Miss Canada Leanne Baird

Last April, in a brazen attempt to generate traffic on my web site and to advertise my new domain name, I posted pages featuring photos of every one of the 80 contestants in the Miss Universe contest which was being held that day by The Donald Trump.

Little did I realize that I was stepping into a firestorm of controversy concerning Miss Canada.
Miss Canada Leanne Baird (right) arrives in Seychelles on November 7, 1998 after a 12 hour flight from Paris

As best I could determine from the e-mail I subsequently received, the title "Miss Canada" was owned by a commercial company which had not held competitions since 1991 due to feminists protests.

Because of this, it seemed that Trump had simply selected a suitable girl to be the Canadian representative in the Miss Universe contest, which Trump personally owns. The Trump version of Miss Canada was Juliana Renee Thiessen.

Thus, I was surprised to receive an e-mail from another young woman who said that she herself was the real Miss Canada.

One good thing which has come out of this is that I keep receiving e-mails from beautiful young women. I will not name any names, except to say that several of the young women who were Miss Universe contestants are online and have written to me. (Sad to relate, no love letters yet.)

Here is the real Miss Canada. Her name is Leanne Baird. She has just arrived in the Island of Seychelles, a beautiful tropical Island in the Indian Ocean, where she will compete on November 26 with 98 contestants for the title of Miss World.

She is rooming with Miss Israel (I wonder why they do not allow these young women to have a room of their own), is having the time of her life, and will return to Canada with a pocketful of memories.

I have her e-mail address and here it is: (Darn, where did I put that?)

Meanwhile, here are a few of the letters I have received regarding the Miss Canada controversy.

Sam Sloan

From: "Sylvia Stark" ( mscanada@bconnex.net )
To: Sloan@ishipress.com
Subject: Her title is Canadian Search for Miss Universe
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 10:05:26 -0400

It is illegal for this young women to call herself Miss Canada 1998. The Miss Canada title is owned by a Toronto Company. Her official title is Canadian Search for Miss Universe not Miss Canada. This has been sent to this company's attention.

From ???@??? Mon Aug 03 11:51:24 1998
To: "Sylvia Stark" ( mscanada@bconnex.net )
From: Sam Sloan
Subject: Re: Her title is Canadian Search for Miss Universe

Please sue me.

I do not believe that a title like "Miss Canada" is owned by anyone.

For example, in the Miss World contest which is now held in India, they can just find some woman in Canada and call her Miss Canada.

I imagine that in many countries there is more than one woman who is regarded as "Miss So-and-so".

Sam Sloan

Reply-To: ifry@avint.net
From: "Isabelle Fry--" ( ifry@avint.net )
To: Sloan@ishipress.com
Subject: Miss Canada
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 16:59:47 -0230

To whom it may concern:

Didn't the Miss Canada Pageant end in 1990 when Cleo Productions stopped having it?

Isabelle Fry

From ???@??? Mon Aug 03 19:27:12 1998
To: ifry@avint.net
From: Sam Sloan
Subject: Re: Miss Canada

This is the second letter I have received about the Miss Canada issue today.

Why the sudden interest?

As far as I know, contests such as Miss Universe have the ultimate right to designate anybody they please as Miss Canada or Miss Costa Rica or whatever for the purposes of their contest.

Sam Sloan

From: "Isabelle Fry--" ifry@avint.net
To: "Sam Sloan"
Subject: Re: Miss Canada
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 22:45:15 -0230


To the best of my knowledge, the "Miss Canada" is a registered trademark owned by Cleo Productions.

Isabelle Fry

From ???@??? Tue Aug 04 01:03:47 1998
To: ifry@avint.net
From: Sam Sloan
Subject: Re: Miss Canada

I am familiar with legal and copyright issues.

I do not believe that anyone can enforce the registration as a trademark a name like "Miss Canada."

Of course, any name can be registered. However, such registration would not be valid and enforceable.

Why are you interested in this issue? Are you connected with Cleo Productions?

Sam Sloan

Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 16:27:03 -0400
From: Brian Paradis ( hunter@csolve.net )
Reply-To: hunter@csolve.net
To: Sloan@ishipress.com
Subject: message from another Canadian Pageant Fan

Hello there: Just a quick note from another pageant fan from Canada. I collect programs and photos of pageant winners and have tried to contact the pageant who sends their winner to MISS UNIVERSE I thought it was called the CANADIAN SEARCH FOR MISS UNIVERSE not MISS CANADA. I was under the understanding the BATON BROADCASTING LTD owns the MISS CANADA name. Did someone purchase the name. I as I said collect programs and photos from pageants including MISS UNIVERSE MISS USA MISS WORLD and a number of state pageants who send their winner to MISS USA including TEXAS CALIFORNIA GEORGIA SOUTH CAROLINA NEW YORK VIRGINIA IOWA and others. I would like to get a program from the pageant who's winner your are promoting. I have contacted this pageant a number of times and I have found out that Mary Chan NEVER EVER replies to and request for information. Can you get me a program and or photo. I have a photo of every MISS UNIVERSE since 1980 and every MISS USA since 1979 except 1984. I have photos of MISS WORLD since 1989. It would be nice to get a photo from the Canadian pageant who attends. Sincerely yours Patrick pageant fan from Ontario.

