Whitehorse’s Jennifer Perrin admits that while in town attending events as Miss Yukon, wearing her sash and crown, people often say to her, “I didn’t know we had a Miss Yukon.”
Perrin had known for years there was a Miss Yukon, but she definitely didn’t expect to be wearing the crown one day.
The 22-year-old’s rise to pageant royalty came from fortuitous beginnings.
It all started with a spot on the game show Wipeout Canada. Perrin received an email from a pageant executive who saw her profile page from the show and was asked to apply to be Miss Yukon.
“I had never done any beauty pageants before, I have always been into acting and things like that, so I figured: Why not?” said Perrin. “So I applied. It was a bit of a process: you had to go through an application, had to go through an interview, and things like that.
“Two months later, I was announced as one of the 2012 national finalists.”
She more or less stepped into the role of Miss Whitehorse by default, with no other names having been tossed into the hat. But Perrin then had to go to a three-day regional pageant in Toronto to qualify for the national contest: Miss Canada Petite, for women between the ages of 18 and 29 and under five feet, five inches.
The three-day event was immediately followed by the seven-day national pageant, also in Toronto, in August.
“It was a lot of very long days,” said Perrin. “I’d say seven in the morning to three in the morning for rehearsals. The lack of sleep was awful.
“It was a lot to learn but I’m so glad I did it,” she added. “I wasn’t the same person going in it as when I came out.”
Perrin did not make the top five at Miss Canada Petite, but her journey had only just begun. (She did, however, win Miss Karaoke.)
Now she has her eyes on another prize, arguably, one much more important.
Perrin is looking to become Miss Canada Charity next year. The title of Miss Canada Charity goes to the delegate who does the most for her community. The winner goes on to an international pageant to represent Canada.
Perrin isn’t cutting corners. She has participated in numerous charity causes, including Ovarian Cancer Canada, the Whitehorse Food Bank, the Aids Walk, the Run for Mom, the Terry Fox Run, and has, with a friend, raised over $600 in the walk for multiple sclerosis.
“The Wish Walk is coming up in October and I’m participating in that,” said Perrin. “Basically, whenever I have spare time and there’s something going on, I want to go and help the community.
“I like meeting new people and I’m passionate about helping our community because it is so small and sometimes it can be hard to find people who want to come out and help out.”
Perrin was born in Kingston, Ontario, and moved to Whitehorse eight years ago. Though she wasn’t born in the Yukon, her sourdough roots were evident at the pageant. In the talent component, Perrin did can-can dancing.
“I was trying to think of something that was unique,” said Perrin. “Speaking with the person who recruited me, they were like, ‘Wow, that’s something no one has ever done before.’ People sing, dance, read poems and things like that, and I wanted to do something that would stand out. It definitely did and people enjoyed it.”
In the international costume segment of the competition, in which delegates dress in attire that represents the contestant’s heritage or the area they are from, Perrin decided to go as a miner.
“My dad gave me a helmet with a light on it and I was blinding people with it by accident,” said Perrin.
In addition, Perrin had the evening gown and swimsuit competition, and a question-and-answer segment in which she had to answer a question in front of a panel of judges.
Of course, there was also the big, choreographed opening number, made only more difficult by the requirement of high heels.
“I went without ever being much of a person to wear heels and I can definitely say I have no problem walking in them now,” said Perrin.
One of Perrin’s last duties as Miss Yukon will be to help recruit her successor for next year’s national pageant.
“I’m looking for people who are outgoing, who want to help their community,” said Perrin. “In a position like this, they can’t be a close-minded person. Someone who doesn’t mind going out to charity events and (public) speaking.
“It’s a lot of work. Fundraising, to go to the pageant, is difficult.”
For her search, she is going above and beyond. Not only is she looking for the next Miss Yukon, she’s hoping to find the next Miss Nunavut and Miss Northwest Territories. (Canada’s two other territories, as well as Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, were not represented at this year’s pageant.)
“Online I’ve been trying to find people in the other territories as well because they weren’t represented at all last year, and I think, being from the North, that we have a different point of view,” said Perrin.
Perrin’s friendliness and bubbly personality not only serve her well as Miss Yukon, but also in her work as a customer service representative for NorthwesTel.
If you would like to go for the crown, you can contact Perrin at email@example.com.
“It’s been a long year and I got to do a lot of awesome things,” said Perrin. “I got to be one of the trophy girls at the Western Canadian Music Awards when they were up here last year and I got to help out with the Arctic Winter Games. There was a lot of awesome opportunities.
“It really is a life-changing event and a once in a lifetime opportunity. How many times are you going to have a chance to say, ‘I went to represent the Yukon’?”
Contact Tom Patrick at