February 7th 2020
Press Release: Quest for the Crown Announcement
Over the past five years the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society has worked tirelessly to become a festival for the Yukon and its people. I would reiterate, we are a festival for the Yukon and all its people. To ensure we welcome all Yukoners, we worked across generations and together with our First Nations Partners, the LGBTQ2S+ community, and many community organisations. We consulted with all these groups as part of our attempts to advance our programming and make Rendezvous a festival that would not leave anyone out. Rendezvous is fundamentally about: our community coming together, about having fun and injecting humour and heart into the community to celebrate Northern life. That is why it is with a heavy heart that I announce one of our Quest for the Crown Candidates has dropped out of the program and will not be participating in any further activities this year. They did not make this decision lightly but came to this conclusion after no longer feeling welcome or happy participating in the events due to a few members of our community. These individuals have bullied and harassed our candidates because they hold the belief that men should not be running in the Quest for the Crown contest. Their bigotry and bullying undoing the hard work of countless individuals, all putting in the effort to create not only a successful Rendezvous, but a welcoming and happy one too.
If it is your belief that someone should not be able to participate in one of our programs due to race, gender, height, sexual preference or any other arbitrary factor, then we would like to respectfully inform you that we are not the festival for you. The Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind and whilst we may be rooted in tradition, we are ever growing and ever evolving to better cater for all Yukoners.
To those individuals who feel that they no longer wish to be a part of the festival because of our core values, we wish you well, but please be aware we will not be pandering to your efforts to thwart our efforts in promoting inclusivity. We will have Sourdough Sams AND Samanthas, The Quest for the Crown will coronate both Queens AND Kings, and the Can Can line will hold open auditions. We are a festival for everyone, and in our hearts we will hold steadfast to these values. This is the Rendezvous of today and the Rendezvous of tomorrow.
Yours In Rendezvous,
Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Society