miss february is a canadian all-star with an all-american dream
The Greater Vancouver Water District denies it, but there must be something in the city's drinking water. Vancouver, Canada's third largest city and the jewel of British Columbia, used to be a rugged lumber-mill town. Now its principal export seems to be beautiful women. One of Playboy's greatest beauties, 1980 Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten, was a Vancouver girl. Ditto the reigning Playmate of the Year, Kimberley Conrad, Mrs. Hugh Hefner, and several other Playmates. Now comes Pamela Anderson, a native of nearby Ladysmith, who moved from tiny Comox, B.C., to Vancouver a couple of years ago and now steps into our centerfold as British Columbia's newest jewel. As a towhead teen in Comox (population 6000-plus), Pamela first became famed as a volleyball player. She starred for the British Columbia Provincial Team, a squad of all-star spikers who took on the best prep volleyballers in the land. Shortly thereafter, the sports-minded Pamela took in a B.C. Lions football game in Vancouver and made a national spectacle of herself. Duded up in blue, the signature color of Labatt's Beer -- she was then living in a house with a couple of Labatt's employees -- she caught the eye of a national-TV cameraman. Football fans all over Canada called the network to inquire about the sideline stunner at the Lions game. Next thing she knew, Pamela was a Labatt's poster girl. "Things started happening fast," she says: other posters, print ads, TV commercials. To keep her wits about her, she kept a journal in which she recorded her experiences. "This is the beginning of a new life for me," she wrote. She moved from Comox to this big town across the Strait of Georgia. In Vancouver, she worked as a model and studied airline routes in her spare time. She got her certification as a travel agent, just in case her plans for an even bigger move didn't work out. "Hollywood people are dreamers. Always grabbing for something big," says Miss February, newly settled in California. "I'm a dreamer, too, so I guess I belong here." Her patrons -- one is the ex-mate of a pop diva -- have arranged acting, voice and dance lessons for Pamela, who dreams of grabbing an Oscar. She now studies scripts the way she once pored over airline schedules, and more than one casting director has told her she is sure to go far. This, though, is her first big break. "I hope that when people see me in Playboy," she says, "they'll see more than the surface. I hope they'll see a Comox girl reaching for a dream."
Photography by Arny Freytag