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Not So Bland


Are you ever stuck at home, bored? Nothing interesting on T.V.? The only thing you can find is T.V. shows about the ‘perfect’ Barbie dolls and the rich and famous. Well all your T.V. blues, and problems are solved. Make way for the new break away show, “Not So Bland“. This show took the North American broadcasters by storm. The name Emily Bland has become a house hold name. It overcame the stereotypes against Newfoundland and Labradoreans. And truly proved that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, if you have a dream, and your willing to fight for it, you can do it. New York Times describe it as “truly inspiring for the youth of North America”. With over 10 million viewers, “Not So Bland” has taken the world by storm.

Not So Bland, stars a 17 year old, home town girl named Emily Bland. Emily lives in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and shows what life truly is like as a Newfie girl with big dreams. She dreams of being a role model, and proving that it doesn’t matter if you live on a farm, or in Newfoundland and Labrador making it big in the pageant world. But her dreams are continuously put on hold with her busy life. Emily and her family live on a farm, and with the constant need for help with the chickens, horses, and cows, Emily is always the first person called. Especially when her parents are out of town. On top of the farm Emily also has a passion for sports. As a member of the basketball, volleyball, soccer, track and field, floor hockey, and competitive cheerleading team, she spends over 20 hours in the gym a week. Battling back from countless injuries and disagreements with team members, Emily refuses to let any of it hold her back. With provincial basketball tryouts just around the corner, a injured shoulder, weak ankles, and a mother with the goal of not letting her tryout, is there any chance of her making it?

Emily also balances volunteer coaching basketball and volleyball, with her two jobs, writing for the Advertiser, and coaching soccer. Which isn’t that easy when you have to please your parents with a 90 or higher average and sports and a farm. With no time as it is she is also in piano and is a member of countless school groups. This takes a huge toll on her social life. Being from a town where everyone knows everything. So being the only person who lives on a farm…life isn’t that easy. She was bullied since she was a kid for her head strong and quarky personality. Life isn’t easy for this 17 year old brown haired girl.

Life was about to change though. With the encouragement of a few teachers and her best friend. Emily decides to enter the Miss Grand Falls-Windsor Pageant. With a shocked family who support her, Emily embraces the stage of her home town. The judges fell in love with her quarky personality and ability to be so real. Capturing 2nd runner up, even after two trips, Emily for the first time ever felt a sense of accomplishment. The ambitious teenager wanted more, she loved the feeling it brought to her, and the amazing self confidence. She had caught the pageant bug. Competing in the Miss Teen Central Newfoundland pageant she captured the title and a gallon of tears. Life was never going to be the same. As she travelled the region she met many amazing peoples and had many amazing times. This farm girl was realizing her dreams. She was ready for provincials where she gained the title second runner up, and the chance to go to Miss Teen Canada-World. But when trouble strikes on the farm, and Emily refuses to expect her parents to cover the cost, two major sponsors instantly jump on board to save the day. Marc Jacob and Shasha Bread join together to give this teen a chance at a life changing experience.

How did this home town girl go so far in just a few months? With the whole world watching her journey, school, sports, work, problems with the farm, how will she ever get everything together? The pressure, the expectations, this is it. She is about to embrace the experience of a life time, will this whole hearted girl get lost in the spot light?

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Free The Children and The Investors Group



One of the most important lessons I have learned as I have grown up, is that you need support to get far in life. This is where sponsors and support can really come in handy. Free The Children has been lucky enough to have over 60 different corporate sponsors. One of their major sponcers has been The Investors Group.They have made their motto “People Who Care”. And there is no better phrase to describe them. Ever since August 2007 they have supported Free The Children, and leadership and academics of the youth in Canada. In total they have supported over 2000 causes all over the world. They are truly a passionate and dedicated individuals. Investors Group is also a founding member of Imagine Canada. Imagine Canada said that they were one of their “Caring Company’s”.

 About the Investors Group

 Investors Group has been established for over 80 years, they opened their doors of business in 1926. And since then their extreme amount of growth and advancements are unbelievable. Their goal is to assist Canadians and their family’s to achieve their financial goals. They can assist in many different areas of financial help including, Registered Retirement, Saving Plans, Registered Income Funds, Deferred Profit Sharing Plans, life and disability insurance, Guaranteed Investment Certificates, and mortgages. Currently Investors Group serves over 1 million clients across Canada. As the needs of their clients increase so does the advancements in technology and their new ideas solve the financial problems of their clients. Investors group has proven to many people that they are reliable and have gained respect by many citizens.

