Miss Iglulik has been crowned.
Angela Amarualik emerged as the judges’ choice among 22 competitors at a pageant to celebrate the new year on Jan. 1.
Amarualik and Louisa Taqqaogak were the last two contestants standing on stage when emcee Joanna Quassa placed the tiara on Amarualik’s head at the community hall.
“I was speechless! I wanted to say something but I forgot,” Amarualik said, chuckling.
Prior to that exhilarating moment, she had proven her public speaking skills by answering four questions.
Contestants were asked to share their thoughts on a wide variety of topics, such as whether tiny homes would help solve housing problems in Iglulik, what is their long-term goal in life, who is their role model, what advice they have for young people, and what is their favourite book.
Amarualik was modest regarding the messages she shared that night.
“There were other incredible women who have a lot of things to say. Myself, I was just answering questions,” she said, adding that she surprised herself by overcoming her apprehension on stage in front of the large crowd. “I expected the worst. I was nervous going up but I was myself.”
Taqqaogak scored points for wearing a dress she had fashioned for herself and she impressed the judges with her throat singing.
Amarualik wowed the judges and the crowd as she sang a song she wrote in Inuktitut titled Angirrarviga, or My Home. The song conveys how when she is away – like she was for a few months last summer while visiting her sister in Montreal – she misses the language, the landscape and the people.
Amarualik, who turned 19 on Jan. 8, received $700 in prize money and she said it will likely go toward a “beautiful parka.”
The Grade 12 student, who spent part of last year exploring the potential of starting a bakery in the community, said she has devised another plan.
“I thought to myself maybe I should go to culinary arts school,” she said.
She decided to enter the pageant, organized by the recreation department, because she wants to do more to help the community, she said.
Amarualik has been active in working with youth through recreation and also lends a hand during special events. She said she wants to reinforce the dangers of smoking to teenagers. She will also get a chance to promote dental health by handing out toothbrushes, toothpaste and other oral care aids during Iglulik’s health expo.
Her first formal engagement as Miss Iglulik will be at the Return of the Sun Festival next week. She will be there in her sash and crown and she said she’s excited for the opportunity.