Age: 25 | Height: 5’8″
Hometown: Calgary, AB
Shanda was born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Chestermere, a small lake town located just outside the city limits. She is blessed with a supportive family that encourages perseverance, hard work, kindness, empathy for others and ambition.
At a young age, Shanda learned the power of dedication when she began competing competitively in Trampoline and Tumbling Gymnastics. After eight years and representing Alberta at Nationals, she retired with a love of health and fitness.
A year later she auditioned for the Young Canadians and developed a passion for performing while dancing and singing at various venues and events including the Calgary Stampede Grandstand show and a performance for the Queen of England.
Always carefully balancing her extra-curricular activities and education Shanda graduated from High School with honours and spent four years at the University of Calgary, graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor of Commerce Marketing.
While in University Shanda was very excited to become an Outrider for the Calgary Stampeders where she committed many hours to rehearsals, games and hundreds of hours to volunteer work in the community for organizations such as Hike for Hospice, Make a Wish Foundation, Red Cross, the Children’s Hospital and many more. She retired in 2012 after her 5th Grey Cup and left with lifelong friends and memories that she will never forget. Shanda is now with the Calgary Rouchnecks Lacrosse Dance Team where she is able to continue dancing and performing.
Shanda’s career is very important to her. After three successful years of using her creativity as a Marketing Coordinator for a residential homebuilder it was time for a change. In 2012 Shanda began a job in Human Resources for a large corporation that allows her work closely with people and impact the careers of others in a positive way.
In her free time Shanda enjoys snowboarding, singing in her car, hitting the gym, running, reading, cooking, baking and using cake decorating as a creative outlet. Shanda loves to meet new people and spend time with friends and family. Travelling the world to experience the incredible cultures and diversity that the world has to offer is also very important to her and Australia, France, Greece and Turkey are some of the countries she has visited so far.
Shanda dreams big and one of her favourite quotes is “the best way to predict the future is create it”. She would be honored to become Miss Universe Canada and would use the opportunity to inspire others and raise awareness for important charities and causes such as underprivileged children in our communities and worldwide. Utilizing her passion for health and fitness she would love to work with adults to improve their health, fitness and self confidence while educating parents about proper nutrition for their children.
Shanda is very grateful to be a delegate in this prestigious competition and so thankful for all the experiences and opportunities in her life that brought her here and shaped her into the person she is today. Giving back to the community and helping others who are not given these opportunities is so important and Shanda is excited to be a part of an organization that recognizes and promotes this.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
I love singing, dancing, baking, snowboarding, hiking and staying fit.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I took singing lessons for 4 years in high school and competed competitively in Trampoline and Tumbling gymnastics for 8 years. I received further vocal training and was introduced to dance as a member of the Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede for 2 years. From 2008 until 2012 I danced in the CFL for the Calgary Stampeder Football Club which gave me 5 years of dance training and experience as an adult.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
Trampoline and Tumbling Gymnastics, Dancing and Running
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
My Aunt has been a huge inspiration in my life. She is a very successful and generous person who inspires me to work hard and give 100% to everything I do.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
Graduating University and spending 5 years cheering for the Calgary Stampeders are my proudest accomplishments. So much work goes into obtaining a degree and I am truly proud of that accomplishment. My experience as an Outrider was an incredible one that gave me lifelong friends, allowed me to perform for thousands of fans, taught me so much about giving back to the community and involved so much time, hard work and dedication that being a part of it truly feels like an accomplishment and an experience that I will carry with me forever.
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
In grade 10 I broke both of my heels at the same time and as a result I had to spend one month in a wheel chair. It was a very eye opening experience and I have so much respect for people who live with disabilities for their entire lives.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
At Suncor I aspire to remain in the Human Resources field where I can work closely with employees and impact their careers in a positive way. I would like to work towards a managerial role in this field. Alternately, I am very interested in one day owning my own business in the field of health and fitness. I am going to obtain my Nutrition and Wellness certification within the next 6 months so that I can begin pursuing this in my free time.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
I would love to own a successful business that provides health and fitness guidance so I can play a part in improving the lives of others while doing something I am truly passionate about.
Are you currently a student?
No, I graduated in 2009 from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Marketing.
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
In August 2012 I started as an Onboarding Coordinator in Human Resources for Suncor. Prior to that I was a Marketing Coordinator for 3 years for a Residential Home Builder.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was raised in Chestermere, AB which is a small town just outside of the city limits of Calgary. I grew up on the lake and spent many days playing outdoors in the water and swimming. I have two younger sisters and both of my parents worked full time growing up to make sure they could finance all of our extra-curricular activities and education. I had very supportive parents who went above and beyond to make my childhood one that was full of opportunity and encouragement. I am so grateful for this and hope to provide the same opportunities and love for my children one day.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
When my sister started a Limo Company I worked with a graphic designer to come up with a brand for her company and marketing strategies to get the company up and running. It is currently doing very well and the branding was a big success! I have worked for a number of promotion companies over the years and represented major brands at events.
List any volunteering you have done.
As an Outrider I committed 50 to 80 hours of unpaid volunteer work to events in the community each year. We participated, worked or were ambassadors at these events. The organizations we supported included the Children’s Hospital (one of the most touching experiences I have ever had was when I taught a group of children with cancer a cheer and dance at the hospital), Red cross, Calgary Hospice, Leukemia and Breast Cancer organizations, Make a Wish Foundation and many, many more.
What is your most unusual talent?
I took a number of cake decorating courses and have made some very elaborate cakes since I started! I am a creative person and have always loved baking so despite the number of hours it takes to make a cake, I really enjoy it.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
I thought the ruins of Pompeii in Italy were incredible, and I absolutely loved the Vatican City and St. Peters Basilica. It’s truly incredible to see what human’s have accomplished and created over the years.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
My career is very important to me and I hope to be successful in Human Resources in a management position. Alternately, as mentioned above, I am also very interested in owning my own business surrounding health and fitness in some way as I would love to play a part in improving the lives of others while doing something I am truly passionate about. I would like to be married with two small children that I hope to inspire with my accomplishments and passion for living life to the fullest.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
Environmental sustainability is something else that is also very important to me. In my everyday life I am very conscious of the environment and the negative impact that we have on it. I try to minimize my environmental foot print everyday as much as I can and hope to educate and inspire others to do the same.