Brenda Buren (left) and Lindsay Agar (right) present staff from BMO ribbons for Best Bank and Best Overall in the 2017 Business Decor Competition

Yukon businesses have been celebrating Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous with window painting and decorating for decades. The festive atmosphere builds anticipation for the event and helps cultivate the Klondike Gold Rush-era feel around Whitehorse.

The Dereen Hildebrand Business Decor Contest was revitalized during Sourdough Rendezvous’ 50th anniversary year to commemorate Whitehorse artist Dereen Hildebrand’s contribution to past festivals. Before passing away in 2004, Hildebrand was key to getting local businesses into the spirit of Rendezvous. She would visit them and paint beautiful murals on windows in the downtown core.

Snowshoe Shuffler Lindsay Agar has been on the judging team for the past few years, along with last year’s event sponsor, Total Fire Protection Services, and has some good insight into how the process unfolds. The 2018 competition is sponsored by Klondike Business Solutions.

“The City of Whitehorse participates and aims to be decorated by the end of January or the beginning of February,” Agar said. “Usually around that first week of February, you start seeing the decorating around town. Businesses wanting judging on their decorations have to register early.”

She said the event has grown over the years; in the past, it’s often been simply having windows painted, but that’s changed. “Some businesses also decorate their entire spaces,” said Agar. “The banks in particular get into it and they have a good rivalry amongst themselves.”

Bonita Bibby is new this year as the Rendezvous director championing the event. She’s in charge of organizing and getting all interested businesses registered. She was excited to take on the event because of the important role businesses play in making Rendezvous fun.

“The decorated businesses, the town and the fun mood of Rendezvous, (the contest) contributes to all of that,” Bibby said.

Rendezvous has made some efforts to help businesses participate by training interested local artists to do window murals. Meagan Wilson and Lindsey Nolan have both partnered with Rendezvous to be ready to assist businesses looking to participate and capture this year’s theme, Heat Wave.

Last year, BMO took home the prizes for top bank and best overall. Their performance inspired at least one person to get involved. “BMO’s decorating attracted me to volunteer and take (the contest) on,” Bibby said.

Businesses interested in participating can contact Bibby at Bonita@YukonRendezvous.com for registration forms, contact information for artists, and any additional information.

The event will be judged on Thursday, Feb. 22.

 


Dereen Hildebrand Contest Information

Categories: Best Window Display, Best Business, Best Hotel, Best Bank, Best Overall

Registration deadline: Feb. 19

Judging: Feb. 22

Info and registration: Bonita@YukonRendezvous.com