25 puts spin on tradition

A new pageant set to take place in Sudbury this weekend is putting a spin on traditional pageantry.

From Friday, Oct. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 30, delegates from communities across Canada will be coming to Sudbury for the Mrs. Ms. Regional Canada Empowerment Pageant, an event that will feature women who have aged out of most traditional competitions.

“As women start their careers and have families and get married, they lose their identity and their sense of value," said producer Cheryl Kozera, who has 25 years of experience in pageantry. "(This pageant) is an opportunity for them to recognize that again, and to get that little spark back that they may have lost.

"It’s to make them feel special and worthy and important, to just rediscover who they are.”

The 25 delegates from across the country are all between the ages of 25 and 64, well above the typical cut-off, and many are married with families.

The three-day retreat will give them the opportunity to focus on themselves and rediscover their identity and ambitions, while being an ambassador for their community.

“There’s no focus on dress size; there’s no swimsuit competition," said Kozera. "It’s just their accomplishments, their education, their career, their volunteer and community service.”

Leading professionals in their fields with more than 35 years of experience empowering women will lead the event.

Delegates will take part in photo shoots and training opportunities, hear from guest speakers, and participate in workshops on topics from mental health and wellness, to time management and self-image.

It will conclude with a final show on Sunday evening, with performances from musician Stephan Subero and local company Happiness is Dancing. Delegates will present an action-packed evening that will include an opening number, a fashion show, and a number of competitions. Winners will be announced at the end of the night.

Kozera said this event isn't about beauty; it's about giving women the opportunity to connect with each other and take back their sense of self.

"It's showing women over 25 that their dreams are still possible," she said. "It’s still possible to be involved in your community and make an impression, just in a different way than they’re accustomed to.”

Members of the public are invited to attend the Mrs. Ms. Regional Canada Empowerment Pageant at the Northbury Hotel and Conference Centre on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are available for $20.

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Twitter: @mia_rjensen

Mia Jensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star