If you’ve made it this far then you’re at least interested in competing for the title of Mr Ottawa Bear and there are a few things that you should know about the process.
There are several reasons why you should consider putting your name in the hat to run for Mr Ottawa Bear.
The Money – The winner of the competition receives $250. Can’t argue with cold hard cash.
The Community – As Mr Ottawa Bear, you will become the face of the bear community in Ottawa and will have an opportunity to network with many other LGBTQ groups in the capital; raising awareness of the bear community and promoting a positive body image among big and furry men.
The Experience – Past MOB recipients have told us how much the experience has changed them for the better. It’s made them feel more involved and more accepted than ever before and it’s been a huge confidence booster for many.
The Influence – As Mr Ottawa Bear you’ll have the opportunity to help determine the direction for the Ottawa Bears club in the coming year by participating in club meetings and club activities and you will also be able to select which charity the next Mr Ottawa Bear competition will champion.
First of all, in order to compete in Mr Ottawa Bear you need to be at least 18 years old, a male and self-identify as a bear. You must also reside in the Ottawa/Gatineau region and be willing to participate periodically in bear activities and optionally attend Ottawa Bears committee meetings to help direct the club’s activities.
The only real requirement that is asked of the title holder is that he participate/march in the Ottawa Pride parade under the Ottawa Bears banner to promote the club and it’s activities.
Other than the pride parade, you can choose to participate in a many or as few activities as you desire but as a representative of the Ottawa Bear community we hope you will give freely of your time to help grow the organization.
In order to participate in the contest you will need to complete the Contestant Application Form and forward it to us by scan and email or deliver it to anyone on the bear committee at a bear event (like Sunday bear coffee).
Next, you should send us a high-resolution photo of yourself. Only you in the photo. We will be posting this photo on our web site, social media and print media so you will want it to be as high quality as possible and it should show you in a positive and flattering way. The use of a professional photographer is encouraged but if you do not have access to one, you can ask someone at one of the bear events to assist you.
Next you should compose a short biography which we will also be posting to web and social media and we will use it to introduce you during the competition.
Keep it relatively short (approximately 30 seconds to read it out loud) and include your statistics (age, height, weight) and a few personal details about yourself. Things like where you are from, places you’ve lived, things you’ve accomplished in the bear or LGBT community, etc.
You can see what 2018 competitors wrote in their bios to help you compose your own.
Sure, you can just walk on stage and take a bow and hope people will be impressed but that’s not very entertaining and it’s not likely to get you ahead of the other competitors who will have practiced their routine for many hours.
Do you have a talent? Play the guitar, sing or dance? Can you juggle gummy bears or tell a really good joke? That’s the sort of thing that can really entertain and impress people!
Can’t think of a talent? Ok, how about writing a short skit to do alone or with friends. You can provide us with pre-recorded audio and simply act out the part.
For example, search YouTube for funny material and reenact it for us. For example, Glove and Boots does some pretty funny stuff with puppets and the Vitameatavegamin skit from Lucille Ball has been reenacted by drag queens for decades.
The sky is the limit so get creative!
There will be at least one dress rehearsal on the day of the competition which you will be able to use to fine-tune your preparations and MOB committee members can be consulted to provide additional planning and practice if necessary before the big weekend.
The MOB Weekend
Friday evening (January 24) there will be a “Meet and Greet” event at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Avenue) which you will need to attend. It begins at 8:00 pm. This will be your opportunity to meet the judges for the first time and to introduce yourself to Ottawa Bears club members.
You’ll be asked to help sell 50/50 tickets and the judges will be paying attention to how well you socialize with club members. This is an opportunity to positively influence the judges’ opinion of you so be sure to take full advantage.
Saturday evening (January 25) you should present yourself at Arts Court Theatre (2 Daly Avenue) at 6:00 pm for the competition. This is when you’ll be given details about the competition events and when you will get to sit down with the judges for one-on-one interviews. Missing this part or being late will reflect very poorly on you so please be prompt and bring your A-game.
You will need to bring two outfits:
- Bear Wear: In this portion of the competition you’ll showcase your best bear look. Wear something manly and/or rugged but sexy at the same time. Flannel, vests, work boots… That sort of thing. It’s appropriate to show a bit of fur at this point.
- Minimal Wear: This is where we get to see your bear body at its most glorious. Full nudity is not allowed but feel free to show as much of the rest of you as you are comfortable with.
At one or several points in the competition, you will be asked to answer some questions from the judges. These questions will allow them to determine how much you know about the bear community and how dedicated you are to the cause.
Feel free to be witty or clever with your answers but be sure to give the judges the right impression about you.
Remember, MOB is about two things… Entertaining our audience and promoting a positive body image of what is Bear.
Use of theatrics, pre-rehearsed skits or dance routines, props and even assistants is not only allowed but it is encouraged. Give yourself plenty of time to plan, practice and rehearse your performances and enlist the help of your friends. Their advice can be invaluable whether or not they’re there on the stage with you. It’s all about entertainment value.
Reluctance and nervousness are completely understandable and can be minimized by preparedness and practice.
You can do this! Past competitors and winners have all said that the experience of MOB can be life-changing in a very positive way. Don’t deprive yourself of this amazing opportunity for self-improvement and acceptance.
And always remember that Ottawa Bears committee members are here to help you however they can in preparing for this so be sure to avail yourself of this precious resource. And don’t wait until the last minute to begin preparing. Start now.
If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact us right away so that we can help you.
– The Ottawa Bear Committee