A Vancouver Island woman will represent Canada at an international pageant contest in Florida next year.
As a result of her victory, the 22-year-old will represent Canada at the Royal International Miss pageant contest in Orlando, Florida next July as a member of RIM Team Canada.
“It’s exciting,” Rounis says. “There’s going to be teams from all over the world including the United States, South America and the United Kingdom and there usually about 40 to 50 delegates per age group. It’s a full week of different competitions.”
The Dover Bay Secondary School graduate has been participating in pageants since she was a teenager, earning crowns at B.C. Teen Miss, Miss Coastal B.C. and National Canadian Miss 2017 at National Canadian Pageant.
“I think what kind of drew me into pageants was not necessarily the dress even down aspect of it, which of course, is, is a really fun part of it. But it was actually the volunteerism, I’ve always been drawn to volunteering and event work,” says Rounis.
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RIM Team Canada is made up of 10 women or girls, who were winners of various categories. As winners and teammates, they are expected to support each other, become community role models through volunteer work.
Rounis says her volunteer work will be focused on literacy accessibility and is looking forward to participating in the Hand in Hand Intergenerational storytelling project organized by Volunteer Nanaimo.
“I will be paired with a senior community member and with them I’m going to be helping to build, a digital or written memory book for them, so they can kind of, have some memories to share with friends and family,” she says.
This year, because of the coronavirus, contestants including Rounis had to compete virtually by submitting a video to RIM Canada judges.
“It was great because I got to take multiple takes and make sure I had my walk pattern correctly and make sure I was facing the right way that I needed to,” Rounis says about participating virtually. “But, I also found it a little bit more stressful. I’m a dancer, so I’m used to performing live and eating also the energy of the audience.”
Rounis says she’s looking forward to competing with her teammates in Florida next summer at the Royal International Miss pageant, which will see contestants compete in a range of events.
“Some competitions are optional and some aren’t. So, it really depends on what I like to do. Talent is an optional competition and I am a dancer, so I’ll probably build a piece to perform in that competition,” she says. “We’re also going to have to write essays, we’re going to have to get introductions, we’re going to have to do a lot of interview prep, which is a large portion of the mark for the main competition.”
At the end of the day, Rounis says she’s what she’s most excited about is being able to give back to the Nanaimo community.
“I want the community to know that I am here and I want to give back,” she says. “I really want to get involved.”