Schmutz falls short of crown

Bryce Forbes

Despite not cracking the top 20 at the Miss Teen Canada World pageant over the weekend in Toronto, Emo resident Felicia Schmutz still is proud of the one title that can’t be taken away from her: Miss Teen Northwestern Ontario.
“It wasn’t that [disappointing] because after a while I thought, ‘Wow, I’m so happy to have been here and met these people,’” said the 18-year-old.
“I think this is a bridge to more things to come,” she remarked. “Just because I didn’t make the top 20, I’m still the title holder in Northwestern Ontario.
“Out of the 62 girls . . . I still think I did good,” Schmutz added . My interview was very well done and the whole experience was fabulous.
“I would never trade it for the world.”
One of those bridges might be coming up very soon. With a future goal of motivational speaking, Schmutz was introduced to a co-director for the “Free the Children” charity.
“I had a really good talk with him,” she recalled. “I mentioned I wanted to be a motivational speaker and he wants to hook me up with the director of ‘Free the Children.’
“There are a lot of people who fundraise, but they are looking for people who also want to public speak, as well, so it was very encouraging.”
“Free the Children” was one of the beneficiaries from the pageant as contestants raised money for the charity, with the top earner heading over to Kenya next year with the new Miss Teen Canada World.
The eventual winner of the pageant was 17-year-old Channing Smendziuk from Brandon, Man., who Schmutz called a sweet young girl.
Despite not winning the crown, Schmutz still hopes to take in as many aspects as possible of being Miss Teen Northwestern Ontario.
“I still want to be a part of all of the events, maybe helping out as part of the Emo Fair Queen competition.
“As well, I still want to raise money for ‘Free the Children,’” she noted. “As I was working [Monday], I was thinking I could do a really big talent show and raise money that way.
“My brainstorming continues, even going around high schools in Northwestern Ontario and speaking about my platform of motivating youth and seeing themselves as special and unique,” Schmutz added.
A student at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Schmutz spent the rest of her week in Toronto preparing for the main show Saturday night, including a preliminary show on Thursday night in which she participated in a ballroom dress and bikini segment.
She also had a talent show on Friday night with 18 other girls, during which she went up last and played the piano while singing her own song.
“It went really well and I got a lot of compliments about it,” Schmutz said.
But her favourite part occurred last Tuesday when she was aboard a tour boat with her fellow competitors—and ET Canada filmed the excursion.
“A few nights later, we got to watch ourselves on ET Canada at 1 a.m. on Global,” she noted.
“It was weird, but a fun five-minute clip.”
In fact, the pageant kept her so busy to the point she barely saw her family.
“My aunt from Victoria came and I could hardly spend time with her because the girls weren’t really allowed to spend time with their family,” she remarked.
“After the final night, I was finally allowed to see my relatives.
“So I ended up staying up really late with them, and [then] was up until 5 a.m. packing and had to leave for the airport at 6:30 a.m.”
Through it all, Schmutz thought the pageant was an inspirational week.
“There was this girl [Victoria Soo Lum], she was deaf and very pretty girl,” she noted.
“The whole time she had an interpreter there doing sign language, and she ended up getting the Miss Congeniality award and second place in Miss Teen Canada World.
“It was awesome to see somebody like that who can’t hear at all. But for her to go out there and do that, I was so happy for her,” Schmutz enthused.