Nanaimo girl wins bikini contest
Candace Schule isn't shy around cameras.
"I love being in front of the camera – I always have," she said. "My mom always bugs me – if there's a camera out, I'm in front of it. You just have fun, flirt with the camera."
The 26-year-old Nanaimo woman will get plenty of attention from photographers this October after winning The International Bikini Model Search Contest, a semi-annual competition on social media sites organized by Paradise Bash Entertainment, an event and party-planning company.
Schule, one of 12 winners selected from more than 400 contestants from around the world, heads to the Bahamas Oct. 11-16 to participate in a bikini calendar shoot and attend parties organized by Paradise Bash.
"I was kind of in shock that I won," she said. "I just wasn't expecting it. Hopefully I can build a nice portfolio."
Schule, who recently left her job at a fitness centre to go back to school in the health-care assistant program, got into modelling on the side a couple years ago.
She competed with more than 80 other models in the Tropic Beauty world finals in Las Vegas in January and then went to the World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation's B.C. championships in June, where she placed fourth in the bikini model category.
With two stage experiences behind her, Schule feels ready for the Bahamas, where she'll host events with the other winners, as well as participating in the photo shoots.
She is looking forward to the adrenaline rush she gets from being in the spotlight.
"As soon as you get up there, all the confidence rushes into you," said Schule.
Patrick McKinney, owner of Paradise Bash Entertainment, started organizing semi-annual parties two years ago at different resorts, bringing in a slew of different events for people to enjoy, as a way of promoting his business.
"We throw a huge party," he said. "There's events all day long, excursions, photo shoots."
McKinney added the bikini model search contest – the finale being the calendar shoot during the Paradise Bash event – to the party's list of attractions about a year and a half ago.
"It's become a big deal in the bikini modelling world," he said. "It's turned into a great tool for models trying to get into the business."
Schule's win earns her food and lodging once she gets to the Bahamas. She is looking for sponsors to help her with the flight costs and can be reached via her Facebook profile.
For more information about the event, please go to www.ParadiseBashParty.com.