Miss Dominion of Canada

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Miss Dominion of Canada was a beauty pageant held in Niagara Falls for many years, primarily at the Sheraton Brock Hotel, on July 1, Canada's Dominion Day (now known as "Canada Day"), beginning in 1959.

Sandra Campbell of Leamington, Ontario, representing Canada at the Miss Universe Pageant. Sandra represented Canada at Miss Universe in El Salvador, Miss World in London, Miss International in Australia, and Queen of the Pacific Pageant in Tokyo.

The winner of this pageant represented Canada at four of the world's largest international beauty pageants, Miss Universe (until 1977), Miss World (1962–1979), Miss International, and Queen of the Pacific. The Miss Dominion of Canada pageant originated when the Bruno family of Ancaster, Ontario obtained franchise rights to select and send Canada's exclusive representatives to these international pageants. As many as 40 contestants selected via local pageants across many provinces of Canada competed in the annual Niagara Falls competition. Throughout the 1970s, there were generally between twelve and twenty contestants competing at the final judging.

Selection Process[edit]

Most contestants progressed through as many as five consecutive preliminary local and regional pageants, somewhat similar to a golfer winning progressively more competitive golf tournaments, victorious in each one until finally winning the highest level competition. The Miss Dominion pageant required the finalists to participate in events including evening dress, swimsuit, interviews, talent, and various singing and dancing vignettes. Notable individuals selected as pageant judges would then select the runners up and the winner.

Duties and Responsibilities of Miss Dominion of Canada[edit]

The contestant selected as Miss Dominion of Canada would visit nearly every Canadian province and other countries such as the United States, Japan, Australia, and Europe during her one-year reign. Until 1977, Miss Dominion of Canada was the country's representative at Miss Universe. The Miss Universe franchise in Canada was taken over by the nationally televised Miss Canada contest in 1978. Miss Dominion of Canada also represented the country at Miss World from 1962 to 1979 after which the franchise was taken over by Miss World Canada.

Notable Miss Canada Winners[edit]

Famous or notable winners of this pageant include Sandra Campbell of Leamington, Ontario, who became a television personality in Sydney, Australia (Celebrity Squares and One in a Million) and a marketing executive with a major American corporation. Another notable winner is Jacquie Perrin, who for more than a decade was the host of CBC TV's award-winning investigative consumer program, Market Place. Now at CBC Newsworld, Jacquie has been involved in various special news projects and is seen weekly as the host of highly rated Saturday Report. Mary Lou Farrell made guest appearances on the Lawrence Welk Show, and used her stage name Aniko in performing in many Broadway musicals.

The Pageant Lives On[edit]

Rumours that the Miss Dominion of Canada Pageant continued beyond 1979 have been present for many years. Despite the lack of media coverage from Canadian media, Miss Dominion of Canada delegates continued to represent Canada at various international contests, including Miss International, Maja Internacional and others throughout the 1980s. These women were selected by the franchise owners as Miss Dominion of Canada from 1980 until at least 1991; they included Linda Farrell (1987), Lee-Ann Bruce (1988) and Robin Nardi (1989).

There was also a Miss Teen Dominion of Canada Pageant for at least one year in the early 1970s.

Miss Dominion of Canada Pageant Director John Bruno died in 2004.

A history of Canadian beauty contests, including Miss Dominion of Canada, is currently under development in book form.

Winners of Miss Dominion of Canada Pageant[edit]

Year Winner Hometown Distinguished Results
1979 Catherine MacKintosh Thunder Bay, Ontario (last contestant to compete at Miss World)
1978 Brigitte Hoffman Hamilton, Ontario
1977 Marianne McKeen Comber, Ontario (last contestant to compete in Miss Universe pageant)
1976 Pamela Mercer Burnaby, British Columbia Miss Unity at Miss Universe 1977
1975 Normande Jacques Blind River, Ontario
1974 Sandra Margaret Emily Campbell Leamington, Ontario Miss Personality at Queen of the Pacific Pageant 1975
1973 Deborah Ducharme Port Colborne, Ontario
1972 Bonny Brady Perth, Ontario
1971 Lana Drouillard Windsor, Ontario
1970 Norma Joyce Hickey Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Semi-finalist at Miss International 1971
1969 Jacquie Perrin Toronto, Ontario
1968 Nancy Wilson Chatham, Ontario Semi-finalist at Miss Universe 1968
1967 Donna Marie Barker Toronto, Ontario Semi-finalist at Miss World 1967
1966 Diane Coulter Wheatley, Ontario Semi-finalist at Miss World 1966
1965 Carol Ann Tidey Hamilton, Ontario Top 7 Finalist at Miss World 1965
Semi-finalist at Miss Universe 1965
1964 Mary Lou Farrell St. John’s, Newfoundland runner up at Miss World
1963 Jane Kmita Regina, Saskatchewan
1962 Marilyn McFatridge* Toronto, Ontario Semi-finalist at Miss Universe 1962
1962 Marlene Leeson Scotia, Ontario
1961 Wilda Reynolds Toronto, Ontario
1960 Edna Dianne MacVicar Galt, Ontario
1959 Eileen Butter Ancaster, Ontario
  *Forfeited title September 19, 1962

See also[edit]