Stoney Creek, Ontario
Height: 5'7, Hair Colour: Red, Eye Colour: Blue
In August of 1998, Leanne Baird from Stoney Creek, Ontario was chosen as Miss Canada International 1998. When asked what her interests are she said: "My interests include volunteering in my community, keeping active/physically healthy, and without a doubt reading. Every time I open a book, I find a whole new world ready to explore. I have always enjoyed getting involved from holding a position on student council to volunteering on Christmas Day to serve dinner to the homeless. Community Involvement gives me a great sense of satisfaction and happiness to know that I have made someone else's day that much brighter. My part time job is working with children who are disabled, I strongly feel that acceptance and integration are key concepts that must be understood and accepted by all. Keeping healthy means much more than going to the gym to loose weight to look good, I know many young teenagers struggle with this each and every day. During my reign, I spoke passionately about being happy with who you are, and keeping fit by playing sports, walking, or just being active."
When asked about why she entered the Miss Canada International pageant she said: "I entered the Miss Canada International Pageant because I knew that I would use my title for the betterment of Canada and my community."
When asked who her best friends at MCI 98 were she said: "To this day, I still keep in very close contact with many girls from the pageant. We have long chats via telephone or e-mail reminiscing about the pageant or catching up with each other. My roommate, Miss Northwest Territories and I have a strong relationship that provinces cannot even keep us away from each other!"
Miss World 1998
Part of Leanne's reign was to represent Canada at the Miss World pageant. Unfotunately Miss World is not televised in Canada so I will try to describe the pageant as much as possible so that you can understand what it is like. It is very classy, and a very well done pageant. It is very different then Miss Universe but is still great and definately ties with MU as the greatest International pageants. I personally liked Miss World 1998 even more then Miss Universe 1998 or 1999. It is great!
When asked what she thought when she left for Miss World Leanne said: "Miss World was a very memorable experience. Truthfully, I did not feel sufficiently prepared as I left, but I quickly adapted and knew I had the support of my family and friends in Canada. I was excited to travel and to meet fabulous friends from all around the world. Going to Miss World is every little girls dream!"
What was her best memory of Miss World? Leanne said: "My best memory of Miss World was when my roommate Miss Israel was called in the top 10, and she said some wonderful words about me. I knew she could do it, she had charisma and vitality! Of course, I remember many special moments as I have about 10 rolls of film to remind me!"
Here is Leanne arriving in the Seychelles as an ambitious looking young woman!
This years stage was really cool. It was inside of a lagoon and came out for the contestants to do their thing. The audience of the pageant was mostly Seychellians who were just sitting on the beach in front of the stage! At the beginning of the pageant the contestants were introduced in groups of ten or so and were first shown in a pretaped segment on the beach. They talked about their countries, lives, ambitions, or whatever would fit into the twenty seconds that were given to them. It was great! I love the opening just as much as the parade of nations in MU. This is definately my favorite thing about the Miss World pageant.
After this they came out on stage in daywear "that they would wear to their best friends wedding." The ladies were annonced on stage by a very sassy British commentator who said little comments about all the contestants.
In Leanne's beach segment she was in a group who were playing softball on the beach and she said: "Well, being in Miss World is both an hounour and a privilliage and I will always cherish from the bottom of my heart the many lasting friendships and the oppurtunity to share my Canadian cuture as well as share it with the cultures of other people from around the world."
When Leanne came out the commentator said "...and from Canada we have Leanne Baird, I can't believe that she is the star center forward for the Canadian soccer team called Stoney Creek."
Leanne came out on stage wearing a red suit with a skirt with a red hat and red shoes to match. Can you tell, she must like red quite a bit! The outfit she wore didn't work to well though, it's design made her look heavier and her make up must not have been done well because her complection looked very greasy. It's really too bad because the girls had people do their make up for them. Red seems to be a colour Leanne can wear but onstage and with her make up, it didn't work as well as it could have. It's too bad, but she did look very sweet and innocent onstage and that was nice.
The swimsuit competition in Miss World wasn't aired but I can say how Leanne Looked in her beach shot. She wore a yellow swimsuit with a cover-up. Yellow is a good colour for her, and she had a great tan from her time spent in the Seychelles. Her "physique" may not have been quite up to par, especially for an international competition. She did come off as a very nice sweet girl but I don't think that she really shined in swimsuit, unfortunately.
After the intro it was time for the evening gown competition. All the ladies competed in this which was great! They came out in groups of three, but I loved how you could see your country competing. The music and stage were also great, it was a really well done evening gown competition.