How did they get involved? 

The thing that really caught the attention of the Investors Group is the amazing, and inspiring stories that they had heard about Free The Children. Many of the things they have accomplished are absolutely amazing. They help so many children throughout other parts of the world, but they also help the youth here in Canada. They send students over sees to help assist in building schools, with the Adopt A Village program and so many other things. By doing this they give the youth of Canada an amazing and potentially life changing experience. Free the Children caught The Investors Groups eye through their passion and dedication for their cause. Through the dedication and the volunteering of the employees of The Investors Group they have created a bond that goes further then just a donation here and there. They have done so many other things like putting off shows together and the bursaries. It’s so easy to get involved with Free The Children. Their website has a never-ending amount of information, and it is all laid out so it’s easy to find. You can get involved in many different ways, from making a donation, trips, We Days, Me to We style, or book a motivational speaker.
Even as a teen you can get involved, just like me and all of the other contestants competing at Miss Teen Canada-World. We have all been given the opportunity to work with Free The Children. Over the last month we have been fundraising. And truthfully I have had so much fun with it. I have spent the last two days getting ready for a bake sale. And sure that doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing to be doing the few days after exams. But it truly was. Hilarie, and Marcus two of my best friends have spent two days at my house baking, decorating and making posters. It turned into one of those days you will always remember. Neither of us can cook….. And were not the most artistic people in the world. But some how we pulled off making cookies, fudge, muffins, and 240 cupcakes. I’m pretty sure my hands will never be skin colour again, instead they are blue purple and orange from trying to change the fondant different colours. I now have a new thing I dislike doing too, cracking eggs. Out of the 40 eggs I cracked, I never got shells in 2. We spent hours trying to pick the little tiny egg shells out of the bowl of eggs. How Ironic is that? A girl who lives on a farm with tens of thousands of chickens……and she can’t crack an egg. But really nothing else could have made me laugh as hard as trying to bake with Hilarie and Marcus. Luckily they were both also willing to sit in the mall all Friday and Saturday with me to sell them. Which wasn’t that fun at first, but turned into a hilarious weekend. All of the little girls and boys would run over and beg their mom and dads for a cup cake. And when their parents finally allowed them too their faces lit up. It’s amazing how something as small as a cup cake can make a difference. That cup cake make me smile, Hilarie smile, Marcus smile, the child who received it, the parents of the child who received it, and the children who receives the benefits from that donation. Who says one person can’t change the world? If one cup cake can make that much of a difference, anything is possible of any individual.

Along with the bake sale I have done a few other fundraisers too. Including money/donation tins at the two pageants I created, Little Miss Grand Falls-Windsor and Little Mister Grand Falls-Windsor. Also I have been selling homemade jewellery through Déjà Vu. Déjà Vu is jewellery made by Lisa Oldford-Guy. She makes necklaces, earrings, and hair clips out of pop bottles. That may not sound that amazing but trust me they are gorgeous.

Free The Children has proven to many people the miracles they can achieve. And none of this would be possible without corporate sponsors like Investors Group, and the help of everyday volunteers. I encourage everyone to take part and support Free The Children.


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Welcome to Grand Falls-Windsor

Hey Blog Followers,

Welcome to my town.

 I have spent my whole life growing up in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland and Labrador. It has a population of approximately 14, 000 people, and is the largest city in Central Newfoundland. Grand Falls and Windsor used to be two different towns, but in 1991 they combined to create Grand Falls-Windsor. The mayor of Grand Falls-Windsor is Mr. Al Hawkins, who is one of the most well respected people in my town. He supports pageants, which is great to see. He MC’s the annual Miss Grand Falls Windsor pageant, which the town sponsors and supports the winner to compete in the provincial Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador pageant. Our MHA’s included The Honourable Susan Sullivan , and The Honourable Ray Hunter and our MP is The Honourable Scott Simms. These are three of the greatest people I have had the honour of meeting throughout my reign as Miss Teen Central.


