(Photo: Hélène Rivest, centre, with Goulbourn Museum’s Curator Manager, Kathryn Jamieson, and Chairperson Keith Hobbs. Photo via Goulbourn Museum.)
Each year, the Board of Directors selects a recipient for the Museum’s Heritage Advocacy Award. This award recognizes those who have made an outstanding contribution to the Goulbourn Museum.
This year the Board selected someone who is a Museum member, a longtime volunteer and a donor. This person is also extremely dedicated to volunteering in many capacities beyond the Museum and throughout the community.
Hélène Rivest is a true advocate for both heritage and community. She tirelessly donates her time to various organizations and activities, including here at the Goulbourn Museum, but also with the Stittsville Food Bank, the Stittsville Village Association, the Goulbourn Township Historical Society, the Richmond Agricultural Society, the Rotary Club, the Stittsville-Goulbourn Horticultural Society, the Royal Canadian Legion, Ottawa Race Weekend and Big Sisters.
Another cause that is very close to Hélène’s heart is the Kidney Foundation of Canada. It all started when Stittsville resident Craig Dunbar needed a kidney transplant. Hélène went through the required testing but unfortunately wasn’t a match for Craig. She was still determined to help, so the two of them became involved in the Living Donor Paired Exchange Program which connects matches incompatible pairs with compatible pairs and results in a chain of transplants. She was able to donate her kidney to a complete stranger two years ago, and has continued raising money for the cause through local fundraising activities like the Kidney Walk.
Here at the Museum, Hélène has been a longtime member of the organization. She volunteers her time and expertise in a variety of ways, from assisting at our special events like the Old-Fashioned Christmas & Outdoor Artisan Market, to mending and organizing our costume collection. Each year Hélène joins Museum staff to adjudicate the Home School History Fair as well. This involves listening to presentations from children aged 8 to 14, and providing both encouragement and constructive criticism, before deciding which students will move on to the next level of the competition. Hélène is also quick to brag about her local museum and has written testimonials on our behalf.