ABRAM-VILLAGE – June 11, 2018 – As the owner of the popular tourist attraction The Bottle Houses, as a dedicated volunteer of tourism associations and as a tourism development officer, Réjeanne Arsenault worked arduously in this industry for nearly four decades.
For all of this magnificent work, she has earned a well-deserved retirement as well as special joint recognition from three provincial francophone organizations that are directly connected to the sector.
The Association touristique Évangéline (ATÉ), RDÉE Prince Edward Island and the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI recognized her vast contribution at the local, provincial and national levels June 8 during a reception to launch the 2018 tourism season in Abram-Village.
« Your vision and your work have placed The Bottle Houses on the national and international map, » said ATÉ president Marcel Bernard. « You took your father’s product and made it evolve into a popular attraction in the tourism world. That doesn’t happen overnight; it takes long hours of work, devotion and sometimes difficult questioning, but with an eye always fixed on an ultimate vision and objective. Your Bottle Houses are the result of your devotion and prove to us that you have attainted your vision and objective. »
He noted that the three partner organizations wanted to congratulate her for her arduous work. « We have to thank you for your contribution as a tourism operator who has guided the evolution of a magnificent product. We also want to thank you for the influence that you’ve had as an employer of our region and for the inspiration that you’ve provided to new operators. »
Bernard particularly thanked her for her involvement in and devotion to the ATÉ (for which she served as president and counsellor for several terms) and to several other local, provincial, Atlantic and Canadian tourism associations.
RDÉE PEI thanked her for being its first tourism development officer and, later, one of its board members.
The Acadian Chamber of Commerce, which also praised her efforts, had previously presenter her two entrepreneurial awards (provincial Lauriers de la PME award for tourism in 2005 and Distinguished Entrepreneur in 2013), while RDÉE Canada had presented her with a special « Coup de coeur » award during its national Lauriers de la PME Gala in 2005.
Arsenault retired completely from her business last fall after selling it to Angie and Aubrey Cormier, her neighbours in Cape Egmont. It has however been a couple of years since she had passed on the daily management of her establishment to one of her trusted employees.
When she accepted the plaque that was presented to her, she noted that she will finally be able to herself be a tourist since these past several decades, she was always too busy during the summer months to go visit other PEI and Atlantic Canadian attractions.
The master of ceremonies of the recognition ceremony, Raymond J. Arsenault, who is now an employee of the RDÉE and the Chamber of Commerce, noted that his first job ever, during his teen years, was as a guide at The Bottle Houses. Réjeanne Arsenault added that he had been the attraction’s first-ever employee.
Arsenault now lives in the Moncton area of New Brunswick but often returns to PEI to visit family and friends.
CUTLINE: Réjeanne Arsenault, second from right, former owner of The Bottle Houses in Cape Egmont, was recognized for her vast contribution to the development of the tourist industry by three provincial organizations June 8. She is seen with their representatives, from left, Martin Marcoux, president of RDÉE PEI, Marcel Bernard, president of l’Association touristique Évangéline, and Diana Larivière, board member of the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI.
For more information:
Raymond J. Arsenault
RDÉE Prince Edward Island
902-854-3439, Ext. 231