From left to right: Peter McCrady – President of Festivals & Events PEI, Kate Martin – PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls, Hon. Heath MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Gerry Arsenault – L’Exposition agricole et le Festival acadien and Rhonda MacLeod – Montague Summer Days Cultural Festival. Photo credit: Brian Simpson
March 3, 2016
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Festivals and Events PEI presented the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards at an educational workshop today in Charlottetown. In 2014, Festivals and Events PEI established a volunteer of the year award to recognize the contribution of a volunteer in the success of a festival or event. One volunteer will be chosen for each county from nominations put forth by festivals and events members.
“Volunteers play a critical role in the success of our events and without these volunteers our Festival & Event Sector would not be successful”, said Peter McCrady, President of Festivals & Events PEI. “Tonight we are honoring a representative from each of our three counties with a plaque as a testament to their dedication in assisting in the continuous growth of our industry. Their effort along with the efforts of the hundreds of great volunteers that commit their time to all of the Festivals and Events in the province each year, has resulted in the Festival & Events sector to become one of the key economic generators of Tourism to our province.”
This year’s recipients of the Festivals & Events PEI Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards are:
Prince County – GERRY ARSENAULT, L’Exposition agricole et le Festival acadien
Queens County – KATE MARTIN, PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls
Kings County – RHONDA MACLEOD, Montague Summer Days Cultural Festival
“Gerry has prepared all facilities required for a new pole-climbing show, he developed the show and prepared the whole team participating. He was the leader in the show, presenting two shows during the Festival, (at no costs to the organizers), which really amazed the crowd with his acrobatic stunts on top of a 100 ft pole.” said Alcide Bernard, L’Exposition agricole et le Festival acadien. “Nearly every weekend of the Summer you would see Gerry along with his brother Marcel, working at installing the poles and other amenities required. Gerry also did volunteer work installing banners over the road approaching the event site and took care of removing them following the event. Gerry has been voluntarily organizing and performing in the pole climbing show ever since he introduced it for the first time in 1988.”
“Kate Martin is the best of the best. She volunteers for the Festival of Small Halls each year and our fingers are crossed hoping she will return year after year. For 2015, Kate volunteered at the Small Halls Festival office and the events themselves and was a tremendous help. Sometimes Kate was even in the office before the staff arrived for the day. If she had a couple of spare hours, she spent them with us, working alongside our staff. Kate called herself the “bag lady” as she stuffed our promo bags that were to go on every seat in our festival.” said Jennifer Campbell, Executive Director for Small Halls Inc. “We honestly couldn’t have put on such a great quality event without Kate lending a hand at the office. Kate is so deserving of this award and so much more for volunteering her time to help out our non profit organization. Thank you Kate! “
“Rhonda is always one to volunteer to help out, regardless of the type of event. She was an essential part of the organizing committee for the 2015 Montague Summer Days Cultural Festival, especially the Miss Montague Pageant. She has been responsible for planning this event for the past two years, but also helps with many other aspects of the weekend, as well as other events throughout the year”, said Andrew Rowe, Montague Summer Days Cultural Festival.