Ashley Craven, Event Planner, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Sitting at the Toronto airport, waiting to board my connecting flight to Regina ahead of the Congress 2018 planning meetings, I was very excited. Members of the Federation team, the host university team and association organizers meet every fall for very important operational meetings to kick off the planning cycle for the upcoming Congress. It is a very exiting time.
Since I started at the Federation two years ago, the entire team has been very excited about Congress in Regina for a number of reasons. Among these are the facts that the campus is beautiful, and that both the city and the university are excited to host us. Our Congress Registrar, Donna Lelievre, who has been with the Federation over 16 years, recalls that one of the best Congresses she has experienced was in Saskatoon in 2007, and she expects Regina to be just as excellent — if not better. After experiencing the vast city of Toronto and hitting a record 10,014 delegates this past May for Congress 2017, we look forward to heading to a prairie city for an entirely different experience.
In Regina, wherever attendees go, even outside the university campus, they will see others sporting their Congress name badges and connecting with one another across disciplines, in a way you can’t do in other destinations. Needless to say, the Federation events team couldn’t wait to see the city of Regina, explore the campus, meet the team at the university, and connect with association organizers, the local university press representatives and others!
While we were in Regina, we stayed at the beautiful Hotel Saskatchewan downtown, across from Victoria Park. It was an easily navigable drive to the university, which is just under 10 minutes away. The campus has abundant green space and is covered in trees. Once we arrived on campus for our meetings, we had no trouble orienting ourselves, and by day two, we were pros at finding our way around.
Our operational meetings with all the various departments (catering, audio-visual, facilities, residences, to name just a few) went splendidly. We received a warm welcome across the board, and it was clear to me that everyone at the University of Regina is looking forward to hosting Congress attendees and creating a memorable experience for all. The programming the university is putting together is diverse and interesting. The Big Thinking lunch hour lecture lineup is now confirmed, so keep an eye on the Congress website for more details. We had the opportunity to check out the residences, too. They are fresh, spacious and modern, as all residence buildings have been built or updated within the last 10 years.
U of R President Dr. Vianne Timmons hosted a lovely reception for the operational departments, association Program Chairs, Local Arrangement Coordinators, city officials, tourism representatives, the Federation team and many more in her beautiful residence in Wascana Park. She certainly set the tone for the kickoff to our planning cycle, conveying her genuine passion for promoting scholarship and a contagious excitement to host Congress 2018. During her remarks, she made it clear that Congress 2018 was going to be an unmissable, memorable event — and we at the Federation could not agree more.
We will #SeeYouInRegina where you will be able to experience much more of the prairies than the glimpse we received during our visit this fall. The prairie hospitality is unique, the campus is beautiful and the programming lineup is exciting.