Government of Yukon

FOR RELEASE     #09-292
December 30, 2009

Exceptional Yukoners Honoured at Commissioner’s Levee

WHITEHORSE – Commissioner Geraldine Van Bibber invites all Yukoners and visitors to join her in acknowledging outstanding individuals at the Commissioner’s New Year’s Levee on January 1, 2010.

Eleven Yukon students will receive the Governor General’s academic medal, one of the most prestigious awards that Canadian secondary school students can receive. The academic medal is awarded to students throughout Yukon who graduate with the highest final marks in their school.

“I am honoured to present this award to deserving students, who will one day step up to be our future leaders,” Van Bibber said. “Their motivation and commitment to excellence is commendable.”

In addition, Jennifer Moorlag will receive the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. This award was established to honour Canadians whose unpaid, voluntary contributions provide extraordinary help or care to individuals or groups in the community.

Wendolyn Callahan, Vince Fedoroff and Bunne Palamar will each receive the Commissioner’s Award for Public Volunteer Service. This award recognizes Yukoners who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the social, economic, academic, political or cultural fabric of their community.

Following her recent investiture as a Dame of the Order of Saint John, Van Bibber will also present “Bars of Service” badges to St. John Ambulance officers and members Miriam Holder and Kenneth Oppold.

“It is a privilege to recognize those whose contributions make our community a better place to live,” Van Bibber said. “I look forward to seeing many Yukoners at the levee and I take this opportunity to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous 2010.” 

The awards ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. and the reception will follow at 3 p.m. at the Yukon Government Administration Building in Whitehorse.


Backgrounder below.

Cathy Cheeseman
Commissioner’s Office

Recipients of the Governor General’s Academic Medal

Shellby Fulton
Del Van Gorder School, Faro
Kiefer Johnnie
Eliza Van Bibber School, Pelly Crossing
Zeb Gioia
Watson Lake Secondary School
Aletta Leitch
Porter Creek Secondary School, Whitehorse
Lee Hawkings     
F.H. Collins Secondary School, Whitehorse
Virginia Mitford
Vanier Catholic Secondary School, Whitehorse
Kaylie-Ann Hummel
J.V. Clark School, Mayo
Tahara Simard
Individual Learning Centre, Whitehorse
Ted Hunter
Robert Service School, Dawson City
Haley Tomlin
St. Elias Community School, Haines Junction 
Harley Johnnie
Tantalus School, Carmacks


Recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award
Jennifer Moorlag has served in executive positions, including territorial commissioner, with the Girl Guides of Canada. She spent 15 years providing leadership to young Whitehorse women as a Guide and Spark leader. Jennifer volunteers with her parish as a choir member, scripture reader, lay worship leader and website administrator. Combining her love of children and the outdoors, Jennifer spent seven years as camp leader at the Braeburn Summer Camp. Jennifer’s gift of her time has enhanced the lives of many Yukoners.

Recipients of the Commissioner’s Award for Public Volunteer Service
Wendolyn Callahan is a life-long Yukoner who has been actively involved in the Run for Mom campaign for 10 years. Through her love of walking and running, she has raised more than $50,000 for cancer research and treatment. Wendolyn’s dedication to combating a disease that has touched us all in some way is truly inspiring.

Vince Fedoroff is a photographer with a local print media outlet who covers many community events on his own time. Vince feels that people should be recognized for the many school plays, sports and music events, and theatre presentations they support after hours and on weekends.  Vince’s extra efforts result in Yukoners being connected with countless local happenings.

Bunne Palamar has been a volunteer for almost two decades and her work has made a significant difference to the community. She has given countless hours as a coach, chaperone, coordinator, board member and facilitator on behalf of children, youth and seniors. Her contribution to the sports world includes supporting soccer, hockey, volleyball and golf, several Arctic Winter Games, Canada Winter Games and the 2008 World Fast Pitch tournament. She also has been an active member on a number of school committees as well as the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Presentation of Service Bars
Miriam Holder and Kenneth Oppold will receive “Bars of Service” badges for their years of service – three and nine respectively – to the St. John Ambulance in Yukon. On December 9, Joanne Green was presented with her nine-year badge by Commissioner Van Bibber.