Local woman captures Miss Eco International pageant in Egypt

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Ten years of competing in pageants has paid off for an Amherstburg woman, as she represented both the town and Canada well at a recent pageant in Egypt.

Amber Bernachi captured the 2017 Miss Eco International pageant and it was the highlight thus far of the 26-year-old’s pageant career.

“Actually winning for Canada was one of the best experiences of my life,” she said. “It was a great accomplishment. I’m happy to bring it home and share it.”

The pageant took place last month and saw Bernachi stay in Egypt for two weeks. It featured evening gown, resort wear, talent, interview and eco-dress competitions, the latter of which saw competitors have to create dresses made from recyclable material. In the final round, Bernachi feels she may have gained an edge in the question portion, as she heard applause when she gave her answer even though there were few to no Canadian supporters there.

“People from other countries were happy with my response to the question,” she said.

Bernachi said she gave it all she had during the two months and “I proved myself worthy of it.” She believed her education assisted her during the question period, noting she has a Masters in Business Administration.

Despite feeling good about her answer, she was unsure of how she did until the winner was announced.

“You never know what the judges are thinking,” she said. “When I heard Canada announced as the winner, I wasn’t expecting that.”

Bernachi qualified for the Miss Eco International pageant by finishing first runner-up in the June 2016 Miss Universe Canada pageant. In between, she also travelled to Japan for the Miss International pageant.

Amber Bernachi of Amherstburg was named Miss Eco International recently in Egypt.

Amber Bernachi of Amherstburg was named Miss Eco International recently in Egypt.

There are usually four to six months to prepare for a pageant, she said, and that includes learning the local customs and culture of the country in which the pageant is held. She also said there is a number of behind-the-scenes components involved, including the way competitors conduct themselves and how they behave towards others.

“The way you treat people is factored in,” she said. “It’s not just about how you are on stage. It’s about who you are the entire time leading up to it.”

Competitors also have to keep up on current events, both at home and internationally, as well as determining what dresses to wear and finalizing make-up and hair choices.

“There’s a lot of little things that come into play,” said Bernachi.

The lifelong Amherstburg resident holds the crown for one year and is now an ambassador for eco-tourism for both Canada and Egypt. She will tour five to ten countries, including stops where she will promote a product that helps relieve malnutrition in underdeveloped countries. Bernachi said she plans on doing fundraisers locally, national and internationally.

While keeping the door open to possibly competing in more pageants, Bernachi understands the usual age for women to stop competing is usually around 27-years-old. That said, she is comfortable with her pageant career and has already made a lot of friends in the process.

“I am proud of myself. I am happy with where I’m at right now,” she said.

Bernachi estimates she has taken part in eight pageants since she started competing when she was 16-years-old. The Miss Eco International was the first time she was crowned on stage.

“I was really proud to go to Egypt and wear my Canadian sash,” she said, adding her past experience helped her win Miss Eco International.

Being in pageants is more than just being pretty, Bernachi added. She said there is “so much more that goes into it.”

“They’re not picking the most beautiful person on the stage, they’re picking the most well-rounded,” she said.

Bernachi thanked everyone who helped her get to where she is, including her family, her relatives, friends and those she has worked with including national director Denis Davila, Miss Universe Canada western Ontario regional director Sonny Borrelli, pageant coach for Miss Universe Canada Chelsea Durocher and her new international director Dr. Amaal Rezk.

Even though she didn’t win her earlier pageants, Bernachi said she still had great experiences. She urged other women to follow their dreams if they don’t win right away.

“Don’t give up after your first one. It took me seven or eight (attempts) to get to the top,” she said. “Constantly work to create a better version of yourself.”

 

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