Ottawa Festivals honours volunteers, announce BFL Canada Volunteer of the Year

Ottawa Festivals was pleased to reveal the BFL Canada Volunteer of the Year award today during the annual “Launch of the Festival Season”. Coinciding with National Volunteer Week, the event kicked-off a yearlong celebration of volunteering in the festival, special event and fair industry and was also the launch point for Ottawa Festivals’ new online volunteer engagement tool,

After speaking about the importance of volunteers and thanking them for their efforts, Mayor Jim Watson presented five finalists with certificates of appreciation. Ravi Philar from the Ottawa Folk Festival and RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest; Jamie Impey from HOPE Volleyball Summerfest; Cheryl Ranacher from the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival; Jodie McNamara from Capital Pride Festival; and Laura Hay from Ottawa Irish Festival were all introduced as finalists by CTV Anchor Vanessa Lee, who hosted the morning event.

Mayor Watson then announced the BFL Canada Volunteer of the Year is Cheryl Ranacher from the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. Ranacher began volunteering with the Ottawa Chamber Music Society in 1994. For the past 18 years, she has volunteered in many capacities and has taken leadership roles in front of house management, volunteer mentoring and training, and staff recruitment.

“Thank you for this honour which I accept on behalf of all the volunteers who help make great things happen in our city,” a humble yet happy Ranacher said. “It is indeed an honour to be part of this wonderful team … 12000 strong is the number of volunteers I  think I heard quoted. What a team!!”

A recent survey that included the majority of Ottawa Festivals’ 65 member events indicated that there are more than 12,000 volunteers who contribute in excess of 141,000 volunteer hours each year. “It is an amazing number,” says Barb Stacey, Executive Director of Ottawa Festivals, “These are committed, passionate people who contribute so much to the community. We were very pleased to be able to recognize their efforts.”

About Ottawa Festivals

Ottawa Festivals is a not-for-profit organization that represents 65 not-for-profit festivals, special events and fairs that take place in Canada’s Capital Region. In partnership with the City of Ottawa, Employment Ontario and Trillium Foundation, the organization manages a number of programs to develop and sustain the industry to contribute to positive benefits that impact the community.