Hometown: Toronto, ON
Camila Gonzalez is a student, model and radio host from Toronto, Ontario. She was born in Colombia and moved to Canada when she was 3 years old. She has always been strong and persevering since an early age. Camila has always been passionate about working with and performing in front of people. She competed at regional and provincial levels in figure skating for 8 years and used her skills to teach younger children how to skate as a volunteer CanSkate coach. Before graduating high school, Camila injured her hip while skating and had to have surgery done to repair a labrum tear. After her surgery, Camila had to learn how to walk again and missed three months of her last year of high school. Despite having to teach herself several months of missed course work, she was able to graduate with honours and eventually get back on the ice. This was a very humbling and valuable lesson that taught her to never take anything for granted and that she can overcome any obstacle that life throws at her.
She began radio hosting at the age of 13 and now hosts and produces her own show. Her show, called “El Mundo de los Niños,” is aimed at helping children in the community maintain their Spanish language and roots, and discuss current issues in a fun and educational manner. Camila loves working with children because their spontaneity and curiosity inspires her to always keep a positive and fresh outlook on life and to never forget where she came from.
Camila signed with Toronto-based modelling agency Plutino Models in 2014 and since then has modelled for Holt Renfrew/Charlotte Tilbury, Mac Cosmetics on eTalk, Over the Rainbow Yorkville, Teknion, Red Coral and more. She has also walked in World MasterCard Fashion Week, Latin American Fashion Week, and participated in several charity fashion shows, including a WeDay event where she walked for Canadian designer David Dixon. Camila has also worked as an MC, hosting the Inti Raymi festival two years in a row and has interviewed many well-known personalities. She covered the PanAm Games opening ceremonies for CHHA 1610AM and continues to pursue her love for media as she currently studies journalism at Ryerson University.
She plans to pursue a career in television and host her own show that focuses not only on entertainment, but also on promoting positive self-image and self-esteem. As someone who has been performing in front of an audience since an early age, she knows how difficult it is sometimes to stay strong in light of internal and external criticism. Through her experiences, she wants to transform the way society views what is beautiful and what is not, and to spread a message of self-love and acceptance. The media is a huge platform to reach audiences and create social impact, which is why she is studying journalism. She wants to connect with the public and instil a notion of respect towards diversity and appreciation of inner beauty. She knows her multicultural background, life experiences, and maturity will help her be an exemplary representative of the modern Canadian woman: someone who is smart, hard-working, professional, and is always having fun no matter what she does.
Xtian Collection – Christian Pelayo, Barreworks, Medulla & Co, L’Oreal Luxe – Biotherm & Clarisonic & Lancôme, Little and Middle, Visage Clinic Yorkville – Dr. Marc DuPere, Copacabana Brazilian Steakhouse, Industry Clothing, Robo-Geek, Lionette by Noa Sade, Friends & Family
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
English and Spanish
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
I love writing, figure skating, and playing guitar. Most of all I enjoy spending time with my parents as they are the only family I have in Canada. My biggest passion, however, is travelling. Every corner of our planet is home to different cultures, religions, and people. If we want to be truly global citizens and end discrimination against race and religion, we must visit other countries. By living in their cultures and placing ourselves in the shoes of others, we can understand why they think, act, and feel the way they do. In a time where travelling becomes more accessible each day, I want to be able to visit every continent in order to gain a new perspective about the world and about myself.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.).
• Hair and makeup training
• Runway lessons
• Photoshoot experience
• Radio/TV hosting
• Event hosting
• News writing
• Figure skating
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
I did competitive figure skating for 8 years and was on the Ryerson Varsity figure skating team.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
The person who has had the most influence on my life has been my mentor and friend Martha Pinzon. She gave me the opportunity to participate in her radio show when I was 13. She trained me and sparked my passion for journalism at a young age. She is the reason I found my dream career and can proudly say that I am studying it and have been actively working in it for 4 years.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
My proudest personal accomplishment was graduating with honours in high school, despite having to teach myself the final months of course work. In my senior year, I injured myself at skating and had to have surgery on my hip immediately. After the surgery, I had to learn how to walk again and couldn’t attend the final months of class. From my room, I completed all my coursework and studied at the same time as all my classmates. I managed to not only finish with a 95% average, but also I got into the university of my dreams.
