Langley resident Vanya Shastri readies to compete in Miss Canada Petite, a pageant for young women ages 18 to 29 who are no taller than 5’6”. (Vanya Shastri/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley woman prepping for Miss Canada Petite

Pageant open for young women no taller than 5’6”

A Clayton Secondary School grad has tossed her ball gown into the ring.

Vanya Shastri has entered a national pageant, Miss Canada Petite, which takes place in August in Toronto.

The pageant allows young women ages 18 to 29 who are no taller than 5’6” to compete.

The 19-year-old wants to use the spotlight of the pageant to raise awareness about forced marriage.

“This issue is very important to me not only as a young woman but also as person who understands basic human rights,” she said. “It’s unfortunate that many bright, vivacious, intelligent women of my community that have so much to offer are forced into unions with complete strangers against their will and may later face a life of domestic violence and sexual abuse. However if they don’t comply, their family’s may disown them or even result to honour based violence in order to cover the shame.”

The pageant is not her first foray into social issues. She was involved in her high school’s leadership team, equality groups that raised money for local and global causes and more.

“I enjoyed taking trips with my school to downtown Vancouver in the Hastings area to bring care packages to the homeless during the winter months. I was also a peer tutor for English and social studies as well as a freshmen mentor during my time at Clayton,” Shastri said.

Read more: Local contestant heads to Miss Teenage Canada pageant in Toronto

Another reason she wanted to enter the pageant was to take advantage of an opportunity that didn’t always exist for those who didn’t fit the typical female model-like pageant requirements.

“I am 5’4” but when I was younger I watched the pageant with my mom and always hoped to one day be able to enter,” she said. “What stopped me was until now it just wasn’t the right time, I was preoccupied with high-school. I found out about the petite category simply while scrolling through Facebook and an ad specifically for Miss Petite Canada popped up, like it was fate.”

Shastri hopes that young women growing up after her get to see a range of people in the public eye.

“What I hope to gain from this pageant is the opportunity to help people see more diversity and representation on platforms like Miss Teen Canada. I want more young girls to be able to watch tv or read the paper and see someone who looks like them so they can relate and feel like their dreams are achievable,” she explained.

To get ready for the pageant, she’s trying to line up sponsors and support. Anyone interested can email her at This pageant is open to women 18 to 29 who are up to 5’6” tall and who have never been married nor had children.

People can also vote for Vanya by visiting


Is there more to this story?


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

TRAFFIC: Roadwork, stalled semi causing major delays on Highway 1 in Langley

Westbound commuters should try the Fraser Highway or 56th Ave

Party bus door faulty for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

VIDEO: House fire on Old Yale Road draws multiple fire units

No immediate reports of serious injuries

‘Exciting’ Aldergrove Town Centre proposal clears first hurdle

Township council passes first and second readings of Janda Group’s plans for the old mall downtown

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read