'It was a big dream for me': Nunavut teen wins international beauty pageant title

Chantel Caza won the international title Miss Teen Wonderland on Canada Day.

Chantel Caza won the title of Miss Teen Wonderland on Canada Day

Fourteen-year-old Chantel Caza recently won the top title at the Wonderland pageant in Orlando, Fla. (Submitted by Chantel Caza)

Nunavut's Chantel Caza won the international title Miss Teen Wonderland for Canada on Canada Day.

The 14-year-old from Iqaluit competed in Orlando, Fla., for the pageant.

"It was a big dream for me," she said. "It took a lot of preparation and training and self-confidence boosting, but overall it was amazing."

Caza got into pageantry after posting a profile with a talent agency. A scout for Miss Canada Globe contacted her and she competed in its national competition last year.

In the qualifying round, she wore an amauti — a women's parka — and kamiik — traditional Inuit boots — on the national costume runway.

She was a finalist in the Miss Canada Globe competition, which meant she qualified for the Miss Teen Wonderland event.

For the international competition, Caza wore a Canadian flag sewn into a dress.

After participating in the evening wear, bikini, national costume and Q&A events, Caza took home the top title.

As the pageant winner, she received a $1,000 prize and a free trip to the Dominican Republic next year to bestow the crown on the 2018 Miss Teen Wonderland.

She says she'll be attending one more international pageant this year. She hopes to be an actress and model and eventually go to university in New York City.

Caza suggests more girls in Nunavut try pageantry for the opportunity to travel, meet new people and create a positive self image.

With files from Michael Salomonie