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Meet the Miss Castlegar 2024 candidates

Five local high school students are vying for the Miss Castlegar crown
The Miss Castlegar 2024 candidates. Photos: Kelsey Schultz at Kelsey Lee Photography
Grace Richards, Miss West’s Fashions

Hello, my name is Grace Richards. I am a 17-year-old grade 11 student at Stanley Humphries Secondary School. I’ve lived in the Castlegar area most of my life with my mom, dad, and two younger brothers.

Over the past few years, I’ve been coaching gymnastics to kids of all ages and skill levels. I am also a competitive gymnast and have been loving this sport for years. In the summer you will find me at Pines Bible Camp working as a leader and just having a good time with some lifelong friends I’ve made over the years.

I value volunteering at my church with everything from teaching the kids to leading worship on stage. In my spare time you’ll catch me outdoors, playing with my animals and listening to a lot of country music. When I graduate high school, I plan to attend Olds College and obtain my bachelor degree in Agribusiness.

I joined the Miss Castlegar Program to learn lifelong skills that will help me in my post high school life, so I can become more involved in my community and be a face people can see around and turn to. I would love to thank Carol Sommerville and my sponsor West’s Fashions.

Anasis Brazeau, Miss Royal Canadian Legion

My name is Anais Brazeau. I am 16 years old and currently enrolled in grade 10 at Stanley Humphries Secondary School. I moved to Castlegar from a small town called Meadow Creek when I was seven years old along with my dad and three brothers.

I am a member of the Castlegar Aquanauts and have been swimming competitively for nine and a half years. It is one of my favourite activities. I also teach swimming to younger kids.

In my free time I love to read, write and watch horror movies. I took part in the Miss Castlegar Program because I wanted to challenge myself and make new friends. Thank you to Carol Sommerville and a very special thanks to my sponsor, the Royal Canadian Legion.

Bella Simon, Miss Rotary

My name is Bella Simon. I am a 15-year-old Late French Immersion student in grade 10 at Stanley Humphries Secondary School. I was born and raised in Castlegar where I live with my mom, dad, 13-year-old brother, my cat and two dogs, Pixie and Beau.

I enjoy reading, playing softball, walking our dogs, crocheting, playing guitar and camping with my family. I am actively involved with Student Council at my school as well as the local Rotary Interact Club.

I joined the Miss Castlegar Program because I am passionate about helping and being involved in my community, to grow my confidence in public speaking and to gain new friendships. As someone who values the importance of self growth, inclusivity, kindness, hard work, and the belief that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, I believe I can be an effective role model by inspiring the younger generations.

I would like to thank Mrs. Carol Sommerville and my sponsors, Castlegar Rotary and Sunrise Rotary.

McKenna Ross, Miss Sun Life Financial

My name is McKenna Ross. I’m 16 years old and proud to say I was born and raised in Castlegar. I live with my mom Kailee, dad Corey, brother Tanner, and our newest family member, our puppy Timber. I’m a grade 10 student at Stanley Humphries Secondary School where I have actively participated on the Student Council for the past 3 years.

As an athlete, I love sports and have played softball and local minor hockey for 14 years; competitively for six years with the West Kootenay Wildcats. If you can’t find me at the rink, I’m either deep in a good book, gardening with my Poppi, or spending time with my many family members. I also work on the weekends as a referee and volunteer my time at hockey clinics for young athletes.

I joined the Miss Castlegar program to challenge my introverted nature and grow my self confidence. My goal is to accomplish this challenge so I could prove my younger inner-self wrong because she didn’t always believe she could do anything outside of being an athlete.

I would like to thank Carol Sommerville and send a huge thank you to Rauni Naud and Sun Life for believing in me and being my sponsor.

Raielle McComb, Miss Krueckl Financial Services

My name is Raielle McComb. I am 15 years old and a grade 10 student at Stanley Humphries Secondary School. I moved to Castlegar from Kelowna two years ago with my dad Rob, mom Paige and my little sister Emily. We have four cats, Paint, Arthur, Rhubarb, Tommy, and a dog, Jolly.

In my free time I enjoy reading, cooking, cuddling my cats and listening to Taylor Swift. I also enjoy volunteering and baking for my youth group and church. When I graduate, I plan on taking the Professional Cook Program at Selkirk College in Nelson and would love to become a foods teacher.

I joined the Miss Castlegar Program because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone, learn valuable skills that will help me in the future and to make new friends.

My family has been the biggest encouragement to me, and I couldn’t have done this without them. I want to thank Mrs. Sommerville for being so dedicated to this program and my sponsor, Krueckl Financial Services Inc.

All Photos: Kelsey Schultz at Kelsey Lee Photography


The Miss Castlegar Pageant will be held at 6:30 p.m., Friday, May 31 at the Brilliant Cultural Centre. The event is the final step in the five month Miss Castlegar program. Candidates receive training in things like public speaking, modelling, current events, and time management. They also learn about city council, politics, Castlegar history, resume writing, and personal interview skills.

Guest speakers come in and talk to the young women on topics such as nutrition, make-up/skin care, customer service, etiquette, women’s safety and awareness, and budgeting/financial planning.

The pageant is only the tip of the iceberg, as three-quarters of the candidate’s points towards becoming Miss Castlegar are earned before they even take the stage next week.

READ MORE: Teddy Bear Picnic brings smiles to Castlegar kids

Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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