The Salmon Interpretation Center

Abitibi Bowater, a paper mill that used to be in Grand Falls-Windsor, used to be one of the main economic sources for income, and a main reason for the placement of the town. Grand Falls-Windsor lies on the Exploits River, which is home to many camping grounds, swimming areas, and a popular area known as the Salmon Ladder. It is also a main source for logging. Now much of the economics depend on the hospital

The Grand Falls-Windsor Hospital

and many local businesses. It has a very diverse range of business, including many small specialty shops, and large franchises. The economics in Grand Falls-Windsor continue to rise based on new business coming to the town.




Grand Falls-Windsor is part of the Nova Central School District and as a resident of our town I have progressed through school system. This includes completing Kindergarten through Grade 3 at Woodland Primary, Grade 4 through 6 at Milcrest Academy, Grade 7 through 9 at Exploits Valley Intermediate and Grade 10 through 12 at Exploits Valley High, where I have just completed my Grade 11 year. 


Woodland Primary is the K-3 school in Grand Falls-Windsor


Milcrest Academy is the Grade 4-6 school in Grand Falls-Windsor

Exploits Valley Intermediate is the Grade 7-9 junior high school in Grand Falls-Windsor

Exploits Valley High is the Grade 10-12 High School at Grand Falls-Windsor


Salmon Festival,

This is the stage at Cenntenial Field, where Kiss will be playing July 9th

One of the biggest tourist attractions to Grand Falls-Windsor is the Salmon Festival Every year thousands of people travel to Grand Falls-Windsor to take part in things like Family Day, the Salmon Dinner, but most of all the concert. We have had many popular artists like Akon, Finger 11, and Headley, but this year on July 9th Grand Falls-Windsor is taking the Salmon Fest Concert to a completely different level. This year the headliner band is Kiss, and there is also singers like Fefe Dobson coming. For those of you who are thinking “Wow! She’s so lucky, I want to see Kiss” guess again, I leave for Miss Teen Canada-World, early the morning of July 9th. Bye-bye back stage passes. Sure, it’s slightly sad that I’m going to miss it. But truthfully Miss Teen Canada-World is so much better than a concert. 77 new friends, a new experience, an amazing week, or a concert. Truthfully, that decision is easy.

Gordon Pinsent Center of the Arts

Gordon Pinsent Center for the Arts

Another tourist attraction in the Gordon Pinsent Center for the Arts, which is also known as the Arts and Culture Center. It is home to many local artists who play there all the time. I have attended many shows there and volunteered at the door. Two of my favourites would have to be The Woman’s Film Festival and the Lesley Oak School of Dance Recital.


 Mary March Museum

The Mary March Museum teaches citizens about the heritage and their Beothuck past

If you want to learn about the past and heritage of Grand Falls-Windsor, the best place to learn is the Mary March Museum. Many schools in central Newfoundland visit this museum for school trips. It can teach many things, about our pasts, and our heritage which originated with the Beothucks and Mic’maq.


Many sponsors throughout my town have supported me though this journey. And this experience wouldn’t be possible without them. My Sponsors include:
  •  Hamer Farm
  • Stagg Signs
  • McDonalds
  • Sieana’s Spa
  • Laura Gushue Photography
  • Sandra Finch Photography
  • Marsh Motors
  • Alteens Jewellers
  • Penny Paving
  • Grand Toyota
  • The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor
  • Shur Gain
  • Tech Resources
  • Exploits Valley Animal Hospital
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Newfoundland Power
  • Kubota Newfoundland
  • Grace Whang Eye Clinic
  • Co-Operators Insurance
  • Advertiser
  • Dumphy Investments  

Four members of the Cataracts Hockey team, that I got the oppurtunity to meet at the Special Olympics

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This week has been full of school and team spirit ! 🙂 Last Friday our school put together a first ever pep rally. Together we celebrated our academic teams, artistic teams, and our sports teams. It makes you realize how diverse a school really is. Everyone in our school dressed in school colors, wore team uniforms, and showed off our school spirit. Our competitive cheer leading team also preformed, which I have proudly been a part of for the last two years. Our team isn’t even a team, were a family. And this weekend truly proved it.

