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Home > Convention > Upcoming Convention

Convention 2018

From Shore to Shield July 27-29

Come celebrate with us at the 112th Convention of the Ontario Horticultural Association

from Friday to Sunday, July 27 to 29, 2018. Hosted by OHA District 3. Register here

post card 2018 convention

Ambassador Hotel & Conference Centre

1550 Princess St Kingston ON  (613)548-3605

Room rates for the Ambassador  – $135/night

** This includes the Wednesday before!


  • -- Full list of  accommodations to suit your budget 
  • -- Close to 401 Train Station Kingston Airport close by
  • -- Free Parking, Free Wi-Fi, Pool and Water Slide  

Bus tour information can be found on the Speakers & Tours page. Please note: a pdf reader is required to view pdf files on a pc and is included in Chrome and Firefox.

Registration is now open.  The registration form can be found by clicking here.

*NEW** Here are the Resolutions and Proxy Authorization Form.

Full information about meals at the convention can be found here (opens in a new window).

List of Local Services & Spots of Interest Sheet.

Daily speaker schedules have now been posted here, on the Speakers & Tours page *Revised.

*NEW* List of vendors that will be appearing at the convention

This year's convention will be taking on a nostalgic flare as we delve into the garden diversity of District 3 - from Shore to Shield. Get out your tie dye and bell bottoms!

Plans are in progress for:

Speakers & Seminars: Among the many topics are Dry Stone Walls and Other Creations, Gardening for Nature, Preservation of Indigenous Knowledge: Traditional Medicinal Plants, Tree Pruning (Hands-on Demonstration), Quinte Botanical Gardens, Canadian Floral Art & Design, and food-producing plants in the residential landscape. The full speaker schedule can be found here.

Friday Night: Gardening "Rocks" with 60s and 70s music with "The Reasons". Dig out your tie-dyes and bellbottoms and plan to tep back in time and party! "Be There or Be Square"

Silent Auction: The Friday night District fun will include a silent auction. So, dance the night away to your favourite tunes and bid on all the terrific auction items.

Vendors: Our Vendors Market is SOLD OUT!! With a waiting list. The lovely sunny Atrium at the Ambassador will be the site of the Garden Market. We have some popular return vendors plus new and interesting garden related products. Come shop with us.

Saturday evening banquet, with keynote speaker Carson Arthur: Carson is the well-known outdoor lifestyle and design expert who focuses on environmentally friendly design is our keynote speaker. Carson is now a resident in Prince Edward County. He hosts not only TV programs but has a radio blog direct from the County.

Competitions: All competition schedules are posted on our competitions pages. Check them out and sign up early there is limited registration in some of the classes. 

We are going to have a friendly District Growing Competition. Seeds for our Challenge plant will be distributed to District Directors at in March for distribution. Stay tuned!

Kingston area is part of great Eastern Waterway Tourism area and home to UNESCO heritage sites- Fort Henry , Rideau Canal, Frontenac Biosphere plus many other historic sites like the Kingston Penitentiary and the Museum, Steam Museum etc. so plan to make this a vacation stay.

OHA Nomination Committee Report

It is with great pleasure that the OHA Nominating Committee presents the following slate of officers for election at the upcoming convention in Kingston. 

  • Katharine Smyth has agreed to stand for the position of President. 
  • Charles Freeman, District 1 Director, has been nominated by the Russell and District Horticultural Society for the position of Vice President and has agreed to stand for the position.
  • Rose Odell has agreed to stay on as Past President.

Please find attached biographies on both Katharine and Charles for your reading pleasure.

Calls for further nominations, for each position, will be held each day of the convention.

**NEW** See the Resolutions and Proxy Authorization Form.

What to Expect When Attending an OHA Convention

All OHA events are scent-free.

Daytime schedule for Friday, Saturday and ½ day Sunday (morning)

  • Morning meetings start at 8:45 a.m. with early bird door prize drawings – you need to be in the room to pick up a prize.
  • Formal proceedings start at 9 a.m.
  • The OHA AGM makes up the first part of all three mornings and includes: minutes from previous year, secretary’s report, nominations (once each day), OHA’s Mission, President’s report, In Memoriam, Treasurer’s Report, and Resolutions.
    • “Delegates or Voting Delegates” are assigned voting privileges by their home Society, or are members of the OHA Board of Directors.  These delegates receive a voting card when they register, to use for AGM voting.  All Voting Delegates are required to pay the full registration fee for the convention.
    • The rest of the  “attendees” of the convention have paid a registration fee, but cannot vote during the AGM.
    • Resolutions, that will be voted on at the 2018 convention, will be posted closer to the date.
  • Each morning includes a speaker after the AGM, until lunch.
  • Lunch is usually 12 noon to 1 p.m.
  • Bus tours and seminars are held at the same time during the afternoon, so you will have to choose between taking a tour or staying for the seminars.
  • Bus tours are offered on Friday and Saturday afternoon. They leave at 1:00 p.m. and run until 4:30 p.m.  This might mean that you will be asked to congregate at the bus pick-up location before 1:00 p.m. Good/appropriate footwear is recommended.
  • Seminars run concurrently on Friday and Saturday afternoon.  There are 4-5 seminars at 1:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m., with a break from 2:30-3:00 p.m., and then there are 4-5 different seminars from 3:00-4:00 p.m.  The seminars may or may not be repeated.
  • Note, generally no food or “coffee” is offered during the afternoon.