From ???@??? Sat Aug 08 21:20:19 1998
To: hunter@csolve.net
From: Sam Sloan
Subject: Re: message from another Canadian Pageant Fan

I have had several letters from Canada claiming that the "Miss Canada" on my web page is not Miss Canada at all because there is no Miss Canada.

What I suspect may be the case is that because of feminist protests against beauty contests in general, that no contest for Miss Canada competition has been held since about 1991.

So, let's hold one, and see if they try and stop us.

I am not promoting this Miss Canada. I just posted her picture.

Sam Sloan

Dear Mr. Sloan,

I was a delegate along with 36 other young, talented, intelligent Canadian women. We were in the Miss. Canada Int'l Pageant 1998. This pageant was an amazing week of friendship, touring, and celebration of women in Canada. Your website celebrates the Canadian search for Miss Universe not Miss Canada. Kimberly could be a great candidate for the real pageant, maybe she can be a delegate next year.

This year is my year. In the past two months of my reign, I have been to London, Ontario, met Shelia Copps, Mike Harris, and Celine Dion. I have visited hospitals and schools, fashion shows and designers. In November I will be traveling to Paris and Africa to compete with 89 other girls for the Miss World title.

I would never take Kimberly's justful achievement away, so please do not take it away from me.


Leanne Baird
Miss Canada International 1998-1999

From ???@??? Sat Oct 24 08:55:32 1998
To: "Leanne C. Baird"
From: Sam Sloan ( sloan@ishipress.com )
Subject: Re: Miss Canada 1998

As I am sure you realize, I took my "Miss Canada" photos from the official Miss Universe web site.

I have been bombarded with letters about the Miss Canada controversy. Some letters say that there is no Miss Canada and the use of that term violates somebody's copyright. Now, you say that you are the Miss Canada.

This all is very strange to me. No other country seems to have this sort of controversy.

I would be most happy to post your photograph and all sorts of information about you on my web site. Just write and tell me what you want me to say. Probably I should say something about this entire controversy and try to figure it out.

I had assumed that because of feminists protests there were no Miss Canada contests for several years, but Trump wanted a Canadian representative in his Miss Universe contest, so he selected one.

Sam Sloan

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 21:49:45 -0500 (EST)
From: "Leanne Baird"
To: Sam Sloan
Subject: Re: Miss Canada 1998

Thank you for realizing the problems with the proper naming. My title is Miss. Canada Int'l 1998-1999.

I would love to send you a photo and information. As soon as I get back from the Miss World pageant I will get in contact with you-definitely. I am leaving in five days so I have many designers and media to contact.

Take Care and Thanks again,

Leanne Baird

At 12:23 PM 11/10/98 -0500, Sylvia Stark wrote:
Dear Sir

Leanne asked us to send you a photo of her at Miss World. This is as she is arriving in the Seychelles Islands after a 12 hour flight from Paris. She left Canada November 2 and will stay until November 27. The actual Miss World pageant takes place November 26 with 98 young women from all over the world vying for the title. Miss India won the title last year. Leanne Miss Canada is rooming with Miss Israel and having the time of her life.

Thank You

Sylvia Starke

Yes Leanne is the young lady in the photo with the sash on. The women with her is one of the official greeters from the Scychelles, that greet the contestants as they arrive. I am sorry we do not know her name. Along the street as well there were hundreds of school children greeting them and a large parade.

Thank you for your interest. I am sure people will enjoy seeing the photos as we are being asked constantly what she is up to and what she is doing each day. She is having a wonderful time, she says the time she is having is a lifetime experience one she could not of imagined what it was going to be like. She is becoming good friends with Miss USA, and Miss Hong Kong.

When she returns from Miss World, she is on her way to The Canada Winter Games, the province of New Brunswick, Quebec for the Winter Carnival, Ottawa for Winterlude, Juno Awards, many Christmas Parades as well will visit Calgary, Edmonton and PEI and Nova Scotia closer to summer for special events.

Sylvia Starke

Miss Canada Inter. Head Office

From: "Breitkreuz, Cliff - Assistant 2" ( BreitC9@parl.gc.ca )
To: "'sloan@ishipress.com'" ( sloan@ishipress.com )
Subject: Miss Canadian Universe 1998-99
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 1999 14:21:30 -0500

Re: Miss Canadian Universe, Juliana Thiessen

I was shocked to read the controversy surrounding who is the real Miss Canada. I was equally shocked to hear the vindictiveness concerning Miss Juliana Thiessen. Actually, the only time I have ever even heard of Miss Canada International was during its scandalous Danielle House time.

