Chantel McDonald is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto with plans to become a math editor. During the course of the 2013 pageant she was completing the final year of her undergraduate degree as well as working a part-time job. In school she was a part of the college theatre scene and she hopes to continue to participate in Toronto’s vibrant theatre community now that she is done her studies. Some of her other interests include reading and watching movies. Charles Dickens and Toni Morrison are among her most read novelists, while “The Selfish Giant” and “Beasts of the Southern Wild” are two of the best movies she has watched recently.
She was born and raised in Toronto by Jamaican parents. Being a child from two different worlds, Jamaican and Canadian, has its own implications, which many first generation children may understand. One of her favourite quotes speaks to this: “I am learning to live the border… I am a hyphenated person but I am not falling apart, I am putting together,” Guillermo Verdecchia. To be able to represent the Miss Caribbean Canada Queen is an example of the merging of those two worlds, without disregarding each its own identity.
Chantel became involved in the Miss Caribbean Canada Pageant when she was approached by a potential sponsor looking to support a young lady in the pageant. As a result of participating in the pageant she has become more involved in her community; working with the Sickle Cell Association and attending numerous community events which included Jerk Fest, Afro Caribbean Fest, and the JCA Walk Good Marathon. One of her goals when entering the pageant was to become more involved in the community and being the Queen has allowed her to attend different events and meet with various community leaders.
The most important advice that Chantel would give to current contestants would be to know why you are competing. During the preparation and rehearsals it can become hectic, especially when trying to balance work, school, and/or family issues, so keep a clear idea of why you are competing in order to stay focused. Additionally, don’t take criticism as a personal attack. All the coordinators are trying to help you shine on the pageant night, so just practice to improve in areas that they believe may be the most challenging. The bottom line is that it’s a show, so put on a good show, and smile!
Her aspirations include being an Entertainer, Business Owner and Dance Choreographer and her dreams are on the verge of coming through with the recent launch of her Dance Company J.O.Y through dance. Her upcoming events and appearances includes; TV interview, World Sickle Cell Day Conference, Sickle Cell Brunch and many more.