Miss World Canada

Miss World Canada

March 17, 2008 16:18 ET

Hamilton Woman Wins "Miss World Canada" Contest

Professional model and McMaster student Leah Ryerse wins prestigious title at gala contest in Toronto

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 17, 2008) -


Leah Ryerse, a 19-year-old of Hamilton Ontario, won the 2008 Miss World Canada title at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in downtown Toronto on Saturday night where 45 contestants Canada wide participated.

She is now the Canadian representative for the 2008 Miss World Competition, the largest beauty spectacular on the planet, which will be held in Kiev, Ukraine in October, 2008.

At the event's gala dinner at Houston Steaks and Ribs following the final, Leah was overcome with emotion. "I am thrilled to be a new ambassador for Canada," she said. "Working with charities, public appearances across the country and training very hard to be Canada's first Miss World are what I'm most looking forward to this year." Canada has never won and MWC are hoping that Leah can bring Canada the crown.

Miss World is oldest surviving major international pageant. The telecast of the final competition is the world's largest live annual beauty pageant television event with global viewers in more than 200 countries. Aside from raising millions of pounds for charities around the globe under the banner of its 'Beauty with a Purpose' program, Miss World is also credited with directly influencing a dramatic increase in tourism in Sanya, China, host of the Miss World finals from 2003-05.

Leah Ryerse is the first Hamiltonian to win the Miss World Canada title since Connie Fitzpatrick, now McNaughton, won the title in 1984 and finished second at Miss World that year.

A second-year student at McMaster University, Leah is pursuing an Honors degree in Health Studies and Social Work. She is also a professional model and has graced the catwalks of many designers' fashion shows and the famous Fashion Cares gala in Toronto. For CTV coverage of her win see link below:


True to the head office motto, "Beauty with a Purpose", Ryerse and all her fellow contestants diligently fundraised in the months prior to the contest for the Miss World Canada Charity of Choice, S.O.S. Children's Villages, an international organization dedicated to bringing homes, clean water and the essentials of life to orphaned and abandoned children in over 130 countries. In one month, over $8,000 was raised for the organization, which has been donated to an All-Canadian community revitalization project in rural Namibia.

The stunning Ryerse won the evening wear and the Point Zero Ocean swimwear competitions at the pageant finals. Among her prizes for winning the crown are an all-expenses paid trip to the Ukraine, a couture wardrobe, a year's supply of Revlon hair care products, dental services for the entire year courtesy of Dr Solon Guzman, daytime accessories by Bittersweet, hair services by the prestigious Fiorio Salons and a full jewelry wardrobe from Romika Jewels.

The Hamilton area was well represented in the pageant finals: first runner-up Simranjit Singh, 21, is from Ancaster, and both Leslie-Anne Willsher from Stoney Creek and Nicole Hemmer of Grimsby placed in the top ten. The other runners-up were Shaileen Stanley, 22, from Peterborough, Tea-Nercita Savic, 20, from Ottawa, and Lena Yanbing Ma, 20, from Toronto. Representatives from Brampton, Montreal, Sudbury, Chatham, Kamloops and Binbrook, Ontario were also named as semi-finalists.

Outgoing titleholder and singer Sara Ghulam crowned Ryerse, who will now spend her year making appearances for charity and cultural events across Canada and the world.

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