Teenager crowned queen at 30th K’amba Carnival


Angele Cano/NNSL photo
Aela Beaulieu, right, is this year’s K’amba Queen. Benita Auger, left, came in fifth, Alyssa Frise in fourth, Chantelle Lafleur in third, and Michelle Buckley as the second runner up for K’amba Queen.

It’s great to be K’amba Carnival Queen, especially when your mom made the cape.

The ornate cloth, hide and intricately-beaded cloak has been used by the K’atlodeeche First Nation (KFN) for K’amba Carnival Queens for almost a decade now.

Creator Kim Beaulieu’s daughter Aela donned it this year in her official capacity as K’amba Queen for 2013 after being named on Feb. 28 at the KFN’s youth talent show.

This year, five young ladies were in the running to become K’amba Carnival Queen. The one who sells the most tickets raising money for next year’s carnival receives the official coronation and is Queen for one year, and becomes an immediate role model.

Aside from emerging from a crafting family, this year’s K’amba Carnival Queen has commendable character, according to her friends and family.

When she greets people, she always greets them warmly,” said mom Kim Beaulieu. “Since Grade 1, her teachers always noted that she had a great compassion for others.”

Aela’s been a role model since she was three years old,” said dad Bernard Beaulieu. “She was always considerate and kind. If she had a candy or an ice cream, everyone had to have one.”

She’s always been such a positive person,” added lifelong friend Kristie Anne Scheller. “No matter what’s going on in her life, she always has a smile on her face.”

And this isn’t Aela’s first time participating at the carnival. Fresh after her coronation, she blushed as a little girl sang ‘You Are My Sunshine’, a song she had performed at three years of age.

Beaulieu was honoured along with four other candidates for K’amba Carnival Queen: Benita Auger in fifth, Alyssa Frise in fourth, Chantelle Lafleur in third, and Michelle Buckley in second.

Aside from school and other activities, Beaulieu loves the outdoors and pastimes like fishing, writing and fashion. She authors three blogs: one on fashion, another accounting the funny occurrences in her life, and the third as a personal online diary. She was chosen as a youth ambassador for the NWT and will be heading off to Quebec for the Canada Youth Summer Games.

She plans to study psychology at university and perform makeup artistry on the side. As soon as she is finished the program, she will move back north.

The Grade 11 Diamond Jenness Secondary School student was born and raised in Hay River.

While she lived in High Level, Alta., for five years, she said Hay River will always be home.

When I was gone, I missed it here,” said Beaulieu. “The lake and the culture. I love being outside and close to nature.”

— Angele Cano