What a Voyage it’s been
Sponsored Content - May 22, 2019 - Think Local

Photo: Contributed
Rod Friesen (right) poses in front of a new Winnebago Elante in the early 1990s.

RVs, or recreational vehicles as they’re technically known, have been a part of Jason Friesen’s life for as long as he can remember.

He was six years old in 1984 when his dad, Rod, started an RV consignment service in Winfield. Prior to that Rod had dabbled in painting signs, running a gas station and selling cars, but he was convinced by a friend that the RV business was a happy one. Jason would know, because he remembers fondly the RV trips his family would make back to his dad’s old hometown of Meadow Lake, Sask., every summer to visit his grandparents.

Photo: Contributed
Rod Friesen working on the lot in the 1980s.

 “It’s a lot more fun, and people want RVs. They don’t need RVs,” Friesen recalls his father’s friend saying. “It’s a fun business, and you should give it a try.”

Fast forward three and a half decades, and Voyager RV is celebrating its 35th anniversary by giving away $100,000 to charity throughout the course of 2019 through an initiative called Voyager Cares.

“When I realized it was our 35th, I just sort of sat back and thought how special that is for us as a dealership and definitely for my family,” Jason Friesen says. “The community’s treated us so well over the years.”

Voyager RV has already presented cheques of nearly $20,000 to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and more than $11,000 to the Central Okanagan Food Bank. Money raised from sales made in May will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society and to the Canadian Cancer Society in June.

The company has always donated to charity, but Jason Friesen decided it was time to really make a splash.

“I approached my dad, who is still the owner and president of Voyager,” Friesen says. “… I barely even got it out of my mouth, and he just said, ‘That is awesome. I love it. Do it.’ He thought it was phenomenal, and everything else we’ve heard since then is a lot of great impact and feedback from the community and from our staff themselves.

“It’s been great. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s neat to be able to do.”

Voyager RV technically turned 35 years old on April 24, but the big party is happening at the end of the month. The 35th anniversary bash will be held May 30 to June 2, and Friesen is encouraging anyone and everyone to come in and simply tell their RV stories.

“Beyond everything being on sale, all of our parts are going to be on sale,” Friesen says. “We’re going to have suppliers and reps, and we’re going to have a barbecue set up here. It’s always a fun time.

“We get lots of people coming out and buying RVs, but lots of people just come out and tell us stories, and look at what’s new and what’s changed in the industry.”

Jason joined the family business in 2003 after initially going to school to become a teacher. He is so glad he did, too, because he loves going to work.

“We wear shorts here. We don’t tuck our shirts in,” Jason says. “That’s always how my dad’s been, and that’s how the culture has carried on over the years. We’re meant to do things a little differently, and it’s been fun.”

Photo: Contributed
The Heart and Stroke Foundation cheque presentation earlier this month.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.

All Think Local Stories