Meet the 2020 Quest for the Crown Candidates

Alexandra Cimarno

Miss ALX Exploration and Mining Supplies

Platform: Kona's Coalition

My name is Alexandra Cimarno and I am Miss ALX Exploration & Mining Supplies. I moved up to the Yukon from Brandon Manitoba, and this is my first Rendezvous! I have 2 children, and love animals, especially horses.

 I am really looking forward to meeting new people, making new friends and being part of the Community, and being a Quest for the Crown Candidate is a great way to get engaged in the Community. 

I am excited to learn more about Rendezvous and it’s traditions, so when you see me around, be sure to stop and share your favorite Rendezvous memory.

My platform is Kona’s Coalition. As a pet owner, and animal lover, I feel it is important to help animals and pet owners. Shortly after joining the Quest for the Crown, my dog required emergency surgery after giving birth, and I was fortunate enough to receive help and financial support from Kona’s. I know first hand how it feels to have an organization who understands and is there to help, without them, my family would have lost their beloved pet.
Kona’s works with youth to provide knowledge & awareness and promote compassion, empathy & respect towards animals. They have an extensive fostering network throughout the Yukon to help animals that have been rescued from abuse, abandonment or injury, or families undergoing hardships (owner illness or death). Their Safe Haven for Pets program partners with Crime Prevention & Victim Services and helps to remove animals from homes with domestic violence, to allow owners to seek shelter sooner.
Kona’s Coalition is dedicated to improving animal welfare in the Yukon through education, advocacy, financial assistance, fostering and support.

 

Kona’s Coalition, 10-3106 3rd Avenue, Whitehorse, YT, Y1A 5G1 (867) 333-5662

Amanda Bourque

Miss Gray Management Services

Platform:Autism Yukon

My name is Amanda Bourque and I am Miss Gray Management Services. I have called the Yukon my home for a total of 17 years. I was lucky enough to spend two years of high school at the old FH Collins before returning to Fort St John for my graduating year. I moved back to the Yukon about 15 years ago and have set roots with three wonderful children. I have chosen to run in the Quest for the Crown this year because life is too short to do only the things that you’re comfortable with. I look forward to the Quest and the adventure that goes with it.

My platform is Autism Yukon. I chose this organization for my platform because it is a topic that hits home for me as my second son is Non-Verbal Autistic. Kayden is now 11 years old. When he was 2 and a half, there was a major change in him. His small vocabulary practically disappeared. He started to get extremely possessive about certain items. He would organize them by design and size in an obsessive, compulsive manner. Scream consistently. Constantly would wake through the night. The list could go on.  My son was a prisoner in his own body in a lot of ways. Thanks to the hard work of his EAs at Selkirk and various ABA workers who have been able to access various resources, information and support through Autism Yukon, Kayden is able to communicate verbally, which is something I never thought he would do at this age. He helps me with cooking in the kitchen, will take out the garbage by himself which is huge because it means that his chances of having a more independent life are higher than they were before.

Autism Yukon was founded in 2010 by a group of concerned parents whose mission is to improve the quality of life of those affected by Autism in the Yukon. Their mandate is to support and educate those who are directly affected by Autism: individuals, families, educators, employers and the community and to increase Awareness in our community as well.

Autism Yukon, 108 Copper Rd, Whitehorse YT, Y1A 2Z6, (867) 667-6406

Brenda Pilatzke-Vanier

Miss Yukon Arts Centre

Platform: Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture (KIAC)

My name is Brenda Pilatzke-Vanier and I am Miss Yukon Arts Centre. I made the Yukon my home 3 years ago with my Husband and welcomed a Yukon Baby shortly after that.  I love the energy that generates around Rendezvous time and decided to join the fun as a Quest for the Crown Candidate. The Yukon is full of interesting, talented people with stories to share and I look forward to advocating for all the diverse Arts and Culture we have to offer. If you see me around, come say hello. I would love to learn about your story!

My platform is the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC). I believe that our lives are enriched when we are able to take part in the arts and embrace not only our own unique culture, but the cultures of those around us. Every person has a story, and through arts and culture, we are able to share these stories or use those experiences to grow, heal and teach.

The Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture is a non-profit located in Dawson City.  They program courses, outreach projects, youth programs, and performances. They also support a wide variety of Festivals, and the Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA). The Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture is marking two decades of enriching the lives of Yukoners and visitors through arts and culture by launching a 20/20 Celebration and Fundraising Campaign. Aside from being a well-deserved birthday party, 20/20 also constitutes a special fundraising campaign to help KIAC continue its mission into the decades to come.