  • Thursday – there may be a tour, or special dinner at the discretion of the host District.
  • Friday – dinner, entertainment and Silent Auction reveal the character of the host District.  Proceeds from the Silent Auction are an opportunity for the host District to recoup some of their expenses for planning the convention.
  • Saturday – Banquet, OHA Awards presentation, Keynote Speaker.
  • A cash bar may be available for the Friday and Saturday evening events.


  • The hotel contract allows for a block of rooms at a special convention rate.
  • You book your room personally, stating that you're part of the OHA Convention, but the OHA has no part in that room booking.
  • If you know you are going to the convention, book your hotel room first/early, to ensure you receive the convention rate.
  • The hotel contract often is based on a number of bedroom nights booked throughout the convention.  If you stay at the convention hotel, you help to keep OHA costs down.
  • Note that check-out time for the hotel may be between 11:00 a.m. – noon on Sunday, but our meeting runs until noon, so you will need to plan your morning accordingly.


  • These are arranged through OHA via your registration form, and are not part of your registration fee.  Hotel food is expensive, but the food is also a commitment that OHA makes to the hotel, so buying your meals through OHA keeps other costs down.
  • Meals sold through registration usually include lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday.


  • Competition schedules are available as follows:
    • Photography is published in the fall, 1.5 years in advance of the convention to allow for one full year to take photos.
    • Youth competition schedules are released in August of the year before the convention to allow for a full school year of youth programming to plan entries.
    • Art, Creative Writing, Publications, and Flower Show schedules are released in the Trillium and on the website in November of the year before the convention.

Note that each schedule outlines the rules about registering to exhibit prior to the convention. Some of these competitions have early cut-off dates for registering your society’s publications, or your desire to enter a design etc. Check the dates!

  • Usually, you may deliver your exhibits on Thursday evening, and early Friday morning.
  • Competition rooms are open for viewing from noon on Friday to the end of programing on Saturday afternoon – check schedules for details.
  • Exhibits can be picked up, and prizes are paid out, on Sunday morning- check schedules for details.

Additional Activities
OHA Supplies – Supplies are sold at the convention and include OHA pins, certificates, note cards, etc. You can see the full list of items here.
OHA In Memoriam Book –View the names of gardeners for whom a memorial donation has been made to OHA.  This book is benevolently looked after by Marilyn Cox, from Lake Simcoe Gardeners.
OHA Tree Planting – as part of each convention, a tree is planted and dedicated by the OHA President to commemorate the convention in that District.  Tree plantings may happen during the convention or prior to the convention.
Vendors – Friday and Saturday (vendors are a person or company offering something for sale), these may include the wares of local artisans, plants, garden décor, garden tours, insurance etc.
Exhibitors - Offering information, such as Master Gardeners.

Please Note…

  • The meeting rooms in most hotels are often chilly, and you may wish to bring a sweater.  It is easier to warm up that way, and kinder to the people who are bothered by being hot, than adjusting the air conditioning.
  • For the Saturday night banquet, some of the attendees change into dressier clothes. 
  • Silent Auction – Friday only; bidding all day until after dinner. 

A silent auction is: donated items displayed on a table. In front of each item will be a bidding sheet listing the approximate retail value of the item, the minimum starting bid, and the acceptable bidding increments (e.g., increases of $.50, $1, $5 etc.).  If you wish to bid on an item, print your name on the sheet and the amount of your bid. The next bidder must offer a higher amount, increasing their bid by the posted acceptable increment amount.

For example, if the minimum bid is $15 with allowable increases of $1, and you bid $15, the next person must up the bid by at least $1 (to $16), and so on.

If you really want an item that you bid on, be sure to check back before the bidding closes to make a final bid.  When the bidding closes, the bidding sheets are removed by volunteers, and the last person who placed a bid gets the item for the amount of their bid.

Closing time for bidding varies by groupings of items, with the group being identified by different colours of bidding sheets.

Payment for Silent Auction items is usually cash.  Cheques or credit cards may be offered at the discretion of the hosting District.



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