Now if we really want to get into Miss Thiessen's validity, lets compare these two potential Miss Canadas.

So Miss Canada International believes that she is the true representative. To be honest, I have only seen a small black and white, unflattering picture in a newspaper and that is the only time I have ever heard of her. The end.

Now, Miss Canadian Universe has never called herself Miss Canada - although she could have. Miss Int`l goes to Miss World. wow. It isn't even televised in Canada. Miss Universe is televised across Canada and to over 800 million viewers around the world. I have seen Miss Thiessen in countless local papers across Canada in my travels. Miss Thiessen not only writes a column in the Calgary Herald - the number one newspaper in that city, she also went with a team of Canadians that took Shoeboxes filled with gifts down to Nicaragua over Christmas. - And these are only the things that I know of. I believe that she has also been across this country. Can Miss Int`l say the same?

I wonder if Miss Thiessen has seen these petty letters. I stumbled across this site by mistake, and I feel that it is time that someone stuck up for the `real Miss Canada` in the hearts of Canadians. Frankly, I don't even think she would respond - she doesn't seem like the type to spout about the `good things` that she has done and the hospitals she has visited. She's much too classy for that.

Shane Bourke

From: "Carly Miller" ( carlym@ualberta.ca )
To: Sloan@ishipress.com
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 00:22:57 -0700

I just want to say that there is no "Miss Canada". There is definitely a Miss Canada International Pageant and there is definitely a Miss Canada Universe pageant. The actual Miss Canada pageant died in 1993, with Nicole Dunsdon, from the Interior of British Columbia, as it's last Miss Canada. In my point of view, that was the last Miss Canada, and the legal name of Miss Canada is still held whether or not anyone disagrees. No one will ever be Miss Canada again, until the pageant is reinstated!!

At 03:45 PM 8/10/99 -0600, Juliana Thiessen wrote:

Dear Ms. Stark,

I saw the photo of the Miss Canada International contestants on the cover of the National Post today. It was wonderful to see a Canadian pageant doing so well. I recognize many of the delegates from the Miss Canadian Universe pageant and even one that was second runner up for Miss Calgary in the pageant that succeeded mine. All the girls that I know in your pageant are wonderful young women who will make your pageant proud! From your web page, I see that you have secured many good sponsors for Miss Canada International, which must mean that there is still much support for these kinds of initiatives.

I participated in the Miss Universe competition for Canada in 1998. After such a busy year, I was interested to see that Canada also had a "Miss Canada International" pageant, which I will now follow with interest.

I also saw that much had been written about both the "Canadian Universe" and the "Canada International" pageants on the Internet. I was disappointed to see that on one web page - Mr. Sam Sloan's, there are some pretty harsh references to myself including this statement: "It is illegal for this young women to call herself Miss Canada 1998. The Miss Canada title is owned by a Toronto Company. Her official title is Canadian Search for Miss Universe not Miss Canada. This has been sent to this company's attention." - I believe this one was by you.

I wanted to make certain that I did not offend you, so I would like to set the record straight. At the Miss Universe competition, all title holders are referred to as "Miss theircountry", as I am sure it is with the delegates you have sent to "Miss World". When they post all the photos on the web page, they automatically refer to them in this way. Now, I am sure that the Toronto company that owns the name "Miss Canada" is probably very grateful that you would point out to them that I have been fraudulently using this title, however, I think that if you will go as far as to put these accusations on the Internet, you should also own up to the fact that your title holders refer to themselves in this way. (As per an interview on the Internet with past title holder Linda Bard).

I hope that I have not caused any discomfort. I sincerely wish the best for you and your pageant, I just wanted to set the record straight for my own piece of mind.

Good luck on August 12!

All the best for many successful years!

Juliana Thiessen
Miss Canadian Universe 1998

Fri Aug 20 02:46:40 1999
To: Juliana_Thiessen@pancanadian.ca, mscanada@bconnex.net
From: Sam Sloan (sloan@ishipress.com)
Subject: Re: Congratulations on a wonderful pageant!

Thank you for forwarding your letter to me.

As you know, this is a big controversy.

I would be happy to make a web page about you if you could send me your photograph.

Sam Sloan

At 05:01 AM 9/4/99 -0400, Juliana Day wrote:

Dear Sam,

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you, I have been in Sydney, Australia that two weeks, tomorrow on my way back to the site of Miss Universe 1998, Hawaii, so I've been slightly indisposed. In fact, right now, I am writing from this cute little Internet cafe, on Sydney's North shore. Okay, enough bragging.

