This year’s candidates for Lady of the Lake have been announced.
Twelve local grade 11 girls are competing to be crowned one of three positions: Lady of the Lake, First Princess or Second Princess, with winners to be announced on June 13, during a Lake Days event at Saywell Park.
The candidates will begin a training program on April 2, which will last until Lake Days in June, to hone the many skills it takes to fill one of Lake Cowichan’s top ambassador roles. The main focus for their training will be a weekly, in-depth Toastmasters course which will allow the girls to sharpen their public speaking. Candidates are also required to attend interview workshops through Community Services, dance lessons, a customer appreciation event at Country Grocer and will also learn about local history through the Kaatza Museum.
The Lady of the Lake will then be chosen by a panel of judges, based on public speaking skills, poise and grace.
“It’s all about the girls being out in the community,” Denise Allan, chairperson for Lady of the Lake, said. “This is the 70th year for Lady of the Lake, which is a big deal for us. The girls this year are just as eager and willing as in the past.”
The candidates and their sponsors for this year are: Gianna Egilson, sponsored by Shaker Mill; Crystal Bell, Copper Lane; Kristen Hamilton, Royal Canadian Legion; Kirsten Mackie, Kinsmen; Grace Matson, Island Savings; Avi Ursulam, The Elks; Sidney Fothergill, Countrywide Realty; Justus Irving, A&W; Laura Fernandez, Island Pharmacy; Amanda Nixon, the Lions; Alyssa Porter, Youbou Shop and Save and Madison Youmans, Country Grocer.
The crowning of the Lady of the Lake and Princesses will be followed by a fundraising campaign, ranging from bottle drives to bake sales, which will allow the girls to travel to parades and pageants both on and off the Island.
The inaugural events for the ambassadors, following our own Lake Days, are typically the Canada Day parade in Sidney and the subsequent event in Mesachie Lake. Other regular appearances include Duncan Days, Bathtub Weekend in Nanaimo, the Peachland Pageant and the Ladysmith Light-up. In previous years, ambassadors have gone as far as Tacoma, Washington, where they made an appearance at the city’s Daffodil Festival.
“The girls meet and greet, hand out pamphlets and pins and do whatever they can to get the word out about where Lake Cowichan is,” Allan said. “They’re all very outgoing, they have no problem meeting and talking to people.”
The candidates will make their first public appearance at the Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Fling event on May 2.