'The Badger Drive'

Hampden native to pay tribute to grandfather in pageant bid

Jamie Bennett jbennett@thewesternstar.com
Published on May 5, 2014
Jenna Osmond of Hampden plans to bring some Newfoundland flavour to the Miss Canada Globe competiton in Toronto in August. The 22-year-old expects to play her accordion during the talent portion of the event.
Submitted photo

Jenna Osmond isn’t your typical beauty pageant contestant.

And that’s just the way the 22-year-old from Hampden likes it.

“I’ve never let people intimidate me,” Osmond said recently from her home in St. John’s. “I’ve always been myself, some people like it and some people don’t, but that’s just how I am.”

Osmond hopes this confidence helps her on her journey to the Miss Canada Globe competition in Toronto from Aug. 14-21.

Formed in 2000, the pageant is meant to groom young Canadian contestants for future international competition. Deer Lake’s Meaghan House placed in the top five last year and earned the right to represent Canada at the Miss Beauty International Pageant in the Dominican Republic last month, which she won.

Osmond said growing up in Hampden, she wasn’t exposed to such competitions. Instead, she said she spent her time reading, riding dirt bike and learning to play the accordion.

The second-year biochemistry student at Memorial University of Newfoundland said she’s drawn to the Miss Canada Globe pageant because it isn’t entirely focused on outer beauty.

“A lot of people think you need to be tall, skinny model material, but it’s not about that at all,” she said.

“It’s about inner confidence and beauty, not what you look like.”

She figures to be one of the few, if not only, accordion players at the pageant, which also includes a bikini event, talent competition and extensive interview process.

The daughter of Zeta and Fred Osmond started playing the instrument when she was 14 and is considering playing “The Badger Drive” in Toronto as a tribute to her late grandfather Hubert Osmond.

“Every time I used to go up he’d always be sitting by the woodstove, tapping his foot to it and singing it to himself,” she said.

Contestants must raise money to attend the event themselves and with this in mind, she has started a fundraising website where the public can donate.

A longtime supporter of the Children’s Wish Foundation through Hampden’s annual October Walk for Wishes event, Osmond is donating five cents from every dollar raised to the foundation.

In the meantime, Osmond has been accepted into MUN’s Dietetics program, which only admits 10 students each year, pending her exam marks from this term.

She said after three years of general studies, she’s found her passion and is inspired by learning about the human body.

“I’m not somebody that’s going to do something because it’s going to get me a job,” she said.

“If I don’t like it, I’m not doing it. I want to do something I enjoy.”

To donate to Osmond’s drive to Toronto, visit her website at www.gofundme.com/jennaosmond-misscanada.