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Essential Pre-Arrival Information for AGM Registrants

September 22, 2022

Essential Pre-Arrival Information for AGM Registrants

Many delights await us at the AGM in Victoria, but first, we have to get there! This email provides essential information about border crossing, vaccinations, face coverings, on-site check-in, tickets, and other matters

  • ArriveCAN, a Canadian government requirement for those entering the country. For travelers coming from outside Canada, "You must use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel and public health information before and after your entry into Canada." All travelers, whether entering Canada by air, land, rail or marine vessel, must use ArriveCAN. You'll need to submit your information no sooner than 72 hours before your arrival in Canada. The requirements and very limited exceptions are spelled out on this government website: https://www.canada.ca/en/border-services-agency/services/arrivecan.html.

    The authorities have taken steps to make the process clear and accessible. You may enter your information on the government website, or download the free and secure ArriveCAN app from the AppStore or GooglePlay. If you're unable to use ArriveCAN, you can ask someone like a friend or family member, who can submit your travel information for you by signing in online and can print out or email the ArriveCAN receipt for you. 

    Here's what you need to do:
  • Review the requirements on this website (note that you do not need a quarantine plan or pre-entry Covid test if you are fully vaccinated)
  • Download the app or decide to use the web version
  • Mark your calendar for the window in which you must complete ArriveCAN—no more than 72 hours before your arrival
  • Assemble your contact information (full addresses of the AGM hotels are available here), travel details and documents, and vaccination information
  • Arrange for a friend or relative to help you if needed.
  • Changing Requirements. There are unconfirmed reports that the Canadian government may be dropping its requirements for ArriveCAN and for vaccination for non-Canadian entrants. If this happens, it will occur after the AGM has begun, so please do complete ArriveCAN. U.S. travelers, please note that COVID testing is not required to re-enter the U.S. JASNA's own vaccination requirement is unchanged. 
  • CBSA Recognition Letter.  JASNA has registered the AGM with the Customs and Border Security Agency. CBSA's letter recognizing our conference is here. While the letter mostly concerns those bringing in merchandise or conference supplies, it states, "it is recommended that all participants be provided a copy of this letter for presentation to a CBSA Border Services Officer upon their arrival to Canada." The letter will be posted here in the AGM Update Center in case you need to access it while in transit. 
  • Cabs, Parking, and Lay of the Land. Want to share a taxi from the airport? Use Hootboard, a private online bulletin board, to connect with other attendees for ride-shares. You will need to create an account; the access code is "Brandon." Parking is available at the VCC/Empress and nearby commercial lots. You can get your bearings in advance by taking virtual walks with your AGM Coordinator from the Marriott/DoubleTree and the Fairmont Empress to our AGM venue.
  • JASNA's Health and Safety Policies. When you check in at the AGM, you will need to show proof that you have received a full course of COVID vaccination. (Boosters are encouraged but not required.) Your certificate or other official documentation may be on paper or viewable on your phone. We will not retain or copy, but you will be asked to sign an acknowledgment of having provided it. With regard to face coverings, the AGM is mask-optional. To help high-risk individuals minimize potential exposure, we encourage those who wish to keep their masks on during programs to gravitate toward seating on the left of meeting rooms, while those not wearing face coverings, or wanting flexibility, gravitate to the right. If a breakout room feels crowded to you, you are welcome to change to another breakout on the spot—no registration change required.  
  • Checking in at the AGM. AGM check-in (outside the Theatre at the Victoria Conference Centre) will open at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, September 28, and then again at 8:00 am on Thursday. Please reserve the first half-hour on Thursday for those who have morning workshops or tours. If you have tours on Wednesday, don't worry—just go directly to the Douglas Street bus departure point, where a volunteer will have your name on a list. Registration is also not required to go to Munro's Books on Wednesday evening.
  • Banquet Table Sign-Up and Ticket Checking. After you receive your registration materials, please check your tickets against your agenda and store them in your nametag holder, as you will need to present them to attend events and the banquet. If you haven't already done so, please sign up for a banquet table on-site, no later than Friday night.
  • Statutory Holiday. Friday, September 30, is a new Canadian day of commemoration, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is a solemn occasion for Canadians, but most tourist-focused businesses will remain open. We are offering special programming at the AGM in recognition of the day and will provide orange ribbons for those who wish to wear them.  
  • Packing Tips. Plan for sun and rain, warm and cool temps (indoors and out; perhaps a flannel waistcoat?).  Bring some cash or your checkbook, or use the ATM at the Empress, as JASNA Regions in the Emporium can't accept credit cards.  (Emporium vendors have priced merchandise in both Canadian and US dollars.)  Is there room in your luggage for an item to donate to the Soho Bazaar, our pop-up swap shop?  
  • Discounts. The Victoria Conference Centre and Destination Victoria have arranged for AGM attendees to enjoy discounts at many shops, attractions, and restaurants (see bottom of webpage). You'll get a VIP Decal at check-in. If you want to make reservations before you have the decal in hand, we suggest mentioning the VIP program. The AGM Coordinator has arranged for additional discounts at Munro's, Irish Linen Shops, the Umbrellatorium and Canery, Button and Needlework Boutique, and Limey's—just show or mention your AGM badge.
  • Tours. Registrants for the Butchart Gardens, Craigdarroch Castle, Cowichan Wineries, Churches and Chocolate, and Food and City tours have been sent emails with tour details. If you are on these tours and didn't receive them, please check your spam and junk folders, or contact the Registrar.

Some surprises are in the works, including an opportunity on Sunday morning to view gems from Edith Lank's collection: an original Austen signature, a set of first editions, and a unique copy of "Letters of Jane Austen" hand-annotated by her nieces between ca. 1885 -1900, including the story of the "unknown clergyman." And now all that remains is to tempt you with the secrets and scandals, poetry and parsonages, duels and disappointing suitors, and other details of Sense and Sensibility that await our discussion, as well as the pickle boats and pubs, horse carriages, and harbor walks to enjoy in the City of Gardens. See you soon!

Points of Contact

For registration questions or changes, or to cancel your registration: Debbie Duncan, Registrar, at jasnaagm@gmail.com

For AGM program questions and local information: Alison Dacia Brown, AGM Coordinator, at jasnavictoria2022agm@gmail.com

For JASNA policy questions and hotel issues: Linda Slothouber, at lindasnewmail@gmail.com