Miss Universe is back! Starting with the nomination process for Miss Universe Canada, voting is now open. We have a contestant right from our backyards, Neelam Patel.
For those who are less familiar with the pageant, Neelam took some time to explain in some detail what transpires for the Miss Universe Canada pageant.
First, it begins as a week-long event. Taking place this October in Toronto, Ontario, the week begins with the preliminaries. This means some sight seeing, visiting the CN Tower, taking part in charity events, dance rehearsals, walking in heels, photo shoots, volunteer work… the list goes on for this jam packed week.
Neelam, herself, is an individual of incredible credentials. Born and raised in the West Island, Neelam has accomplished some incredible things. Having completed a Bachelor of Science while majoring in pharmacology from McGill University, she then decided to pursue her education and received a degree in Masters of Science from Université de Montreal in Vision Rehabilitation Science, with a 4.0 GPA. Neelam’s present occupation is a certified low vision specialist, where she is passionate and highly motivated about optical care.
How did Neelam get involved in pageants, then? Neelam says that she had a friend who had previously participated in the pageant, and it gave Neelam the idea to try something new and out of her comfort zone. She went on to say that pageants aren’t what they used to be; they focus more on charity work, about intelligence, about becoming involved in the community, aspects that resonate closely to Neelam. She says that many of the recent winners have been intelligent, successful women, who take time to give back to the community by participating in multiple fundraisers.
This speaks closely to Neelam, her values, and accomplishments. As someone who is very engaged in volunteer work and the community, Neelam wants to use this opportunity and platform to spark a positive change.
Now, this part of the pageant is vital in engagement. Voting is done online, where you can support our local West Island contestant by clicking the link below. The top 6 are invited to the preliminaries, and the top 2 get sent to the top 20 automatically, where they are then considered semi-finalists. This is a huge advantage in the competition.
Neelam is also presently raising money for SOS children’s villages. SOS children’s villages raises orphaned and abandoned children around the world and provides them with food, clothing, education, medical care and a loving home. This year, Miss Universe Canada will be supporting two specific projects: digital community and SOS education. If anyone would like to donate or host a collaboration in support of SOS children’s villages, please contact Neelam Patel on Facebook at
or on instagram at @neelampatels.
By Savannah Fiset