Her performance at the Miss Teen Galaxy Canada pageant is a step in the right direction for a Kingston teen who loves being on stage and hopes to find work as a model.
16-year-old Aaliyah Hiltz, known to her friends as Aali, competed in the recent Canada Galaxy Pageants in Mississauga, Ontario. She won first runner-up in the teen division, which is for competitors ages 15 to 18, and the title Most Photogenic.
Hiltz saw the pageant as an opportunity to get herself out there and become better known, especially in Ontario, and perhaps open doors in the modelling industry. She has had modelling in mind for a while and has been pursuing opportunities over the past couple of months.
“People tell me all the time that I should try to get into modelling and I like being on stage anyways and I enjoy being in front of a camera, so it’s something I’d like to do,” Hiltz said.
Sort of like politicians running for office, each pageant competitor has a platform. Hiltz focused on the importance of loving yourself, being honest with yourself and being kind to yourself. She appreciated having a chance to share her opinions and ideas with the Galaxy Canada audience.
Hiltz said people have a lot of preconceived notions about pageants. Beauty is one aspect but there is more to it than looking pretty. Respectfully presenting your ideas and the way you interact with others also play roles. She said the experience helps instill confidence.
The pageant itself was only one day but Hiltz was in Mississauga for the entire weekend of April 26 to 28. She enjoyed hanging out with people who have similar interests and spending time with the other competitors at events like rehearsals and a pajama party.
“Everyone who does pageants are there because they love pageants, they worked really hard to get there,” Hiltz said.
When asked what her advice would be to other young women interested in getting involved with pageants, Hiltz said it’s important to be yourself. It will come down to your personality and how you present yourself on and off stage.
She will be competing in the Miss Teen Galaxy Canada pageant again in Toronto in September with the goal of bringing home the crown this time. If successful, she’ll go on to compete internationally.
Hiltz’s sponsor for the recent pageant was Delformals Wear of Berwick, where Hiltz often works as a volunteer. Hiltz said she greatly appreciates the support of the shop and owner Del Filippone.
Filippone said she gets to know the young women she sponsors very well. Hiltz has a heart of gold and “rocked the stage” at the recent pageant. Filippone wasn’t able to make the trip to Mississauga but watched a live feed online. She said seeing Hiltz perform with such confidence made her cry.
“I am so proud of this young lady, she was amazing,” Filippone said.
Filippone will be sponsoring Hiltz again as she makes another run at the Miss Teen Galaxy Canada title. This time, Filippone will be making the trip to cheer Hiltz on in person.