Miss Canada was a beauty pageant for young women in Canada. It was founded in Hamilton in 1945. Winnifred Blair of Saint John, was proclaimed the first Miss Canada on 11 February 1923 at an earlier, unrelated competition during the Montreal Winter Carnival. The runner-up in that event was Muriel Harper of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
No title was awarded from 1993 through 2008. According to the new Miss Canada and Miss Teen Canada web site, the title was re-established with a focus on personality over physical appearance. The Miss Canada competition was Canada’s oldest existing beauty pageant.
The first broadcast of the Miss Canada pageant aired in 1963 on CTV with news anchors Peter Jennings and Baden Langton hosting. Jennings remained as solo host until 1966 and was replaced by game show host Jim Perry, who hosted the pageant until 1990. Dominique Dufour, the winner of the Miss Canada Pageant in 1981, co-hosted with Perry from 1982 until 1990. The final pageant, airing in late 1991, was hosted by Peter Feniak and Liz Grogan.
The Miss Canada Pageant obtained the franchise for the Miss Universe Pageant in 1978, when that year’s first runner-up, Andrea Leslie Eng, competed internationally. From 1979 to the final contest, the winners of Miss Canada went on to compete. Miss Canada 1982, Karen Baldwin, being the only Miss Canada to also win Miss Universe. From 2003, Canada’s representative to Miss Universe was chosen by the Miss Universe Canada pageant.
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