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Julie Maloney

Julie Maloney of Ottawa reacts with astonishment at winning the title of Miss Canada 1970. Her multilingual Shakespeare presentation was one of the few memorable (and credible) talents showcased on the Miss Canada stage.

The Miss Canada Chronicles continue

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A tough act to follow

While everything presented may seem far from saccharine, the pageant really was a positive thing, a great marketing tool receiving unlimited national exposure, with good girls entering an acclaimed institution for a chance to represent all-Canadian goodness.

While some titleholders have retired into obscurity and family life, as is true of winners of any accolade, some past queens have gone on to high-profile success after their reigns, most in the field of communications.

Several have hosted television interview programs, fitness shows, and a top-rated fashion and lifestyle show. Many others have worked as news anchors. Nicole Dunsdon, the last Miss Canada, parlayed her articulate ways into a successful career as a newspaper reporter. Dominique Dufour, the 1981 winner, who co-hosted nine Miss Canada telecasts after her reign, remains one of French-speaking Canada’s most recognized broadcasters, and was an internationally sought-after model after placing as first runner-up in the Miss Universe contest.

Juliette Powell, Miss Canada 1989, is a mix of superlatives the tallest (5’11"), the darkest (she’s biracial) the youngest (barely 18 when she won), and the most successful. After years of hosting "Electric Circus," one of Canada’s top-rated music programs, she, too, has made the foray into news anchoring, at a flagship news station in Toronto. One more superlative goes to her credit: She remains most distant from the sisterhood, having severed ties with the title immediately after passing on her crown.

By contrast, Blair Lancaster, who won in 1974, never left the sorority. She has worked as a pageant producer, and as the owner of a finishing school and beauty salon.

Television made stars of these otherwise unknown fair damsels, yet whether they would be propelled into stardom or merely molded for marriage depended largely on the paths they choose after their title was a year out of date.

The chronicles continue ...

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