 

Klondike Institute of Art & Culture, Bag 8000, Dawson, Yukon, YOB 1G0, 867-993-5005

Kate McConnell

Miss Asahiya Japanese Restaurant

Platform: Queer Yukon Society

My name is Kate McConnell and I am Miss Asahiya Japanese Restaurant. I ran for Rendezvous Queen originally in 2010, and helped a friend during the competition in 2011. Having taken a few years break from volunteering and running events for the festival, including the 2 Steampunk Balls, I decided to try again for the crown, a full decade after my first run. I have a history in theatre and costume making and the ability this year to make one of my own outfits is very exciting for me, as is designing the fashion show upcycled outfit. I look forward to representing my sponsor and participating in the 2020 Quest for the Crown.

 

My platform is the Queer Yukon Society. I chose Queer Yukon as my cause, because as a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community myself, I know the importance of inclusive spaces and education resources as we work towards Equality.

Queer Yukon Society supports, promotes, and organizes All ages and Youth events for the LGBTQ2S+ community and allies in Whitehorse, Yukon. Queer Yukon has also been organizing Yukon Pride events and the 24 Hours of Gaylight Pride parade for the past 7 years.  As the Society and the website that birthed it grows they hope to expand to provide more resources for parents, GSA teachers, employers and queer youth. Everything from a glossary of terms to local health resources to tools to help create environments that are LGBTQ2S+ inclusive, respectful and welcoming.

Queer Yukon Society www.queeryukon.com

Robyn Gillespie

Miss Whiskey Jacks Pub and Grill

Platform: Yukon Women in Music (YWIM)

My Name is Robyn Gillespie, and I am Miss Whiskey Jacks Pub & Grill. You may recognize me as 2016’s Miss Big Bear Donair, or as 1st Princess 2017, but this year you can call me Miss Whiskey! I’ve enjoyed Rendezvous festivities since I was a rugrat, and now that I have a little one of my own I am eager to share the fun with her. Rendezvous is a great opportunity to get out with friends and shake off the winter blues. With all the changes to the Quest for the Crown program, I am super excited to run again and use the opportunity to connect with my community to discuss the past, present, and future of Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous!
 
Yukon Women in Music (YWIM) is the non-profit I’d like to spotlight. I really believe in arts ability to enrich culture and preserve history, and this organization nurtures that in a uniquely northern way. Yukon Women in Music is welcoming and supportive not just to women, but everyone who wants to improve their musical skills. Their cookshack sessions in the summer are an intimate, wholesome experience for all ages and walks of life.
 
Yukon Women in Music is a volunteer run organization that meets regularly to organize concerts, workshops, and provide networking opportunities for women in Whitehorse and Yukon communities. Resources include concerts, workshops, song writing, performance & mentorship under local superstars such as Kim Beggs, Annie Avery, and BJ MacLean. You can visit their website at ywim.ca, or follow them on Facebook.
 
Yukon Women in Music 361-108 Elliott St. Whitehorse YT Y1A 6C4 ywim.ca

Winnie Hoe

Miss Yukon Home and Tour

Platform:Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division

My name is Winnie Hoe and I am Miss Yukon Home and Tour. Originally from Singapore, where the temperature and pace of life is the polar opposite of here, my adventurous spirit has made Whitehorse my new home. I moved here with my husband and dog in November 2019 and fell in love with the Northern beauty and the warm welcoming community. This is my first Yukon winter and Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival. I am running for the Quest For The Crown because it is an extraordinary and fun way to celebrate my embracement of my new home, contribute to the community and the longevity of the festival, while making wonderful new friends. I am blessed and grateful to Yukon Home and Tour for sponsoring me and giving me the opportunity to participate in this Yukon tradition.
 
My platform is Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. I have experienced stress in my family and marriage. I have struggled with anxiety in relocating to a new country unfamiliar with me. I too have gone through a depression phase, yet I was uneducated in mental health and did not seek professional help. However, I was fortunate to be around a positive and supportive community and friends who helped me to overcome these experiences. 
 
CMHA-YT is a voluntary association that exists to promote the mental health of Yukoners. It endeavours to empower people with mental health issues to make informed choices regarding the management of their lives, to focus on community education, awareness, advocacy and support services, to enhance public awareness about the factors contributing towards good mental health, to reduce the community stigma towards people labelled "mentally ill" and to engage in partnerships and collaborative activities with other agencies and organisations concerned with mental health. It also offers short-term and drop-in counselling to help Yukoners develop strategies to create a healthy mental well-being in their lives.

Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division
209 - 1114 Front Street Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 0A3 
Phone: 867-668-6429

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