This is the gown Leanne wore for the evening gown competition. The colour is nice, but really seemed to vary on how it looked on Leanne. It worked well for her when she was shown in the preliminary interview in this gown and she wore some white gloves which looked really nice. Onstage, under the intense lights, it didn't look the same. It's an okay gown but it just wasn't international competition quality and was a little too plain to really stand out against the other gowns.
Here is Leanne getting off the stage after the evening gown compettion.
Here is Leanne with the man who(sorry, I don't know his name) gave the best evening gown award to Miss Finland later in the program, you can get another glimpse of her gown.
I think that Leanne did fairly well in the interview compettion because she seems very sweet! The co-host asked her if she was nervous or not when they were showing some of the preliminary interviews and Leanne said she was only nervous to meet the Canadian judge. They asked her how it went afterward and she said that it was a great experience.
Next the top 10 were annonced and unfortunately Leanne wasn't among them. It was a tough competition this year and it was great how Leanne really seemed to put alot of effort into representing her country.
The finalists were then interviewed about who was their best friend on the trip and there was one very special interview for Canadians:
Miss Isreal said that her roomate, Miss Canada was her best friend on the trip! This was awesome and Leanne is so sweet that it doesn't surprise me! They were very good friends the whole time. I know that it was even published, because I have the articles and Leanne was credited with an assist. She's so sweet!
This is what Leanne had to say about the friends she made at the Miss World pageant: "There were many girls that I got to know personally, each girl was special to me. It is no surprise, that my roommate was my best friend while I was there. We shared clothes, late night talks, and early morning jogs. In some ways, her Israel Director became my director. I could not have asked for a better roommate."
They then had a recap of the finalists and then annonced the winner...and it was Miss Isreal! Leanne's best friend! It was awesome and Linor Abagail the new Miss World was so beautiful and nice. It's too bad that Leanne didn't bring the crown home but it's still a victory because she definately assisted Linor, and that was as she said, the best thing next to actually winning the title herself.
Beautiful Linor Abagail is Miss World 1998
This is what Leanne thought leaving Miss World: "When I was leaving Miss World, I knew I had given it my best shot. I did not leave Canada feeling that I had to win, I knew that if I represented Canada to my best ability, that I had done my job as Miss Canada International. I was glad to go home to see all my family and friends waiting to greet me. I was also ecstatic that my roommate won, and wished I could have stayed a bit longer to spend some time with her."
Other then going to the Miss World 98 pageant, Leanne has helped tons of charities and organizations, too many to list. She has made the most appearences of any MCI ever. This is what she said when she was interviewed by Pageantry Magazine, these are her words of wisdom:"I follow two main lines of wisdom. First Mother Teresa one said, if you judge people you find no time to love them. Secondly, Lao-tzu once said, Kindess in words creates confidence, kindness in thinking creates profoundness, and kindess in giving creatures creates love. Both of these statements are inspiring and are teaching that I strive to practise and follow everyday." How does she manage to do this in only 24 hours a day? "Time management," she explains "(and) my incredible enthusiasm for life. I love everything I do, and this is what makes me complete."
Leanne's best memory of her reign is: "My best memory is definitely serving dinner on Christmas Day. Even though I met many "SuperStars" during my reign, I still remember the smiles and sparkling eyes of those less fortunate. After all, it is better to give than to receive!"
This is what Leanne thought of her reign: "As I have told all the media that have contacted me regarding this topic, I had a very memorable year as Miss Canada International. I do wish I could have crowned my successor with class professionalism as I had done for twelve months. Nicole (Miss Teen Canada International) and I have developed a life long friendship."
The last thing she did during her reign was: "The last thing that I did during my reign was the opening of the Miss Canada International 2000 Pageant on August 12, 1999 at Planet Hollywood. Prior to that, I was a judge at the Miss Chin Pageant on July 2, 1999."
When asked about the future Leanne said: "Right now, I am finishing Teachers College. It is a very fulfilling career. For five years, I have been a special needs worker and a camp supervisor, I enjoy working with children! I have also volunteered (for about ten years) for many camps, youth organizations, and hospitals. Volunteering is something that I regard as a high priority."
The last thing I asked Leanne was what message would she like to give to Canadians? Here is what she said: "Canadians are the most warm, caring, and wonderful people I have met. During my reign, I was only met with positive praise and compliments. To the youth of Canada, the only things that you can depend on are your family and your education. Remember, The Great One once said, "You always miss 100% of the shots you never take."