We competed in the NLCA Competitive Cheer leading Provincials in St.John’s this past weekend. Where our team captured a gold in dance squad, and a silver in the cheerleading proportion. The last few weeks we have been practicing up to 16 hours a week, and it was worth every single second. Our team captain Angie Vokey, along with our assistant coaches Megan Reves, Jessica Kenny, Shauna Guy, and Michelle Piercey and our head coach Kim Siese, spent many hours coaching us into the athletes we are today. This weekend wouldn’t be possible without them. Also I would like to give a huge congratulations to Shelby Millwater who was chosen as our MVP. Shelby put in so much work this year and improved so much, she truly deserved it. People ask you so many times when your involved with cheerleading, is it worth it? you spent so many hours working to preform for 3 minutes. It is so much more then that three minute performance, anyone who has been involved with it can tell you, its completely different then any other sport. There is no feeling in the world that can compare to the moment when you finally nail a lift or get you splits. Not even scoring in basketball or destroying a spike in volleyball, trust me, it’s different. When your part of a cheerleading team, it’s not a team. It’s a family. You win together you lose together.You work as a team the whole year. No matter what is going wrong in your life when you step out onto the mats, it all goes away. I know I can speak on behalf of the whole Cheerleading Team when I say I can’t wait till next year. It’s going to be a cheerleading year better then any other.

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 I first became involved with pageants a year ago. Its kind of a funny story actually. Every year the cheerleaders along with Mrs. Debbie Ball, Mrs Kim Siese, and Mrs. Dorthy Pretty put off the annual Miss Grand-Falls Windsor. Last year they were looking for a few extra people to go in it. At first I never really considered it. I was like a lot of people, I never thought of myself as a stereotypically pageant contestant. For those of you who don’t know me, I live on a farm, I’m highly into sports and I don’t care what others think of me. I’m quarky, I’m all smiles and I wouldn’t change any of that for the world. And because of all that I assumed that I would never be able to do that. Finally I decided to do it. If nothing, it would be a new experience. I soon discovered that everything I thought it would be, wasn’t even close. As soon as I stepped on the stage for business wear something just clicked. All the nerves went away and I feel in love with that moment. And then we did formal wear, there’s something about having your hair and make up done, and walking out on stage in a dress, feeling so elegant, that I couldn’t help. Luckily even though I tripped on my way to the interview (which I seem to do a lot now) some how I got second runner up. I was so proud of myself, I hung up my sash on my wall and its still there today. A few weeks after MGF-W, I was sitting in my desk at school and they announced that they had applications for Miss Teen Central Newfoundland, I instantly knew I wanted to do it. I had to. A few weeks later I was notified of my acceptance, now I had the task of looking for a dress. I ended up getting a light flamingo pink one, that I instantly fell in love with.

Then the day came, I remember driving out to Gander so nervous. But yet I was so excited, new people to meet, the chance to get back on stage, and something about it just seemed right. The night of the competition I stumbled in the opening number and in the business wear. But some how or another I ended up coming out with two awards and the crown. I won Most Photogenic and People’s Choice. And then the title I just remember hearing Sarah Green (Miss Newfoundland and Labrador at the time) say Miss Teen Central Newfoundland is ……..Emily Bland. All I scene was my family jumping out of their seats, I swear for that moment my little cousin looked taller then the rest of my family because she jumped so high. I started to cry, I really couldn’t control it. It was defiantly one of those moments that I will never forget. Especially because I later found out that my crown was on squish. It took a while for it to set in. I would spend hours just staring at my crown. I have never felt so proud of myself in my life then I did in that moment.

By winning Miss Teen Central I got the opportunity to compete in Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador. Isabelle and Chris Fry have done an amazing job putting off this pageant for 15 years, and this year it would be on NTV. MTNL made me realize how much I could do we had a busy schedule and with 4 giggly girls in a room we tended not to get much sleep. But yet somehow on Sunday night I wasn’t tired at all. I found myself tripping in my interview and business wear again this time. So now my formal wear is my favourite because I tend not to trip (knock on wood). I ended up placing second runner up, I was shocked, I never expected to make it past top ten, there were so many amazing girls. Anyone could have won.

About a week later I found out that I had the chance of a life to, to compete in Miss Teen Canada-World. This is the biggest national pageant in Canada. I remember reading the letter from Chris Fry, it was early on a Sunday morning. I danced around the house for hours, and ran in and told my mom and dad and they were just as proud. I woke up so many people that morning. My excitement really couldn’t be contained. And it still hasn’t. I spent three days going to Toronto and London looking for that perfect dress. And when I found it, it was like a wedding or grad dress, you just knew. So that’s where I am now. Completely ecstatic, I’m going to Miss Teen Canada-World. And I’m sure it will be an amazing experience I will never forget.

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Hello, I’m Emily Bland from Central Newfoundland.

