Victoria teenager is now ‘Senior Male Model Grand Champion of the World’

Victoria teenager is now 'Senior Male Model Grand Champion of the World'

“I never expected this whole thing to open up for me, and it’s just incredible.”

Connor Way is describing his last six months.  This past spring, he was a typical 16-year-old, finishing grade 11, playing sports, but he had a nagging thought that he could no longer ignore.

“I’ve had a few people come up to me and say, ‘you know, you should try modeling’ and so I said, ‘you know what, why not?’ ”

His mother, Shauna Dorko, agreed, saying to him at the time “let’s take a chance. I mean it’s worth it. You might regret it if you don’t take a chance now, you might regret it for the future.”

And now, six months later, Connor has the world by the tail, after representing Team Canada against 62 other countries at the World Championships of the Performing Arts (WCOPA).

“The senior male models are [age] 16 to 24, and it could have been anyone,” says Connor.  “I was just 16 when I got selected, so it was just incredible!”

Janice Lozano is WCOPA’s Regional Director for Western Canada, and one of the judges who chose Connor to represent Canada.  “Connor has that ‘boy next door’ look.  He’s got good confidence, and he carries himself very well, so I thought he would do really well in the competition.”

And she was right.  He came home from Los Angeles, where the competition was held, with six medals.

“I got gold for the Formal, gold for the Spokesmodel, gold for Photo Model, and gold for Casual, and then bronze for Swimwear.  And we all got one for the final night.”

“It was totally surreal,” says his very proud mom. “Just stepping back and watching what happened to Connor in L.A. for those two weeks, when people came up to him all the time asking for his autograph!”

Connor is represented by Coultish Management.  “They train their models how to look, how to walk, how to do emotions, expressions. It’s an incredible program. Without that training I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

“I also play a lot of sports, so it’s like, I’ll be playing sports one week, and then I’ll be at a modeling competition the next week, and photo shoots, and then practices!”

And how does Coultish Management feel about his passion for sports?

“Football’s ok,” Connor says with a smile, “because I have a helmet on, and padding, but rugby…well, they’re kinda iffy about that.”

Along with his five gold medals, and one bronze, there’s one more award Connor received.  He took home the ‘Stanley Cup’ of the competition: Senior Male Model Grand Champion of the World.

“It’s overwhelming almost,” says the proud teen. “Right now I’m just trying to keep all my doors open. I’ve been talking to a couple of universities for football. But ultimately I want to finish grade 12, and then Coultish Management potentially wants to send me international to model for them, which would be another incredible experience!”

Connor Way is taking life, wherever it leads him, one day and one runway at a time.

Veronica CooperVeronica Cooper

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