VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: REY BISSON
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Rey Bisson has been volunteering for the festival for over 20 years. He has held many roles and has been a mentor to countless others. As a result, Rey has a wealth of experience and knowledge he brings year after year. We talked to Rey to learn more about his experience as a volunteer and what makes the festival special.
When did you first get involved with the festival? I think I have been volunteering at the festival for approx. 20 years.
What volunteer position(s) have you held? I started volunteering as a parking lot attendant at Hogs back. Did that for 1 or 2 years. I did the silent auction for 1 year; I didn't enjoy that because the pace was slow, I needed to be part of the action! Then I signed to work at staging. I did work 1 year with this team leader, Joe Piscitelli. They called me to be team leader the following year which I reluctantly accepted.
Why do you volunteer with the festival? I volunteer for the festival because I believe in the organization. I feel that I am recognized and appreciated. I feel I make a difference. (PS it is same feeling I try to pass on to other volunteers...and I have a few that come to mind...making other volunteers feeling like they matter)
What do you enjoy most about volunteering for the festival? It is that feeling that I enjoy...making a difference.
What is something memorable that has happened at the festival during your time as a volunteer? A few things come to mind that are memorable. I like the rose ceremony with cancer survivors. It is a touching moment. I enjoy the parade of teams on Friday night.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering with the festival? I have encouraged people I know to volunteer by telling them it is a good group; people care...you are valued as a volunteer…
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering with the festival? I used to work and am in the process of retiring. I also do a lot of volunteer work, I used to do a lot more and at some point I was volunteering every weekend during summers. I bought a cottage 9 years ago and spent more time there.
What might someone be surprised to know about you? I have a passion for gardening and antiques. I have nice gardens at the house and cottage; amazing scrubs and flowers. My house is full of antiques...my house is like a small museum.
Rey is the type of volunteer who helps to ensure that when there’s an issue, we get right back on track. Festivals like the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival take months of precise planning and coordination amongst many different organizations and people. As a result, volunteers like Rey who have been involved in so many different areas provide invaluable experience and knowledge to help the festival be the best it can be! We sincerely thank them for their generous contributions to our community.
If you’re thinking about volunteering you can find out about the available opportunities here and register below.