About Me

I’m a 16 year old A student who is currently attending Exploits Valley High in Grand Falls-Windsor. This July I have been given the amazing opportunity to represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the Miss Teen Canada World pageant. I gained this opportunity by competing in the Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador (where I placed 2nd runner up). This was truly an amazing experience. Its things like this that make you realize that, you can do anything you put your mind to.

My Involvement In My Town

After school I spend most of my time in the gym. Either coaching, sports practices, or working out. In the summer I coach soccer,along with playing beach volleyball, track and field, working out at the YMCA and also running. During the school year, I am on the basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, running, and competitive cheerleading teams. When I’m not at the gym I spend most of my time volunteering, especially with kids. Also I am involved with piano and many other school clubs and activities. And recently I have been spending most of my time assisting with the Miss GrandFalls-Windsor, and created the first ever Little Miss and Mister GrandFalls -Windsor.

I have spent my life constantly involved with many different sports activities and doing many different things to help shape me into the girl I am today. My special training includes lessons in voice, piano, art, karate, swimming, sewing, and ballet. Also I have participated in the school band and choir, and completed my WHMIS course, and the St.John’s Ambulance First Aid Course. I have been a member of regional sports teams and attended volleyball and basketball camps at Saint Mary’s and Dalhousie University. I recently completed my first level coaching for soccer and the Teen Weight Training Course.

The Thrill of Competition

Throughout the last few years my competitive drive and will to always do my best have lead me to many awards. They include becoming the reigning Miss Teen Central Newfoundland 2010-2011, Most Photogenic – Miss Teen Central Newfoundland, People’s Choice Award – Miss Teen Newfoundland, 2ndRunner-up at Miss Grand Falls-Windsor 2010-2011, many awards in the Kiwanis Music Festival, Over 30 medals in sports (including volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, and competitive cheerleading), many sports awards (including Player of the Game, Sportsmanship, and MVP) nominated for the Ray Palumer Technology Award, and the Female Athlete of the Year Award, and elected onto the student council. Also in the Cayley Math Competition (2010) I placed top in EVH second in Central and high overall in Newfoundland and Labrador, in Grade 8 I placed second in the GAUSS Math Competition, in Grade 7 I placed 5th in Newfoundland and Labrador and in the top 5% in Canada, this year I competed in Regional math competitions which gained me and 3 others the chance to compete in the Senior High Provincial Math Competition where we placed 5th. I have eared Honors with Distinction (Grade 7-9) and Honours (Grade 10), and Principal’s List (Grade 10-11). Also I have competed in the Central Newfoundland Visual Arts Society where I placed 1st once, 2nd twice, and a honorable mention once. I have also completed Level 3 and 4 in the Royal Conservatory Exam.

Extra Curricular Activities

Everyday I love to keep my self busy. My extra-curricular activities include, piano, sewing,swimming, social actions, voice, competitive cheerleading, coaching basketball volleyball and soccer, running club, sparks and brownies, public speaking, tutoring, helping school plays and assemblies, student leadership, student council, basketball, volleyball, floor hockey, and soccer. Also I have many other hobbies. They include, reading, going to the YMCA, ski-dooing, traveling, photography, creating videos (for sports teams, events and school projects), sea-dooing, wake boarding, water skiing, knee boarding, working with children, and traveling.

My Motto

When ever I am interview I find that the same question always comes up, if you could tell our youth anything, what would it be? I find myself always going back to two things. If you want something go get it, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, if you want to achieve something you can. And the second one is, be yourself, flaunt your quarks, because that is what makes you beautiful. I live by both of these motto’s everyday. And truthfully I think everyone should. We spend too much time worrying about our looks, fitting in, an complaining because things don’t always go right.

Thank you,

My hometown is Grand Falls-Windsor. Home of the Salmon Ladder, Salmon Fest, and a well spirited community that stands behind it’s youth. My town has been truly amazing so far in my preparation to MTCW and I am sure tat they will continue to support me. So many places in my town have sponsored me, and also agreed to help me out with advertising and photo shoots. Without them this journey wouldn’t be possible.

Well that is a little about me, quarks and all, its who I am. If you would like to learn more you can visit me on face book, or follow me on twitter.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank a superb baker of healthy snacks, Shasha Bread Co, and the organizers of the Miss Teen Canada pageant. A special thanks also goes to the Internet marketing firm PageOne for helping me with this great blog!

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