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Convention 2017 - Green From Shore to Shore July 21-23
Information Update - May 2017
The OHA convention is planned and executed entirely by volunteers. The 2017 volunteers will be wearing green sashes. Please consider that they are doing their best, it is their first convention, and you all know what that is like.
*** Please note: The deadline for the pre-registered Design and Special Exhibit classes in the Flower Show has been extended to June 15th ***
Hotel Renovation Alert
Please note that the convention floor of the Sheraton Hotel will be undergoing renovations this year from June until October. This means we will be there in the thick of it. The space we have access to on the convention level will be restricted as a result. At this time we do not know what this will look like. Stay tuned.
Seminars and Workshops
We will be asking for your seminar and workshop choices to help us plan the size of the rooms. When you register, you will receive an email acknowledgement, plus a form that will list all our seminars and workshops, asking which one you are most likely to attend. Please fill in that form and send it in as explained on the form.
New workshop - Hands-on How-to of Bee Hotel Building
We are excited to offer an additional workshop at this convention. Lee Valley is offering a hands-on demonstration on making bee houses. Lee Valley has offered to provide precut materials and the hammers and/or screwdrivers needed to put them together. We have slotted in this workshop for 3 p.m. on Friday July 21, and it will be free to anyone who registers for the convention.
Change in seminar topic
Instead of a seminar about using the OHA website, Susan Lusted and Joanne Rachfalowski are going to present some amazing ideas about promoting your Society or Club using Social Media.
To support this topic, District 5 will create a setting for you to photograph each other, or take a selfie, and we will ask you to post that photo on your social networking page, preferably for your Hort. Society, or on the GardenOntario Facebook or Twitter accounts, mentioning the OHA Convention. Please take the opportunity to show friends, family, and other gardeners what a great time you are having at the OHA Convention.
District 5 Event on Friday night
To have everyone get into the celebratory mood on Friday night, we are asking that you wear red and white on Friday night to celebrate Canada.
Our Silent Auction team is putting together items you will just have to have. Pictures of our early arrivals are posted on the GardenOntario Facebook page. To help with your purchases, District 5 will be able to accept credit card payments from Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Pollinator Celebration, Queen`s Park
The OHA and the Ontario government have begun their partnership to create a pollinator garden on government-owned land at Queen’s Park in Toronto this spring. We are coordinating the opening of the new pollinator garden to take place on Thursday, July 20, the night preceding the start of Convention.
The celebration will include a garden tour, ribbon cutting ceremony with invited guests, some words of inspiration, refreshments and a pollinator plant/seed package to take home. Interested members who plan to attend the 2017 Convention are encouraged to sign up early for the Pollinator Bus Tour as seating will be limited. The bus will depart around 5:30-6:00 p.m. to allow for traffic.
More information will be available in the Trillium, and will also be posted on this site.
Getting your bearings at the Sheraton Parkway
Please note that we are unable to put any signage up on the exterior property. This will create some issues for visitors unfamiliar with the area. But, our green vested greeters will be visible on Thursday and then Friday morning especially as you arrive.
Guests of the Sheraton hotel will have free access to Wi-Fi in their rooms. The convention centre uses a different network, and they will charge for Wi-Fi in that area.
District 5 has a very special team of volunteers who will be helping at the Registration desk, and who will be available at a special Information Booth outside the plenary room, to help you with tourism information, transit maps and will be ready to answer questions you have about resources in the area close to the hotel. If they do not know the answer to your question, they promise to find out for you.
A message board will be set up at the Information Booth so that you can leave messages for each other.
Information booth volunteers will be easily found as they will be wearing green sashes with question marks on them.
Map to drop off exhibits
Competitors bringing in floral and horticultural exhibits will be asked to deliver them through a back door close to the hall where the competitions are going to be set up.
We have received a map from the hotel explaining how to get to that door, which is being sent out to pre-registered competitors.
If you arrive on Thursday, or Friday morning, we will have volunteers in green vests stationed along the route, helping to provide directions to the back. Or you can ask our very helpful volunteers at the Convention Information table for help finding your way.
District 5 is working hard at including conservation, environmentally friendly components to this convention.
To begin with, the Sheraton Parkway has received and maintained the Hotel Association of Canada: Green Key Eco Rating of 4 Green Keys since 2010. The hotel was given this award as it has shown national industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through its wide-ranging policies and practices. You can see what they have implemented here, on the hotel's web site.
District 5 is also being very conscientious about environmental issues for this convention. Our decorations will be made using recycled or biodegradable materials, we are not giving out bags of items at registration, we are planning a loot bag for the Canada 150 party which applies green principles, and we are using as little plastic as we can. We have asked the catering staff at the hotel about using local foods. We hope you will bring a water bottle with you, as we will not be offering bottled water.
As gardeners, you are all very aware of environmental issues, whether it be climate change, the three Rs, or food waste, so we hope you will embrace our efforts to be as environmentally friendly as we can for this convention, and we hope you will share your best ideas.
Confirmed vendors (so far) are:
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