Tuesday, June 7, 2016
No More CHIN Bikini Pageants
The organization has decided to do away with one of its main events at the 50th annual CHIN Picnic.
The reason? CHIN wants to fall back on its origins.
“CHIN Radio’s mandate has always been to promote multiculturalism in Canada, and after 49 years of hosting the bikini contest, they have decided to say goodbye and focus on their roots,” president Lenny Lombardi said in a statement to the Toronto Sun.
The free event began in 1966, but the bikini contest wasn’t added until 1978. The popular attraction started as a separate event in 1976 and 1977 and was held on the now-defunct Captain John’s Harbour Boat Restaurant.
The picnic later added the annual Mr. CHIN bikini contest in response to allegations of sexism. But now, Lombardi does not want the spectacle getting in the way of the event’s main message.
“The picnic represents the work we do each and every day on radio. The picnic is a snapshot of our efforts to spread the importance of multiculturalism and all its benefits, and in our 50th year it is important to us that this message is clear,” he said.
“Our true message is that of celebrating our cultural diversity and that point is best enhanced by focusing on what we do best: Celebrating cultural diversity through information, music and entertainment, and not distract from that message with a bikini pageant.”
In the past, the bikini contest has seen contestants from various diversities, but Lombardi says it’s time to move forward.
“Times have changed and as much fun as we had, and support we received producing it each year, we believe that our focus today should be clearly directed to the reality of our mandate of multiculturalism and cultural diversity,” he said.
The CHIN Picnic runs June 17-19 with a main stage in the heart of Little Italy at College and Markham Sts.
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