New Dates Announced for the ACWW Canada Conference

This is an open letter from Linda Hoy, ACWW Canada Area President, to all ACWW Canada Area members whether you were registered to attend the Canada Area Conference being held in Sidney, BC at the Shoal Centre from June 13th to 15th, 2020 or not.

We have experienced the worst pandemic to hit our world. The Covid-19 pandemic did not play favourites and countries were not spared numerous deaths. It came upon us quickly and we were not as prepared as we should have been. Who would have thought back in March 2020 that we would be isolated in our homes for 100+ days only to venture out for food and needed supplies?

It was very hard for me to make the decision along with the BCWI Planning Committee to postpone the ACWW Canada Area Conference.

I was looking forward to being back in Sidney, BC where, in 2012, I became FWIC President-Elect. To return as Canada Area President was going to be another memorable time. It was a decision that we had to make for the well-being of our members and as regulated by our governments to not travel or meet in groups.

Now, moving forward we have come up with a new plan. In talking with FWIC/WI Canada President, Joan Holthe, I proposed to her that the ACWW Canada Area Conference move from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast in 2021. The dates would follow the FWIC/WI Canada Triennial Convention, June 17th to June 19th. As such, the Canada Area Conference will be from June 19th to June 21st.

The new dates for the ACWW Canada Area Conference would be June 19th to 21st, 2021, in St. John's, NL.

The FWIC Board and the NLWI Planning Committee have both approved of this and the Memorial University in St. John’s, NL, has been part of our discussions. This would be a great opportunity to attend both the FWIC/WI Canada Convention and ACWW Canada Area Conference in beautiful St. John’s, NL. Most of our ACWW Societies are Women’s Institute but we do have a few who are not. You would be invited to attend the FWIC/WI Canada Convention in whole or in part.

The BCWI Planning Committee has done a tremendous amount of work and was ready to welcome us to BC. I want to thank them for their planning and fundraising efforts. Donna Jack, Committee Planning Chair, and Ruth Fenner, Registration Chair, have both agreed to stay on to help the NLWI with the ACWW Canada Area Conference. Thank YOU!

You may be asking yourself, “What will happen with my registration fees that I paid to BCWI now that the Canada Area Conference is postponed?”

1. If you are considering attending the ACWW Canada Area Conference in St. John’s, NL, then the $110.00 registration fee can be used as a deposit for the Canada Area Conference. I am asking that you take some time to think about this before making your final decision. Due to Covid-19. Memorial University catering and meeting room rentals are unable to give us prices until late fall. Therefore the registration package will not be available until January. The Banquet on June 19th will be an FWIC/WI Canada Closing and ACWW Canada Area Opening Banquet. Tours will be organized during the two events for delegates and companions.

2. As we get new information from Memorial University it will be forwarded to you. They have reserved 150-200 beds in their Macpherson College residence. “Macpherson College is a residential complex located on our St. John’s campus. It is comprised of nearly 500 beds. Each person will have their own private bedroom (with a single bed) and share their washroom and shower with one other person. We can match and pair people together as requested.

Room rate: $60 per person, per night or $120 for the full suite (both sides). This is inclusive of 15% HST and 4% city accommodations tax – which is charged by any hotel/accommodations provider in the city. This is a room only rate and does not include breakfast or any meals. It includes however parking, WiFi and a gym/swim pass. Linen and basic toiletries is provided but there is no housekeeping inside guest rooms during a stay. We operate a 24/7 front desk during the summer and guests can exchange and refresh their towels here as required.

We can accommodate approximately 50 people on each floor. Each floor has a couple of common areas in the middle of the floor near the elevator with floor to ceiling windows. There are couches, TV, tables and a kitchenette in this space.”

3. If you paid for BC tours, you will receive a refund issued by BCWI in the coming weeks.

4. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions that you may have. canada@acww.org.uk

I must confess that I am feeling less stressed about having to postpone the Canada Area Conference and the stress has changed to the excitement that we will have a great time in St. John’s, NL in 2021.

Life has a way of putting obstacles in our path to not only challenge us but to make us look for a way around them. This Covid-19 pandemic may have been an obstacle but I am seeing that it may be a better way to hold our ACWW Canada Area Conferences and FWIC Triennial Conventions in the future. One travel cost with two or three added days to visit the host province while attending both and hearing about the work of FWIC/WI Canada and ACWW.

Wishing you all a safe summer. “Together We Will Be OK”