Nova Stevens, 27, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada will be the country’s representative to Miss Universe 2020. Fluent in English and Nuer, the model, actress and activist is originally from South Sudan.
On October 24, 2020, Stevens was crowned Miss Universe Canada 2020 at the John Bassett Theatre at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She bested 39 other candidates.
Sonny Borrelli and Chelsae Durocher hosted the coronation ceremony. Chef Jagger Gordon, Jennifer Mancuso, Paola Nunez and Reza Zarmehr served as judges.
Aside from the title, Stevens was also named Best Runway Model. She stands 6’0″ and was the tallest candidate.
Runner-up to Stevens was Tamara Jemuovic of Ontario, who will represent Canada in Miss International 2020. The respective second, third and fourth runners-up were Jaime VandenBerg of Alberta, Svetlana Mamaeva of Ontario and Sam Fraughton of Alberta.
If Stevens wins Miss Universe 2020, she will be the beauty pageant’s third titleholder from Canada. The first two were Karen Baldwin and Natalie Glebova, who were crowned in 1982 and 2005, respectively.
Born in Kenya to South Sudanese parents in 1993, Stevens was sent alone to Canada in 1999 while her mother was left in a United Nations camp in South Sudan and her father and siblings went to Ethiopia. The family had fled a civil war in South Sudan.
In 2009, Stevens went to New York, United States where she started her career as a model. She went on to model in Paris, France and in Milan, Italy and appear in Dairy Queen, Jared’s Jewelry, Macy’s and Toyota Corolla commercials.
In 2011, Stevens became the manager for the Youth Transition program in Alberta, Canada, which helped her finish school and become independent. As an activist, she has been advocating for the eradication of hate and racism against black and indigenous people of color by leading impactful groups and events, such as co-organizing a peaceful Black Lives Matter march on June 19, 2020.
In 2014, Stevens moved to Vancouver to pursue her career as a model and an actress. She played a witch in “See” Season 1 episode 3 “Fresh Blood,” which aired on November 1, 2019.
Stevens played a Visigoth witch in “The Magicians” Season 5 episode 4 “Magicians Anonymous”, aired on February 5, 2020. She played a team leader in “Motherland: Fort Salem” Season 1 episode 8 “Citydrop,” aired on May 6, 2020.
“Canada essentially raised me,” Stevens told Fashion Magazine days before the Miss Universe Canada 2020 coronation night. “Its organizations and people have given me resources and support while my family’s in Africa so giving back to the community was always something I was going to do no matter what.”