Rebecca Dawson crowned Providence Bay Ambassador of the Fair for 2016

From left, 17-year-old Christine Cranston of Spring Bay (Miss Congeniality), 16-year-old Zabrina Cosby of Little Current, 16-year-old Maggie McDonald of Spring Bay and 17-year-old Marena Verboom from Providence Bay (first runner up) and Providence Bay Fair Ambassador 2016 Rebecca Dawson, seated. photos by Robin Burridge

PROVIDENCE BAY—Rebecca Dawson of Spring Bay was crowned the 2016 Providence Bay Ambassador of the Fair this past weekend.

Ms. Dawson was up against four other contestants from Manitoulin including 16-year-old Zabrina Cosby of Little Current, 17-year-old Christine Cranston of Spring Bay, 16-year-old Maggie McDonald of Spring Bay and 17-year-old Marena Verboom from Providence Bay.

“It is a huge honour to be the Providence Bay Fair Ambassador,” said 17-year-old Rebecca. “I’ve wanted to participate in the contest since I was little. Marena and I are friends so it was great that we got to do it together.”

“I had a lot of support from my community and friends and family before the contest which was really encouraging,” added Rebecca. “I’m thrilled to be selected and I am looking forward to representing Providence Bay next year at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition).”

Fair Ambassador contest organizer Karlene Scott welcomed everyone in attendance Friday evening.

“Tonight I am delighted to have five young ladies here,” said Ms. Scott. “The pageant started as a dairy princess contest in 1969, with the contestants having to milk a cow and give a speech. In 1997 the title changed to Fair Ambassador and was opened to all young ladies and men (17-21 years of age and a permanent resident of Manitoulin).”

Ms. Scott acknowledged past ambassadors in the audience and the generosity of the sponsors that make the pageant possible.

The first speech was presented by Marena Verboom on being a dairy farmer’s daughter. Marena spoke about her morning chores, a typical morning on the farm, and her different jobs on the farm in the summer versus the winter.

“I have rural roots, but instead of cowboy boots I have rubber boots,” said Marena.

Rebecca Dawson spoke about Providence Bay and what makes her community great.

She highlighted the many activities like curling, skating, swimming at the beach, the fair and, of course, the amazing people.

“Providence Bay might seem like another small town, but it’s special,” said Rebecca.

Maggie McDonald presented her speech on D.A. Williamson and Sons, her place of work and her sponsor for the pageant.

Maggie talked about how the business started and highlighted the history behind the Mindemoya store that just celebrated its 95th year.

Zabrina Cosby spoke about Manitoulin—what makes the Island special and the many things to do.

Christine Cranston delivered her speech on her grandpa Tom Cranston.

“He taught me how to never be afraid and that I could do anything,” said Christine.

The judges this year included Janelle Proulx, John Carlyle and Joanne Carlyle. The contestants were evaluated on one-on-one interviews and their speeches.

The 2014 Fair Ambassador Bridgette McDonald presented Rebecca with her crown and sash, as well as first runner up Marena with her sash and Miss Congeniality to Christine.

Rebecca will represent the Providence Bay Agricultural Society at the 2017 Canadian National Exhibition Ambassador of the Fairs next August.