2020 Nelson Convention Info
The 2020 convention will focus on the history of the Great Northern in the beautiful and historic West Kootenays with tours and presentations. The banquet, raffle and the Model Display are also part of the great line-up we will have this year.
This is the first GNRHS convention in Canada, the first joint convention for GNRHS, and the first ever CPHA (Canadian Pacific Historical Association) convention. This is also the 50th anniversary year of “MERGER DAY”, when Great Northern ceased to exist. Nelson was the northern-most community, west of the Rocky Mountains, served by the GN at that time.
There is considerable mining, rail, and sternwheeler history of interest to GNRHS. • Nelson is the biggest city in the area with a diverse population of over 10,000 people. The legacy of the past, evident in the more than 350 preserved heritage buildings, mixes with a dynamic arts and culture scene. There are many restaurants and arts / crafts / specialty / book stores in the downtown area; as well as a thriving craft beer industry. The West Kootenays have many historic small towns, and we will be visiting many of them during our bus tours.
This convention has been several years in the making. We feel we have created an excellent and varied program for our attendees.
- Come and learn about the very interesting and often acrimonious rail history
- Meet the interesting people of the West Kootenays; they are thrilled to have us visit their towns and venues.
- Come see the beauty of the area – the convention is occurring in the third week of September, so we could have “Fall Colours” - bring your cameras!!
- Enjoy meeting the CPHA attendees, who share our interest in this area.
- September tends to be a fairly dry month for this area, but it can be a bit cooler in the evenings since it is by large lakes in the mountains - typically 22C (72F) high and 9C (48F) low; averaging 5 days of rain for the month.
- Come prepared with extra layers of clothing to keep you warm and consider buying one of the convention vests.
Getting to Nelson:
Nelson is 663 kms (412 miles) from Vancouver, 624 kms (387 miles) from Calgary, and 237 kms (148 miles) from Spokane WA.
- By Air - The Nelson airport is very small and is for charters and helicopter flights only. The Regional West Kootenay Airport is in Castlegar (about 30 min S of Nelson). The Canadian Rockies International Airport is in Cranbrook (about 3 hrs drive from Nelson). There is no longer a regular shuttle service available between Castlegar airport and Nelson, only city buses and taxis
- By Car - There are great routes for driving from any of the above locations, which we will discuss in the June GOAT
- By Rail - Amtrak’s closest stops are in Whitefish MT, Sandpoint ID, and Spokane WA.
- We have organized a shuttlebus charter from Spokane (see the registration package and form for details)
Border Crossing Information:
Be aware - If you’ve been convicted of anything, including “DUI – Driving under the Influence”, you will not be allowed across the border.
- To have a successful border crossing, we advise you to:
- Bring your current valid Passport
- Be prepared with information about your trip, be polite, and answer questions simply and honestly
- Do not bring marijuana across the federal border as it’s not allowed, despite being legal in Washington state and the province of British Columbia
- Leave your firearms at home
Convention Hotel Reservations
- Tell them you are booking for “GNRHS – Nelson 2020”
- Call the phone numbers below to make your booking, not a 3rd party service (which won’t have access to the reduced price room block).
- The hotel doesn’t have an 800 number, but they can call you to make the booking by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Main Hotel: Prestige Lakeside Resort & Convention Centre
- 74 rooms blocked
- Telephone: 250-352-7222
- Deluxe mountain view (35 rooms): $149.95 CAD (~$115 USD*)
- Deluxe lake view (39 rooms): $169.95 CAD (~$130 USD*)
Alternate Hotel: Prestige Inn
- 20 rooms blocked
- Telephone: 250-352-3595
- About 6-10 min. walk to the Resort / Convention Centre
- Deluxe mountain view (10 rooms): $119.95 CAD (~92 USD*)
- Deluxe lake view (10 rooms): $139.95 CAD (~107 USD*)
* based on exchange rate of $1 CAD = $0.77 USD (as of mid-January), subject to change
You'll find a convention registration form included in the March issue of the Goat. We'll also make online registration available around that time. Early bird registration will close AUGUST 16, 2020. Late registration and registration at the convention will be available, subject to a $25 surcharge.
We are really looking forward to seeing you at the convention, to see one of our favourite regions of BC. If you have any questions, we can be reached by email at:
Tom – email@example.com or Francina – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom and Francina Carr, National Convention Officer and Convention Registrar
Posted on February 2, 2020