Age: 25 | Height: 5’7″
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Lavanya was born in India, grew up in Dubai and is now a proud resident of Vancouver. As the daughter of two hard-working, professional, immigrant parents, she has been instilled with very strong values about work, family and personal development.
From a young age, her family got her involved in their charitable ventures, right from supporting orphanages in India, educating disadvantaged youth all the way to organizing high society fundraisers. This left her with a thirst to do more.
She left home in 2006 after graduating high school to come to Canada to study. 5 years later, having tasted life across Canada and completing her studies in Economics and Political Science, she decided to make Vancouver her new home and has never looked back.
It is here that she is able to practice all the things she believes in including a holistic approach to life, exploring nature, practicing good nutrition and generally growing in all aspects.
Lavanya quickly realized that while she could secure a job in finance or economics, her true passion lay in more creative pursuits. Hence, she is currently mid-way through a diploma program in Interior Design and plans to take her Real Estate licensing course this year as well.
Her love of interiors dates all the way back to when she was a little girl and famously asked her parents if they could move into the palatial marble (public) washrooms at the Sheraton, Dubai. Later on she was lucky enough to be involved in the real estate boom that happened in the years preceding the recession. She plans to become an avid investor.
When not working or studying, she spends her free time volunteering and modeling. She is represented by Charles Stuart in Vancouver, who is famous for his discovery of supermodel Coco Rocha. She has walked for various local designers, including previous Miss Universe Canada contestant Mesha Toor. One of her dreams is to be featured in Vogue before she is 30.
She loves animals and children, because she believes that they are pure in intention and because they both bring out unconditional love. She believes in protecting the weak, rooting for the underdog and lifting up the downtrodden. Her goal in life is to shine, both for her own sake and in order to inspire others. The title of Miss Universe Canada represents to her a great opportunity to accomplish all the things she dreams of. But the journey of taking part is in itself a wonderful opportunity that she plans to make the most of!
Sponsored by: Anelore Designs, Dennis Lee Photography, Family and Friends.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
English is my first language, I think in English. I can speak, read and write Hindi, Urdu & Arabic because I was taught it in school. I am learning French, I think it is a beautiful language.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
I’m a dreamer, and I have always loved activities that let me wander in to my imagination through reading, sketching, painting and writing.
Since coming to Vancouver, I have been able to explore more outdoor interests that include Sailing, Biking, and Walking/Hiking in beautiful BC.
Modelling is my main hobby at the moment that I would love to make my profession.
I also love animals, so I try to do anything that will get me closer to them like dog-walking and volunteering my time at the local shelter.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I have been trained in fine art and fashion design throughout high school. I also did theatre arts, and have got my sailing license.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
Swimming and Tennis.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
This is very hard to answer because all the women in my family have been strong role models in their own ways, and have shaped me in to who I am today. I would love to be like my aunt because she is a strong, smart, loving person, with a PhD and a legendary sense of humor. But most importantly she brings our family together. Like my grandmother before her, I want to be the kind of woman that they are proud of, and who brings all of us together at least once a year to make us appreciate the value of a close-knit family, no matter how spread out or global everyone may be.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
Leaving home and my family to come to Canada to study at age 18 was one of the hardest things I have done and is a step that I am now proud of taking because it has taught me to be a much stronger and more independent person.
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
An interesting fact about me is that I have visited over 20 countries in my [relatively short] lifetime. The next step is to make a difference in at least a few of them.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
I want to be able to design my own line of exotic interiors, and also establish fair trade establishments in impoverished countries & villages where I would source some of my products. I am studying Interior Design in order to achieve my vision.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My dream career would be one where I am able to take on many different roles and not become bored, complacent or stagnant. I want to be able to challenge myself and others, improve and evolve. Whether I am a designer, model, philanthropist or business owner.
Are you currently a student? yes
If yes, where? VCAD
Area of study: Interior Design
Are you currently employed? Part-time
If yes, what is your occupation? BlackBerry Marketing Rep
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I grew up in a joint family in Dubai. My parents, grandparents and cousins all lived modestly in two 2-bedroom apartments across the hall from each other for the first 6 years of my life. My parents worked hard to give my brother and I a good education and a loving home, and we soon moved to a house in suburbs. Or home was always open to guests, visitors, rescued animals and at least one dog. My dad always told me that I shouldn’t have to be dependant on anyone for anything, and my mom taught me about love. To this day I look to my father when I need any kind of guidance in life, and I consider my mother to be my spiritual guide. I am super close to my grandparents too, and I miss them everyday since they retired and moved back to India. I get my gentle nature from my grandma and I miss being spoiled by my grandpa.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
I have worked as a promoter for various events, some of them have been wacky. I got to ride a dirt bike while working for X Games once, that was cool.
List any volunteering you have done.
K9 Friends, Dubai BC Childrens Hospital Friends for Life, Vancouver, BC
Relay for life Canadian Cancer Society, London, Ontario Al Noor Centre for Children with Special Needs, Dubai, UAE
Clean up Kalba
Round Table: – Masters for a Child [including Christies & Indian Consulate]
World for India – cyclists of 4 different nationalities
What is your most unusual talent?
I am double jointed and was once scouted to become a contortionist.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
Malta is one of my all time favorites. It is a magical little island country in the Mediterranean sea. If I could go back to one place it’d be Malta. Or Orlando’s Disneyworld. Who doesn’t love Disney?!
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
I see myself as an entrepreneur / designer, with bases in North America and internationally, where I am able to better the lives of the community through sustainable and ethical business practices.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
In the event that I am crowned Miss Universe Canada, the one thing I would do would be to show the world that age, sex, ethnicity or religion does not matter one bit in the face of genuine humanity. I may have brown skin but I never had roots in any single country until I came here. And I may be young, but I would like to make Canada proud by accomplishing as much as possible when I represent her!!