Yukon now has a princess and her name is Jennifer Perrin.
The Whitehorse native was the runner-up – a.k.a. “first princess” – at the Miss Canada Charity pageant last month in Toronto.
“It was very surreal,” said Perrin. “All five of us were on stage, and then they announced the fourth runner-up, the third runner-up, the second runner-up.
“It was really exciting and I was really overwhelmed at first. It definitely took some time to sink in. When we had our contract signing, it became more real.”
Perrin was one of five contestants selected from across Canada to vie for the Miss Canada Charity title during the Miss Canada Globe National Pageants.
The five contestants secured invites based on the impact each has had on their community through charity work.
They continued to do charity work in the Toronto region and ran 50/50 draws and auctions during the pageant. Perrin, who was Miss Yukon at last year’s Miss Canada Petite Globe pageant, participated in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life and lent time to Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.
“I did lots and lots of things in Whitehorse, but since I’ve been here (in Ontario), I’ve been trying to do as much as possible,” said Perrin.
The final stage of the contest was a question-and-answer segment with a panel of judges before a final question on stage during the last night of the pageant.
“One of my questions was, ‘Why do you deserve to be Miss Canada Charity?’” said Perrin. “I said, as Miss Canada Charity, I have larger aspirations than just having a title for myself. I want to inspire others, not just nationally in Canada, but internationally, and have the chance to represent Canada and show everyone what an amazing, dedicated country we are.”
As the runner-up in her category, Perrin, 23, has secured the opportunity to represent all of Canada at an international pageant. Where and when has yet to be determined.
“In addition to continuing my charity work and making appearances, and continuing to find future delegates for next year, I have to represent Canada at an international pageant as well,” said Perrin, who has taken part in Whitehorse’s MS Walk, the Run for Mom, the AIDS Walk for Life in Whitehorse, and has done volunteer work for Ovarian Cancer Canada.
“I’m really excited … I know I have to stay on top of things because it’s definitely not over yet.”
Helping others seems to be in Perrin’s blood. She is currently attending Ontario’s St. Lawrence College in the pre-health program with the aspiration of becoming a nurse.
“My dad is a nurse and my mom is a lab tech, so I’ve always been exposed to the health-care field,” said Perrin. “I love helping people. So it’s definitely something I hope to continue with.”
Yukon was well represented at the Miss Canada Globe pageants thanks to Perrin. As the territory’s Miss Canada Petite contestant last year, Perrin was responsible for recruiting others to participate in this year’s pageants.
Through her recruitment efforts Perrin found Whitehorse’s Alissa Budzinski, who went for Miss Teen Canada Globe, and Dawson City’s Alix Causer-McBurney and Cheyenne Sheila Rear, who were in for Miss Canada Globe.
“It was really fun. It was super challenging because there were late nights and long days – sometimes we wouldn’t get off until two in the morning,” said Budzinski. “But it was a really good experience and put me to the test.”
Budzinski, who was officially named Miss Teen Yukon while in Toronto, plans to attend the Miss Teen Charity Canada pageant next year.
In fact, Yukon was so well represented, the territory had more contestants than Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, or Manitoba. The four Yukoners were the only ones from the territories.
“I think people there were surprised and it was nice to have (Yukon) well represented,” said Perrin. “It definitely gave another point of view. When you have so many people from Ontario, they’re used to the same thing. When it came to the talents and international costumes, it switched it up a bit.
“They didn’t make top-10, but they did awesome,” she added. “I got to see their talents, which were fantastic, and I got to see their preliminaries and their national costumes, and it was great.”
As a Dawsonite, Causer-McBurney selected a gold-rush era ball gown as her regional costume. Budzinski displayed her sourdough spirit with a “snowshoe shuffler” costume inspired by the Rendezvous celebrations.
Rear recited the Robert Service poem The Spell of the Yukon for her talent. Causer-McBurney showed her “adaptability” by performing tasks associated with gold mining, such as operating an excavator.
Budzinski, who attends Vanier Catholic Secondary School, recited the entire periodic table of elements in numeric order.
“I had given the judges a list of all of them in order so they could make sure I was doing them in order, which put extra pressure on,” said Budzinski. “But I was able to do it.”
Perrin was runner-up to Jeneane Guerrero of the Greater Toronto Area and placed ahead of Andreanne Roy of New Brunswick.
Contact Tom Patrick at