Filming reality show ‘most exciting experience’ for Taloyoak woman

Linda Charlie, 24, featured on Bachelor in Paradise Canada

Model and construction worker Linda Charlie may have only had a brief time in paradise filming Bachelor in Paradise Canada, but the 24-year-old from Taloyoak said she had a “really positive” experience filming the popular reality TV dating show. (Photo courtesy of Bachelor in Paradise Canada/Citytv)

By Madalyn Howitt

Linda Charlie’s time in paradise may have been brief, but the 24-year-old from Taloyoak says being on Bachelor in Paradise Canada was still “the most exciting experience” she’s ever had.

The model and construction worker who grew up in Nunavut before moving to Yellowknife at age 10 was one of dozens of contestants on the popular Citytv dating reality show that premiered May 8.

Based on the American original reality show, Bachelor in Paradise Canada features dozens of single people from past seasons of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and their Canadian spinoffs as they search for romantic partners at a resort.

Thrown into the mix are participants from Bachelor Nation, contestants like Charlie who are new to the franchise.

“Honestly, I thought it would be a really cool experience,” she said of her decision to apply for the show.

She said she was already a fan even being cast, having grown up watching the franchise with her mother.

When the show aired its first season in Canada in 2021, Charlie decided to apply for Season 2.

In her application, she shared some of her experiences growing up in the Arctic as a half-Inuk, half-Kenyan woman and some of the challenges her family has faced, like generational traumas from the residential school system and living for a time with her mother and sister in a women’s shelter in Yellowknife.

“Honestly, it was tough, but I think that it helps me to relate to people who struggled in the past,” she said, describing the difficulties she has encountered.

Her application caught the producers’ attention, and Charlie got the call saying she’d be heading to paradise for a chance at finding love.

Models get used to lots of rejection, she said, so finding out she had been cast on the show was “unexpected.”

“The fact that I got on the show is shocking to me. I couldn’t believe it.”

The show was filmed at an exclusive beachfront resort in northern Ontario last summer.

“It’s kind of cringy to watch yourself on TV, but overall I will say I had a really positive experience, and it just reminds me that that was a really fun time,” she said.

“I went to the beach, I met some cool people [and] I made new friends. A lot of [the] girls, we became friends after.

“Normally, day to day I’m working in construction, right? This was the vacation that I needed,” she said with a laugh. “It was the most exciting experience I’ve had.”

Charlie’s time on the series ended after two episodes, but she said she has received some kind messages from old friends in Nunavut who saw her on the show.

“People were just excited to see what I was doing and I’m happy that they were happy for me,” she said.

Since filming the show last summer, Charlie has moved to Toronto and earlier this month signed a modelling contract with an Ontario agency.

When she’s not putting up drywall on her construction job, Charlie plans to pursue modelling opportunities in the city.

“A lot of the girls that are my age have been doing this for 10 years, right? I’m fairly new, [and] I grew up in the Arctic, so I didn’t really have that opportunity to start as a kid,” she said.

“But honestly, I’m grateful because within the short period of time that I’ve been modelling I’ve had huge jobs.”

Reflecting on what she learned about herself through her experience on Bachelor in Paradise Canada, Charlie said she realized she sometimes holds herself back.

“I think I need to be more confident in myself [and] just go for an opportunity,” she said.

“Don’t be afraid to follow your dream. You get some cool experiences out of trying new things.”


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