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)

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is looking to provide food waste collection and composting programs in the region. (Contributed photo)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen applies for grants for food waste composting projects

Work includes creating facilities and implementing curbside collection of residential food wastes

Painted Rock Estate Winery has had their “Red Icon” Merlot blend recognized as one of the country’s best wines. (Painted Rock Winery / Facebook)
Penticton winery’s Merlot blend recognized as Canada’s best

Decanter’s 2020 ‘Wine of the Year’ list includes only one Canadian wine, and its local

Even the Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Letter: Wear a mask

Letter to the editor from head of Okanagan - Skaha Teacher’s Union

Giant's Head Elementary
Second COVID-19 case at Giant’s Head Elementary

Letter sent to parents Dec. 3 about the recent case

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

The Siberian elm is an invasive plant. In Manitou Park in Naramata, crews are working to remove these trees and plant native species instead (File photo)
Crews remove Siberian elms from Naramata park

Invasive plant identified as a problem in region

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Two arrested after attack at Vernon home

Police spotted around 43rd Avenue linked to Wednesday assault

Most Read