U of C student and model

By Adriana Hunstad

With her beauty, intelligence and charm, it’s no wonder Calgary’s own Kimberly Castle was chosen as this year’s Miss Model of Canada.

Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Castle came to Calgary in 1994 to study interior design. In 1996, she graduated with an Interior Design diploma from Mount Royal College. She was admitted to the Fine Arts program at the University of Calgary in 1996, which she now attends part-time.

During her time working on campus at the Physical Plant Castle decided to enter in her first pageant.

“It was something I always wanted to do,” she said. “I did a bit of modeling in Saskatchewan, and when I came to Calgary, I was interested in pageants. Then I heard about the Miss Alberta pageant. But there was an age limit. So if I didn’t do it then, I would never do it.”

Castle was first runner up in the pageant. Contrary to the notion that pageants are based on physical appearances, this pageant was based solely on academic merit. With the winner often out of the country, she filled in and made appearances in Edmonton and Calgary. One of these appearances included filling in as Miss Alberta in the 2000 Stampede parade.

In the following three years, Castle’s achievements included Queen Miss for October 2000, qualified in the top ten of Miss Millennium 2001, Miss Western Canada Achievement 2001 and her present status as Model of the World Canada 2002.

“It’s almost like an addiction. When you find something you like, you want to keep on doing it.”Her final pageant was hosted in Toronto in November 2001. As for her reaction to winning this title?

“It was exciting! It was something I worked for since I had been in Miss Alberta, Miss Western Canada the year after, and representing Saskatchewan in Miss Millennium last year. I was pretty excited because I got to represent my country in a worldwide pageant where women from all over the world are going to be. So it was quite an honour.”

Unfortunately, this is her last pageant.

“I had no clue I would win the Miss Model of Canada. I has been in the Miss Millennium pageant, and I didn’t place very well. So I was a little discouraged. Then I heard about Miss Model of Canada and thought I would do one more because I was 27, and 27 is the cut off age. And I won! I went out with a bang!”

Following her coronation, Castle journeyed to Italy for three weeks during Christmas. Though it was a personal trip, it did include appearances as Miss Model of Canada. Since then, she has made countless appearances around Calgary and a Canada Day appearence in Ottawa.

As for her platform, she chose breast cancer because of the special meaning it has for her family. About six years ago, she lost a grandmother to the disease. Not surprisingly, her grandmother is her role model.

“She was the nicest woman. She never complained or said bad things about anyone.”

A very busy woman, Castle currently divides her time between working as a Project Manager with Stantec Consulting Facilities Management group, involvement with breast cancer organizations, and busily preparing herself to represent Canada at the Miss Model of World pageant this October, in Lebanon.

“I work out every morning at 6 a.m. with a personal trainer. I am also participating with Toast Masters to refine my public speaking. And I am looking for sponsors,” remarked Castle.

To help raise the necessary funds for her trip to Lebanon, Castle will be hosting a fundraiser on July 27 at Ceilis’ Irish Pub. Remaining funds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

Castle would like to eventually open her own design firm. In October, she will write her licensing exam, which will help in her goal to open her own business.

But for now, she is content with her experiences these past few years in the pageants. Meanwhile, all of Canada will be rooting for her at the upcoming Model of the World pageant.

For more information on Castle, visit her website at www.geocities.com/modelofcan

Kimberly Castle will be on Baring it All next Thursday, August 1 on CJSW 90.9FM at 6:00PM.

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