Paul Holly, partnership marketing manager with Collette, Suzanne and Luc Vienneau, and Lynn Nasralla, a senior consultant with Johnson Insurance. Photo: Patrick Doyle
Luc Vienneau remembers seeing a ballot in Sage magazine for a travel contest and now he’s contemplating how he’ll manage to collect on his grand prize of a trip to travel “the complete South Pacific.”
The Win a World Getaway was a contest Federal Retirees launched to thank members for their loyalty over the organization’s 60 years of existence. Up for grabs was a total of $76,000 worth of prizes, courtesy of Collette, Johnson Insurance and Federal Retirees.
“We know our members like to travel,” says CEO Anthony Pizzino. “And this was a nice way to thank them for being members of our organization and also a way to salute our 60 years of advocacy for federal retirees and all older Canadians alike.”
Vienneau’s prize is a 27-day trip that will take him and a guest to Australia and New Zealand. The trip includes airfare and a guided tour for two, at a value of $14,100 per person, courtesy of Collette and Federal Retirees, and $10,000 spending money, courtesy of Johnson Insurance.
Trying to arrange 27 days away is something that will take some doing for Vienneau and his wife, Suzanne, whose parents are elderly and hard to leave for that long.
“But we will figure it out if that’s what we need to do,” Vienneau says. “And we’ll have a great time.”
Vienneau, who joined Federal Retirees in December 2022 and lives in Ottawa, Ont., worked for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), primarily as a manager in the information technology (IT) department. He spent his last four years managing CRA’s external recruitment program for IT.
Winner Nigel Bruce, centre, with Shawn McCord of Johnson Insurance and Charlottetown branch president Brenda Powell. Photo: Stacey Morris
Heading to Egypt and Jordan
As acting director-general of strategic planning, results and cabinet business at Veterans Affairs Canada in Charlottetown, P.E.I., Nigel Bruce is still working, but he joined Federal Retirees last year, primarily to take advantage of member perks. He received perhaps the biggest membership perk this autumn when he was told he won the second prize in the Win a World Getaway.
“MEDOC was one of the reasons I joined,” Bruce says. “A couple of folks recommended we do that for the travel insurance — the benefits are so good.”
His 13-day adventure will take him and a guest through Egypt and Jordan’s worldly wonders, exotic cuisine and desert horizons. The prize includes the guided tour and airfare, at a value of $7,249 per person, courtesy of Collette, as well as $5,000 in spending money, courtesy of Johnson Insurance.
Bruce expects to take the trip next autumn. He may go with his wife, but she’s reticent at this point about the war between Israel and Hamas. Given that, he may take his son.
“That’s to be determined, but [either way] we’ll probably try to take the trip next fall. My son is 20 and a university student, so we would book it around his reading week.”
Being a member, he says, was a “foregone conclusion” before he won the contest, but this has strengthened his resolve.
“I’ve talked to other people still working in government and I’ve encouraged them to join. I know at least a half-dozen who have joined already,” he says.
Contest winner Katherine Ennis, Kelowna branch president Guy Bird and Gina Goranson, Collette’s business development manager for B.C. Photo: Elvia Picco
The otherworldly wonders of Iceland
West Kelowna’s Katherine Ennis, who has been a member of Federal Retirees since 1996, says she has “a lot of best friends” since she learned she’d won the third prize in Federal Retirees’ Win a World Getaway contest.
Ennis, who worked for the Canadian Wheat Board for 6.5 years before her children were born, lost her husband in 2020. He worked for the Canadian Wheat Board for 32 years.
Ennis’s daughter, Kyleen Ennis, will join her on the Icelandic dream tour. “She’s going to be my travelling partner on this trip,” Ennis says. “And she’s also a member of Federal Retirees.”
The “Iceland – Land of Fire & Ice” guided tour, courtesy of Collette and Federal Retirees, promises to take visitors to a local fishing community, on a picturesque cruise of the bay and for a soak in the mineral-rich water of the Blue Lagoon, to name a few highlights. The trip, including airfare, is valued at $6,649 per person and there’s an additional $5,000 in spending money courtesy of Johnson Insurance.
Of the win, Ennis says she’s still “in a kind of a stupor about it.”
The travel contest was a resounding success, with 19,343 members participating. Federal Retirees also received 1,219 new member referrals that qualified members for a bonus ballot.
Partners Collette and Johnson were both impressed by the depth of this member engagement and the success of the 60th anniversary contest.