AMICA 2017 CONVENTION, WINNIPEG,
By Alan Turner
The AMICA 2017 International Convention in Winnipeg, Canada from August 8th to the 13th will be the first AMICA convention held entirely within Canada. Remember, even though Canada is culturally very like the USA, it is a foreign country with a few things that are important to remember; if you are travelling from outside Canada you will need a valid passport (it is recommended that the expiry date of your passport be at least 3 months after your return date); if you drive, Canadian road signs are in kilometres/hour (100 km/hr = 60 MPH) and temperature is in Celsius (25 degrees C = 77 degrees F)
THE LOCATION: WINNIPEG, CANADA
Winnipeg is located at the geographical center of North America, 60 miles north of the American border. Winnipeg is a vibrant multicultural city of about 750,000 people with a very diverse economy and cultural heritage. The Winnipeg area was originally settled hundreds of years ago, by the First Nations peoples of the Cree and Ojibwa nations, and later in the 1850’s by Europeans of English, Scottish and French backgrounds. Later, at the turn of the twentieth century, strife in Europe and the vast tracts of arable land in Canada brought many more settlers from all corners of Europe and parts of Asia. This diverse mix of peoples and cultures has contributed to the colourful mosaic of what is Winnipeg (and Canada) today. From August 6th to 19th Winnipeg hosts Folklorama, a cultural festival which is a "must see" if you have the time before or after our convention. (http://www.folklorama.ca)
Winnipeg skyline (Photo far Right) --->
With its rich cultural heritage, Winnipeg boasts a wide variety of excellent restaurant choices for you to try cuisine from just about every corner of the world. There are dozens of great restaurants within an easy walk from our host hotel. Explore and enjoy the diversity of our city!
Winnipeg is home to two major Universities, three Colleges and a thriving technology sector. Winnipeg is also home to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as well as a vibrant theatre and arts community. Much of Winnipeg’s downtown core is filled with architecturally significant examples of buildings from the early 20th century (often used by Hollywood as a backdrop for period films) when Winnipeg was the transportation hub and distribution center for Canadian east-west trade. Most of these splendid architectural heritage buildings are located in what is known as the Exchange District, just a short walk north from our host hotel.
THE AMICA CONVENTION
Our host hotel, The Hotel Fort Garry (http://www.fortgarryhotel.com) is located at 222 Broadway a block from Union Station. Broadway is a grand avenue lined with stately elm trees running from Union Station to Manitoba’s legislative building. Our negotiated rate for the hotel is $129.00 Canadian per night (about $100 USD at today’s exchange rate). This rate is available five days before and after the AMICA convention if rooms are available. Our host hotel, built in 1913, is one of the finest examples of Canada’s signature railway hotels and promises to be one of the most spectacular AMICA convention hotels yet. Your convention organizers have managed to plan all our events so that none of the bus rides will be longer than about one hour!
Prarie Dog Central No. 3 (Photo far Right) --->
Tuesday, August 8
For those arriving early and not attending the Board Meeting there are many interesting sights to see and explore near the host hotel. For those a little more adventurous; plan to explore Winnipeg’s "French Quarter", Saint Boniface, a slightly longer walk, but well worth the adventure; or take in some of Winnipeg’s cultural diversity at one of the many Folklorama pavilions. Your registration package will include information about these and other sights to see in the area and directions to get to them. At 8:00 pm, we will hold a short orientation in the hospitality room for everyone.
Wednesday, August 9
We start our convention with a ride on the Prairie Dog Central Railway which operates a vintage train featuring early 20th century coaches pulled by an 1880’s steam locomotive. Our destination is the quaint prairie town of Grosse Isle where we will have lunch served by the local historical society in their prairie village museum. The volunteers who operate the railway will be happy to offer commentary on the rail equipment and tours of the locomotive for those interested. Upon our return to the hotel you are encouraged to relax and enjoy the hospitality room or explore downtown Winnipeg before you enjoy dinner on your own. In the evening, we are privileged to attend the "pre-opening" night performance of "Mama Mia" at Winnipeg’s world renowned Rainbow Stage, a semi-outdoor theatre in beautiful Kildonan Park.
Thursday, August 10
We start today’s adventures with a "Journey to Churchill" to see the what is probably the best polar bear exhibit in the world south of the Arctic Circle at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Next, we will take a leisurely stroll through Assiniboine Park’s English Gardens and Leo Mol Sculpture Gardens. The morning’s activities will be capped off with a picnic lunch in the park. After the park, we head over to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights for a guided tour of this world-class museum which highlights human rights struggles and achievements from around the world and throughout the ages. We then walk back to the host hotel (1/3 of a mile) stopping at the Winnipeg Railway Museum en-route. Dinner on your own is followed by thefamous AMICA Pumper contest at 8 pm. Then relax and visit your friends in the hospitality suite.
Friday, August 11
From 9:00 am until noon we will have our AMICA workshops followed by AMICA’s annual Mart at the host hotel. (see notes on the reverse of the Registration form for rules regarding importing items for sale in Canada).(http://tinyurl.com/CDN-Importation-Rules) After lunch on your own, we head over to the Manitoba Legislative Building for a very intriguing guided tour of architectural wonders of the building highlighting Masonic influences and mysteries worthy of comparison to the intrigues of the writings of Dan Brown’s "Da Vinci Code". It’s then off to Winnipeg’s Art Gallery for a self guided visit to the gallery and this year’s Picasso Exhibit. We then have planned a catered dinner at the Art Gallery restaurant. After dinner, we will be entertained by Frederick Hodges on the piano accompanying a silent film short comedy feature and Sean Sharp’s vocal styling for a selection of Illustrated Song Slides in the Art Gallery Theatre.
Pavillion Assinboine Park
Saturday, August 12
It’s off to Lower Fort Garry and a tour of one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, an 1850’s Fur Trading Fort. Following the tour of the Fort we are off to The Half Moon Diner a 1950’s style diner (http://www.halfmoondrivein.com) for lunch and visit with members of The Manitoba Classic and Antique Auto Club who will join us with many of their members bringing their vintage autos out for display. We then head to Westminster United Church for a short organ recital and tour of their beautifully maintained Casavant Frères organ. Busses back to hotel.
6:00 pm: Cash Bar and reception; 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm: AMICA’s annual Banquet and Dance featuring Merv Mauthe and his orchestra playing period dance music for our listening and dancing pleasure. The banquet and dance will be in the magnificent Concert Ballroom of our hotel, a truly spectacular room reminiscent of the grandeur of times past.
Sunday, August 13
8:00 am to 11:00 am: Traditional AMICA Annual Meeting and Breakfast.
12:00 noon to 4:00 pm: Public Open House at the host hotel to highlight and show off some of Winnipeg’s Automatic Musical Instruments which will be on display in the hospitality suite. There may be limited opportunities for other open houses in the area; information will be available in your registration packages.
Any Day, Any Time: Winnipeg on Your Own
Explore more of Winnipeg’s downtown, the Exchange District, the French Quarter, the Forks. Your registration package will include maps and guide information for many additional activities you may wish to enjoy.
NOTE:Convention timetable and activities are subject to minor revisions
|which may be beyond the control of organizers.
For more information on activities, events, pricing, logistics or travel contact:
Alan Turner – Convention Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-204-489-3075
Polar bears playing
Lower Fort Garry
1919 Sherlock Manning pumper
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