Additionally, the doctors told me I was probably never going to be able to skate again. I dedicated myself to strengthening my hip and was able to get back on the ice and be a part of Ryerson’s Varsity figure skating team.
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
When I was 14, I signed my dog up for the Fido Casting Call. It was a contest that had 24,000 participants across Canada and the winner got to be the Fido dog in their advertisements. I got all of my friends and family to vote, and promoted it on my blog and managed to put my dog, Speedy Gonzalez, in first place. He was the 2012 Fido dog and thanks to that, Fido was able to donate $220,000 to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
My main goal as a journalist is to raise awareness about the current issues affecting Canadian youth. I’m going to use my journalistic and social media abilities to launch a campaign that discusses topics such as bullying, drop out rates, self-esteem, and precarious employment in a way that is easily accessible and enjoyable for young people. I plan to create a video series dealing with these issues that I would share on my blog, since most of my followers are in the 15-24 year-old age group. Eventually, I want to branch off into television in order to reach a larger audience.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My dream job would be to host my own television show that focuses not only on entertainment, but also on promoting positive self-image and self-esteem. As someone who has been performing in front of an audience since an early age, I know how difficult it is sometimes to stay strong in light of internal and external criticism. Through my experiences, I want to transform the way society views what is beautiful and what is not, and to spread a message of self-love and acceptance. The media is a huge platform to reach audiences and create social impact, which is why I am studying journalism. I want to connect with the public and instil a notion of respect towards diversity and appreciation of inner beauty.
Are you currently a student?
If yes, where?
Area of study:
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
Model signed with Plutino Models Toronto.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was born in Cali, Colombia and moved to Canada when I was 3 years old. I grew up in Brampton, ON. The majority of my childhood I spent on the ice, as figure skating was a daily part of my life. As an only child, I have always been very close to my parents and am very grateful to have the support of both of them in all my endeavours. My parents are the only family I have in Canada, so I spent most of my life travelling to Colombia to visit my grandparents and the rest of my family.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
In modelling, I’ve done a couple jobs that are very unusual. I did a hair shoot that involved 6 hours of hair styling and left me with a 60’s crimped beehive. I also did a shoot where I had to be photographed outside on a rooftop in a sundress in -14 degree weather
List any volunteering you have done.
- CanSkate volunteering teaching kids to skate
- Volunteer with CHHA1610AM and San Lorenzo Community during various events
- Selling 50/50 tickets for Special Olympics at Raptors games (MLSE)
What is your most unusual talent?
I can ride a unicycle.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
The most interesting place I have been to is the Piedra del Peñol (Peñol Rock), which is a national monument in Guatapé, Antioquia, Colombia. It is an incredible look out spot to see the represa of Guatapé (reservoir) and has 740 steps to the top, which my cousins and I always raced to the top of the rock.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
In ten years, I want to have a successful journalism career that causes positive impact. I love working with people and my ultimate goal is to be able to use my love for communications to inspire at least one person. If I can make a positive difference in one person’s life, I will be happy. The one thing that scares me the most is being a person who doesn’t contribute to society. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I’ve fulfilled personal goals, but that they haven’t caused any social or external benefit.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I want to thank the Miss Universe Canada organization for choosing me as a national delegate and giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn, grow, and use the platform to show Canada that we all are one. It would be an incredible honor to represent the modern Canadian woman. I’ve been immersed in the Canadian culture since I was little and I love everything that Canada stands for: acceptance, respect, and diversity. As an immigrant I can relate to a lot of young girls who are living with two or more cultures and traditions. Canada has given me so many opportunities and now I want to give back, as a mature and responsible representative of our country on an international scale.