Queen Silver Star the 51st Aksana Skrinnikoff (left) and Princess Silver Star Kaitlyn Chirkoff work the drive-through at Blenz with Queen Silver Star candidate Adrianne Clark

Queen Silver Star the 51st Aksana Skrinnikoff (left) and Princess Silver Star Kaitlyn Chirkoff work the drive-through at Blenz with Queen Silver Star candidate Adrianne Clark

Queen Silver Star Excellence Program seeks candidates

A former candidate shares her fond memories of the program and why it is an experience that will stay with her.

Adrianne Clark remembers that it was just about this time last year that she thought about being a candidate in the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program.

“When I saw the information and the list of activities and classes, I thought it was something I’d love to do,” said Clark, a Grade 12 student at George Elliot secondary in Winfield.

She met the other candidates at the end of August, they made their official debut and started the program in September.

“At first, I was really nervous and didn’t know what to expect but I guess everyone was feeling the same way and I made some friends that I’m really attached to and will keep in touch with wherever I go,” she said.

Balancing school work, sports and the program activities was a challenge but one she learned to handle.

“It takes organization. I always did my homework first, so I would have time for the other things. I got myself a chalkboard and laid everything out. It was hectic in November and December when we had a lot of Christmas activities but we all got things done.”

The Queen Silver Star Excellence Program is made up of a variety of classes and activities, including speech craft, modeling, nutrition, self-defense, history and how to change a tire.

“The speech craft was very good and I use what I learned all the time. It helped me to feel more confident in everything I do and at school,” said Clark. “The modeling was big for me, too. We were asked to be aware of how we presented ourselves and to practise wearing heels. It feels good to dress up a little and to make that extra effort. I also enjoyed the volunteer work and would have liked to do more.”

Clark volunteered at the Upper Room Mission for 20 hours. The candidates do volunteer work as a group and at a place of their own choice. She has also put her other knowledge to work, including changing the winter tires on her car. After graduation, she will be going to university to study sciences on her way to a career in medicine.

“Taking part in the program is a lot of hard work but the experience absolutely pays off. It won’t change a person but it will definitely define and enhance who you are and your strengths. I have gained a lot of confidence in everything I do. And I learned how to always be 10 minutes early,” she said.

Courtney Liefke, a member of the Queen’s committee and a former candidate, said the program is looking for as many girls as possible to take part in this positive experience.

“It’s a  great program that puts you to the next level in being put together in how you look, speak and conduct yourself, life skills you are not necessarily going to get from regular school,” she said. “It prepares you for the next stage in your life, whether that is further education or work.”

Queen Silver Star and a princess are chosen from each year’s candidates and the program is also a scholarship program with more that $10,000 in various scholarships available to candidates in this year’s program.

Britanny Sjoblom, Vernon Winter Carnival executive director, Queen’s committee member and Queen Silver Star XLVI, said it’s an affordable program that is accessible to everyone who wants to take part.

“Some people think that it takes a lot of money to take part in the program but that’s not so,” she said. “The actual cost to the candidates is about $100 which includes supplies and shoes. The candidates supply their own formal gowns but these can be borrowed or made.”

She also wants to set the record straight about candidates having to have a performing arts type of talent for the show case.

“We are not a talent show,” she said.

Liefke added that sports, a hobby or interest can be used for the talent show case.

“We will work with the candidates to help them to put together a presentation that shows off what they are passionate about,”  she said.

Young women ages 16 to 19, or Grades 11 and 12 or one year out of high school can apply to the program. The candidates are matched with sponsors. For more information call Sjoblom at 250-545-2236 or see www.vernonwintercarnival.com for the application forms.

There will be two information sessions for potential candidates and their parents on Thursday or May 15 at 7 p.m. at the Vernon Winter Carnival office. The deadline for applications is May 18.