Queen of the Jewel Ltd., The Belize Tourism Board (BTB), The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, & Culture, and The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) are partnering to present the Miss Belize 2016 Pageant slated as part of this year’s September celebrations. The event takes place on September 10, 2016 at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, this year’s winner will be participating at the Miss Universe contest, a first for Belize since 2007!
The call has now been sounded for young Belizean women all over the country to sign up at our website www.missbelizepageant.com to register. Contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 26, a minimum height of 5’5”, of good moral character, possess a minimum of a high school diploma to participate. You could be the next Miss Belize!
“Miss Belize is not just pageant it’s a movement. A movement to recapture, restore and retain the pride and prestige that is befitting to the title of Miss Belize and Miss Belize Universe. We aim to create avenues for positive experiences in order to encourage our young women to strive for excellence by celebrating their confidence, culture and beauty.”
Bring Back The Beauty
The Miss Universe beauty pageant is the biggest pageant event in the world but in case you hadn't noticed, Belize hasn't been represented in the pageant since 2007. Apparently, that's because Belize was banned from the competition due to a misunderstanding between the pageant organizers and the last owners of the Miss Belize Franchise. Well the franchise now has a new set of owners, who are trying to regain the Miss Belize glory. Today the Queen of the Jewel organization, the new managers of the franchise, held a press briefing at the Bliss Center where they spoke about this new venture.
The date for the local Miss Belize competition is set for September 8th.
Now Belize has made a mark at the Miss Universe Pageant before. In 1979 Sarita Acosta made it to the semi-finals. So is Belize ready to go "Sarita" in 2016? The new managers of the Miss Belize Franchise seem to think so.
Now while this is a worthwhile initiative, it will be costly. The committee has projected a minimum budget of a quarter million dollars to see this competition through.
The Miss Belize pageant, disgraced in the past by a series of unpleasantries, is back after an almost 10-year hiatus, with a restructured makeup managed by a three-party company, with the blessings of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and strictly guided by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The last time Belize sent a representative to participate in the Miss Universe pageant was 2007, but the company, Queen of the Jewel now managing and organizing the Miss Belize pageant, hopes that on September 10, a new Miss Belize will be selected to once again put Belize on the international stage in the most popular pageant in the world.
Hoping to capitalize from the millions of viewers of the Miss Universe pageant, the owners of Queen of the Jewel, Orson Elrington, Opal Enriquez and Reynaldo Malic plan to promote Belize on this international platform.
Elrington told the media at a press briefing on Wednesday that in its bid for the Miss Universe franchise, Queen of the Jewel enlisted the assistance of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) as a partner to help highlight Belize and its culture in the venture. It also hopes to have the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) in a similar capacity, and has also commissioned Belize’s Music Ambassador Shine Barrow to bring in international artists and hosts and to use the facilities available in the music industry to promote the pageant and Richard Holder as its director of photography.
It took six years for Queen of the Jewel to repackage Miss Belize and to absolve it of all its past woes, which included getting disqualified from taking part in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant, and reports by past contestants of underhandedness by a former director. While those allegations were never proven, the franchise certainly lost its credibility.
But since then, the current franchise owners have spent the last six years on two pageants, creating uniformity, and conducting extensive training with delegates in areas of acting, media, and workshops on image and personal esteem.
One of the salient factors of improving the image of Miss Belize, Elrington said, was to give people with unquestionable ethical standards the opportunity to manage the Miss Belize franchise. Elribngton will act as the legal advisor and marketing director for Miss Belize; Enriquez, a past Los Angeles beauty queen and 2013 Costa Maya winner’s chaperon will spearhead the training; and Malic, a businessman, will also help to raise funds. In order to make the process transparent, Elrington added, the company will have an advisory board that will include other individuals in decision-making.
NICH made the decision several years ago to exclusively register and copyright the trademark to prevent any unethical practices and exploitation of the “Miss Belize” label. Hence, NICH is the exclusive owner of the Miss Belize trademark.
The licensed franchise holders say the Miss Belize Universe will not be just a pageant but “a movement” that will produce documentaries highlighting the participants and Belizean culture.
Musical Ambassador Barrow said he will use the Miss Belize platform to promote Belize internationally. “I’m all about promoting Belize by any means, but certainly showcase our beautiful assets in the form of our beautiful intellectual, powerful women; that’s of the greatest marketing tools that you could hope to have.”
It will cost in the region of quarter of a million dollars for the franchise owners to prepare the successful delegate to represent Belize with any possibility of placing in the semi-finals. But with an investment of that amount, they believe the delegate can successfully capture a place among the world’s top beauties on the Miss Universe stage and gain recognition for our country. The last person to do such was Sarita Acosta who placed among the top 12 semi-finals in 1979.
The standards for the Miss Belize pageant are the same as for the Miss Universe pageant. Delegates interested in contesting for the title of Miss Belize must be Belizeans by birth or nationalization, and must be living in Belize at least six months prior to the international Miss Universe pageant. Based on time constraints for this year, however, delegates will only be accepted from young ladies between the ages of 18 and 26 who are living in Belize. The candidates must be natural born females, single, never married and never given birth, with a minimum of a high school diploma and college aspirations. They must also possess good sportsmanship, a positive attitude and must be of good character and never convicted of a crime or participated in any kind of pornography.