Media Arts student prepares to take the stage for the Miss World Canada 2014


Kristin Kamila Bingham still remembers the day her grade-school friends rated all the girls in their class on their appearance: everyone else got an 8, 9 or 10, she got a 3.

But when the director of the Miss Canada World 2014 pageant gave the 22-year-old Jamaican-born Sheridan student perfect scores across the board, helping her secure a position in the finals in Vancouver this May, it was a huge boost to her self-confidence.

Bingham joined Sheridan for the Media Fundamentals program and is now in Media Arts from which she will graduate this June. Bingham, who has lived in Oakville for the past four years, applied for the pageant because her friends and peers insisted. No one knew about her success until she made it to the finals.

“I was a little blindsided,” said her mother Kamla Bingham-Smith. “I didn’t see it coming, but I was happy for her, and I was proud of her.”

Getting creative and playful with the sash...Bingham hopes to use her college experience to do well in the Miss Photogenic Award

Getting creative and playful with the sash…Bingham hopes to use her college experience to do well in the Miss Photogenic Award

Now she helps Bingham de-stress. From discussing Bingham’s next steps to taking her around to meet sponsors and people, they share every moment of the process.

Bingham says from May 2-11, the competition will be like pageant boot camp; she will be cut off from friends and family and will miss not having readily available support.

Bingham’s typical day can include working out at the gym, meeting with sponsors, photo shoots, discussions with designers and stylists, and online pageant development training and volunteer work.

“I’ve done a lot of work with UNICEF, WWF, food banks around the GTA and Gabrielle’s Ride. It’s for SickKids hospital,” she said in an interview on campus.

Her father, Robert Smith, a general insurance claims consultant, thinks the competition will give her a chance to grow as a person.

Best friends Courtney Biron and Ally Waller say Bingham’s willingness to go the extra mile to help those around her makes her a special contestant.

Biron says the quality that makes her a good contestant is “Honestly, her passion for not only modelling, but her passion for genuinely wanting to help other people. She is such a down-to-earth person.”

Waller sees the same qualities in Bingham making her a successful role model for those younger than her.

“She does things for the bigger picture. She’s always trying help out, from local to global,” says Waller.

The pageant promotes the slogan: “Beauty with a purpose.”

“I figured if that’s what this pageant is about why not use it to do some good work,” said Bingham. “That was my purpose of doing this. It’s not me fulfilling a stereotype of beauty and glitz and glamour. It’s more about reaching out and helping others and travel.”

Even though she claims to be a competitive person, her kindred spirit trumps competitiveness. Her mother recalls that during a short-distance race in kindergarten, Bingham, who was winning, stopped and waited for her best friend to catch up. Bingham lost, but she crossed the line holding her best friend’s hand.

For the final pageant week, Bingham had to seek out sponsorship on her own for her ticket to Vancouver and the gown she will be wearing on the final night.

Her involvement in the community convinced her naturopath, Jason Lee, and to help her, he used his frequent flyer miles to pay for her ticket to Vancouver. Similarly, Julie Armstrong of By Tocca in Oakville sponsored Bingham’s gown for the pageant.

“She came in, she presented herself really well,” said Armstrong. “We looked at her resume and website, she’s an amazing young talent, and we wanted support her.”

Bingham keeps herself motivated and inspired by looking at other people who set out to accomplish something and do it no matter what obstacles stand in their way.

Feeling on top of the world after placing among 40 others in the Miss World Canada 2014 final competition.

Feeling on top of the world after placing among 40 others in the Miss World Canada 2014 final competition.

To follow Bingham’s day-to-day activities and her progress toward the finals visit her Facebook page: