Film star Gerard Butler poses on the red carpet with Miss Canada International Anna Dell during the Toronto International Film Festival’s

Anna Dell walks TORO red carpet with Gerard Butler

2011 was an incredibly exciting year! Words cannot begin to describe the lessons I have learned as Miss Canada International.

2011 was an incredibly exciting year!

Words cannot begin to describe the lessons I have learned as Miss Canada International, but I am delighted to share the stories of my adventures that have made this past fall and winter a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In Ontario, during the Toronto International Film Festival, I experienced my very first red carpet walk when I attended the TORO After Dark — Artists for Peace and Justice Fundraiser hosted by movie actor Gerard Butler, TV host George Stroumboulopoulos and APJ founder and film director Paul Haggis.

I had never even seen a red carpet before.

True to my western roots, I enthusiastically enjoyed the Canadian Country Music Awards in Hamilton, Ont., with incredible front row seats, and got to meet some of the country music superstars I have grown up listening to at the VIP reception after the show.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners from that evening.

While in Toronto, I attended many inspirational women’s events including the eWomenNetwork event at the Jeanne Lottie “Pink House” Boutique in Yorkville, the Women in NAAAP “Be Heard” Event, and the first ever All Women Summit to promote the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.

I attended a variety of cultural events including the opening of the Colours of Peru Art Exhibition at the Glendon Gallery at York University where I met the Consulate General of Peru in Toronto and the Ultimate Bridal Show in Mississauga where I hosted the Bridal Fashion Show along with Miss Ontario Canada, Melanie Williamson.

I worked to support many Canadian organizations through different events.  The Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show at the Roy Thomson Hall featured delicious treats while raising awareness for Gilda’s Club.

Before indulging (in too many samples!) at the Chocolate Show, I took a tour of the Gilda’s Club located in Barrie, Ont., which is one of only two in Canada.

Gilda’s Clubs are incredible support centres designed to assist those who are dealing with cancer.

For Thanksgiving, I rolled up my sleeves to serve a hot lunch to those who needed it and took some time to play with the children while taking a tour of a 70-year-old, faith-based shelter, The Scott Mission, in downtown Toronto.

Home in time for Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, I worked very busily to promote the Teddy Bears of Hope.

I encouraged youth to donate spare teddy bears to children in Haiti and Japan through dozens of classroom presentations and school assemblies.

While spreading the word at the Thompson Rivers University campus in Williams Lake, the student council there included me in the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the student food bank and Teddy Bears of Hope drop-off location.

Venturing into different parts of the Cariboo, I attended the fabulously co-ordinated Central Cariboo Chilcotin Tourism Association annual meeting and also spent a day with our hospitable neighbours in 100 Mile House, escorted by my new friend, Mayor Mitch Campsall.

Thank you to everyone, in my community and across the country, who has supported the Teddy Bears of Hope cause by sending special story-stuffed animals with the hopes of bringing smiles to children’s faces across the globe,

Back to Ontario!

While remembering those that have fought for our freedom in November at the 10th annual Veteran’s Appreciation luncheon in Oakville, Ont. Melanie Williamson, Miss Ontario Canada, and I joined dozens of volunteers to serve lunch to more than 1,000 veterans and their loved ones.

Travelling ViaRail to the capital city, Ottawa, Ont., I shared a moment of silence with the nation at the National Remembrance Day ceremony where I laid a wreath at the foot of the National War Monument.

On a visit to the Canadian War Museum, I served dessert to veterans and volunteers and spent the afternoon with the children making Christmas cards to send to our troops overseas.

I attended winter parades in my two neighbouring communities of my second home in Ontario: the Orillia Santa Claus Parade which, is the largest parade north of Toronto and the Barrie Christmas Parade, which began with a tour of the Barrie Firehall that brought us to a 1930s fire truck which I was thrilled to ride in for the parade.

The mayor even invited me to help flick the switch as part of the downtown Christmas light-up.

I enjoyed a lot of CFL action this past season, from acting as an honorary cheerleader for the Toronto Argonauts to assisting in the opening coin toss with the lieutenant governor of Ontario with the Hamilton Tigercats.

Flying back across the country, I headed to the Grey Cup festivities in Vancouver, joined by former Miss Canada Internationals Bridget Nickerson, MCI 20010/2011; Catherine Thomas, MCI 2009; and Lorenza Sammerrilli, MCI 2003.

 

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

A police pursuit ended with an arrest in Williams Lake on Highway 97 Sunday afternoon. (Facebook video screenshot)
Video catches police pursuit that ends with man kicked, punched in Williams Lake

A video of the arrest is getting widely shared on social media

Quesnel was hit with unseasonably October snowfall earlier this week. More is on the way on Sunday, Oct. 25 and Monday, Oct. 26, and Quesnel and North Cariboo are under a winter storm warning. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
“Hazardous” weather expected for Quesnel: Environment Canada

10-20 cm of snow and freezing rain are expected to start Sunday night

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read