Community Papers

30 Under 30: Sahar Biniaz

Bullying is one of the issues Sahar Biniaz has been speaking out on since winning the Miss Universe Canada crown last year in Toronto. - Porus Vimadalal photo
Bullying is one of the issues Sahar Biniaz has been speaking out on since winning the Miss Universe Canada crown last year in Toronto.
— image credit: Porus Vimadalal photo

Age: 27

High school: R.C. Palmer

Sahar Biniaz is Canadian pageant royalty. But the road to becoming Miss Universe Canada wasn’t easy.

Biniaz experienced bullying in high school, and today—anti-bullying day in B.C.—is especially close to the Richmond woman’s heart. Bullying is one of the issues Biniaz has been speaking out on since winning the Miss Universe Canada crown last year in Toronto.

Biniaz says she recently received a beautiful message from Carol Todd for bringing awareness to the issue. Carol Todd is the mother of Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old who took her own life last October after posting a YouTube video documenting cyber-bullying.

Born in India and raised in Iran, Biniaz came to Richmond at the age of 10. She studied performing arts at Stella Adler Academy in Los Angeles and is working as an actress in film and television. She’s now planning to further her acting education in New York City.

In 2008 Biniaz also competed in the Miss Universe Canada pageant, finishing as first runner-up. But with persistence, she found the stage again—and won the title. She encourages young girls to have the same persistence.

Inspiration? “I try to find one thing that inspires me everyday. It can be a person, a movie, nature or a simple thing as an old couple holding hands.”

Most proud of? “I am most proud of being independent. I was fortunate to be able to buy my first home at the age of 23 and never ask my parents for financial help.”

Advice? “My biggest advice to people would be to ask for what you want and be persistent until you attain what you want. It is amazing what you are able to get by just asking.”

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