When Patrice Wilson decided to take part in the Miss B.C. Pageant this year, she went in with an “open heart and no expectations” – and it paid off, as she was crowned Miss Vancouver Island.
The event, which was held at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Ford Langley, gathered 54 of the province’s most stellar and driven women, young and old, from all over B.C. To date, the pageant has raised $288,000 for the Cops for Cancer foundation.
Wilson, a Sooke resident, felt the name “pageant girl” had a negative connotation to it, so she was happy to learn that this was more about one’s inner beauty, not outer beauty.
“It wasn’t a beauty pageant … it was about empowering women, what you can do and accomplish, and how you can be a better version of yourself,” she said, adding that what drove her even more to the pageant was that this was about helping people in a community, not a superficial contest.
More so, it was close to her heart.
“I did this is because the charity was Cops for Cancer, which is important to me, because I’m really close with the Irwin family (a Sooke family whose daughter is battling two-forms of leukemia). This is why I did this. It was for them.”
Coming from a small town, you have a little bit more of a connection to your roots, where you come from, Wilson noted, adding that opportunities like these help put a community on the map in a positive light.
“It’s learning about our past and what we want to do with our future and how we want to be involved in our community … it was really inspiring,” Wilson said.
She’s certainly not a person who stands still.
After earning a fashion design diploma in Vancouver, Wilson began working on Doll Face Designs, her own fashion line, on top of working a full-time job in the costume industry, making outfits for dancing and skating competitions.
As an entrepreneur, she tries to help others who want to take a professional path on their own.
“I’m really into supporting women in business. That’s my platform, where I go and help and inspire other women to become entrepreneurs as well,” Wilson said.
On top of all else, Wilson shows her love for animals by working at an animal shelter twice a week.
“It keeps me busy, and out of trouble,” she laughed.
As far as the pageant goes, Wilson is happy right where she is with her title as Miss Vancouver Island, because only one thing matters: home sweet home.
“The sense of community here in Sooke made a difference, and knowing that when I got home, I was accepted and well received.”