Love is in the air: Yukoners share their love stories

·3 min read
Tyrell Vance (left) and Gold Ugochukwu (right) are tying the knot this Valentine's Day. CBC North spoke to four Yukoners whose love is only growing stronger.
Tyrell Vance (left) and Gold Ugochukwu (right) are tying the knot this Valentine's Day. CBC North spoke to four Yukoners whose love is only growing stronger.

(Submitted by Chelsea Blackjack - image credit)

It's almost Valentine's Day, and that means love is in the air.

CBC North spoke to couples in long-term relationships about their stories, and how they've made love last.

Here's two stories of Yukoners who felt smitten at first sight — and whose relationships are stronger than ever before.

Gold Ugochukwu and Tyrell Vance

Gold Ugochukwu moved to Whitehorse from Nigeria in 2011.

One year later, she would meet the man she would eventually call her husband.

Ugochukwu recounts the moment she met Tyrell Vance at what was then Yukon College, now Yukon University, in Jan. 2012.

She was smitten at first sight.

"I had to go get one of my best friends and said, 'You have to come see this guy. He is so handsome.'"

"We started running across the hallway down to the cafeteria like two foolish high school girls."

Ugochukwu had a hard time telling Vance she liked him so she came up with a plan.

"I made up an email account and I pretended I was my best friend," Ugochukwu said.

"I said, 'My friend Gold really likes you but she doesn't know how to say it.' Then he replied, 'I like her too.'"

On Valentine's Day, Vance made it official by — unofficially — asking her out.

"Ty never asked me to be his girlfriend," said Ugochukwu. "He said I was and I was."

Submitted by Chelsea Blackjack
Submitted by Chelsea Blackjack

Tyrell Vance is a member of the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation.

Ugochukwu says their relationship hasn't come without its hurdles.

"I'll say our biggest challenge was I'm Black and he's First Nations," she explained. "People would ask why he was with someone who's black, and vice versa."

"But we overcame all of this and [are] stronger than ever."

So much so that Ugochukwu and Vance will be tying the knot this Sunday, on their nine year anniversary.

"We are definitely both lucky we have each other."

Pamela Blanchard and Wesley Smith

Pamela Blanchard and her partner Wesley Smith have been together for 16 years.

Blanchard moved to Whitehorse when she was eight years old.

"I remember seeing a boy of 13, tall with black puffy hair and had a bit of a crooked smile," Blanchard says.

"All I wanted to do was look at him."

This went on for two years until Blanchard's family moved to another part in town.

"My life went on, on occasion thinking about him and wondering where he was and if he was thinking of me," she said.

Submitted by Pamela Blanchard
Submitted by Pamela Blanchard

"I'd think about his home town, Old Crow, a lot and wonder if that's where he was"

She had always hoped that she would see him again.

And then she did, at the age of 21.

"We have been inseparable since," Blanchard says.

"We have had a few years of hard times. We've went through the street life in Edmonton, Alberta and in Whitehorse."

Then a miracle came to them in the form of a son.

"He ended up going to treatment and I stopped drinking while he was there," she said. "I took responsibility."

Blanchard says that everything they've gone through has made their relationship the strongest it's ever been.

"We know we're better just sticking together."