Thanks for the offer about putting my face on the Internet, that's generous of you. Frankly, I don't want to risk it - I'm not the most photogenic of girls... :) For me the whole pageant thing is pretty much over. It was a one time shot, a great time, but not something that will make or break my life. I'm pretty ambitious, "I've only just begun... to live..." - sorry, I'm starting to sound like a Carpenters song. I guess I just wanted to leave everything on the up and up that's why I wrote. It's obvious that unless you are getting into a bar fight, in Canada, pageants won't propel you into a life of stardom - Maybe when there actually was a "Miss Canada", but those are thoughts for another day...

Unfortunately, "MsCanada" doesn't feel that way, she replied by sending me a computer virus - man, some people. I gotta say, Sam, no wonder pageants are so disrespected in this country - some people get way too serious! - And most just make it a good time... oh well, you know what they say, "one bad apple..." (now, I'm starting to sound like my mom...)

For the record, my pageant director was great, there were no false promises. I got to do whatever my little soul desired, and I did, it was great. (Am I spoiled or what?) - just lucky :)

Well, I'm off, sorry about the spelling - no spell check - and I happened to inherit daddy's knack of spelling every forth word wrong...

Hey, btw, great page! Take good care!

Julie (a.k.a. "Juliana Thiessen, Miss Canadian Universe 1998!" - phew)

Sat Sep 04 20:08:07 1999
To: Juliana Day
From: Sam Sloan ( sloan@ishipress.com )
Subject: RE: Re: Congratulations on a wonderful pageant!

Dear Juliana,

There are so many versions of Miss Canada that I failed to realize that I already have a photo of you on my web site.

You have written me two nice letters. I would like to have your permission to post them on my web site, which I believe would be a good idea to counter the negative things others have written about you.

Sam Sloan

Return-Path: ajones@compusmart.ab.ca
Date: Sun, 07 Nov 1999 14:53:39 -0700
Subject: Canadian Search for Miss Universe- the facts.
From: "Anthony P. Jones"
To: Sloan@ishipress.com


I stopped by your page and saw the so-called "controversy" surrounding the "Miss Canada" name.

For the past seven or eight years (I've been on board as the Official Photographer for the last six) "Chan International Model and Talent Management" in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada has produced and run the "Canadian Search for Miss Universe" which is the Official Preliminary for Canada to the Miss Universe pageant. From this pageant, the title of "Miss Canadian Universe" is given to the individual who wins - she is then sent to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

The current "Miss Canadian Universe" is Shannon McArthur who won the title this past March, having competed against 38 other delegates.

For your information, the "Miss Canadian Universe 2000" will be held at the beginning of this coming December (yes, only a month away). I have been told we will have roughly 50 delegates this year, which is certainly the largest since I started working with the pageant.

If you, or anyone else would like information regarding the Canadian Search for Miss Universe, please contact "Chan International Models" at:

Chan International
#101- 2323-111 St.
Edmonton, Alberta
780-465-6599 (voice)
780-465-2727 (fax).

A few photographs of the crowning from this past CSMU can be seen on my homepage at: http://www.compusmart.ab.ca/ajones/csmu.htm

Hopefully this information helps to clear up some of the "stories" I saw in various E-mails on your web page....=)

Anthony P. Jones,
Photograph Effects.
Edmonton, Ab.

Official photographer for "The Canadian Search for Miss Universe" 1996-2000, "The Miss Edmonton Pageant" and "The Miss Teen Edmonton Pageant", 1996-2000.

Head photographer for "Chan International Models", Edmonton, Ab.

mail: peffects@compusmart.ab.ca
web: http://www.compusmart.ab.ca/ajones

From: "Nicole Dunsdon"

Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 22:22:30 -0700

Hi Sam...

This is the "last" Miss Canada, Nicole Dunsdon. I happened upon the strange debate you've had going on your web site and couldn't resist replying.

The Miss Canada name is owned by Baton Broadcasting in Toronto. Cleo Productions was a subsidiary of Baton that owned and operated the Miss Canada pageant until October 1992 when my year as Miss Canada was completed. The decision to dissolve Cleo Productions and the production of the Miss Canada pageant was made in December 1991, at the start of the recession of the early 90's. At no time was feminist pressure involved. The sad fact (I'm not sure how sad it really is) is that the business community that provided sponsorship for the pageant wasn't interested in spending their advertising dollars in that direction, and sponsorship waned dramatically. As such, Baton made the business decision to finish the pageant and were willing to sell the rights for something like $200-thousand, according to past General Manager of Cleo Productions, Randi Abrahamsen.

I'm not sure if you all really wanted your debate solved, or if it isn't maybe more fun to just argue...but here are some facts you may appreciate.

Nicole Dunsdon, M.A.
Freelance Writer
1215 Riverdale Ave. S.W.
Calgary, AB T2S 0Z1
Phone: (403) 287-8280
Fax: (403) 287-8279

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Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: Sloan@ishipress.com