CANCELLED: CHRA Congress 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

A few days ago, we informed you that the CHRA Annual Congress in April 2020 could not proceed in light of COVID-19 developments. Since then, we have been working internally and with venues in Saskatoon to determine if Congress could be scheduled to another date later in the year. Given the information we’ve received and given the uncertainty of how long and how severe the current pandemic situation will last, we regret to announce that Congress will be cancelled for 2020. We are saddened by this decision, but after carefully weighing the variables, it was the only viable course of action.

For those of you who have already registered for Congress 2020, please review the following information:

  • Delegate Fees: We will provide a full refund for all Congress-related delegate fees that have been paid. If you paid by credit card, we will issue a credit card refund by email. You will receive an email receipt from Moneris, our payment processing system. If you paid by cheque or electronic transfer, we will issue you a refund cheque by mail. If you have been issued an invoice but have not yet paid, please disregard the invoice, as it will be cancelled from our system. We will process refunds as quickly as possible but note that this process may take a few weeks to complete, especially given that CHRA staff are currently being asked to work from home for the foreseeable future.
  • Hotels: Both host hotels, the Hilton and the Holiday Inn, have stated they will provide cancellations for all rooms booked associated with Congress with no penalty. However, you are required to contact the hotel to cancel your own registrations – CHRA cannot do this for you. The hotel information can be found here.
  • Flights and Travel: If you have booked air or other travel, you will need to cancel those travel arrangements on your own. Depending on the class of your ticket, we have been informed that airlines are offering either a full refund or a credit.
  • Homelessness Course (originally scheduled for April 20): Several people signed up for the Homelessness 101 Course offered by Nick Falvo. Nick has informed us that he is willing to offer this course virtually on April 20 for those who are still interested. If you have signed up for this course, please email Dominika Krzeminska by April 3 indicating whether you are still interested in taking the course, or whether you would like to cancel. For those interested in taking the course, we will retain the course fee from your overall delegates fees. Information on how to sign in will be sent separately. Note: for those individuals who have signed up for the Homelessness 101 Course, we will delay processing your delegate fee refund until we know whether you intend to continue with the online course.
  • CHRA Annual General Meeting: The CHRA AGM was scheduled to be held in person at Congress. Because this is no longer an option, we will send all members a notice in the coming weeks with a revised date to hold the AGM. Given the current restrictions, that AGM will be held virtually.
  • Workshops and other Congress meetings: Over the coming months, we will aim to organize a number of the sessions and workshops planned for Congress in a virtual format. All registered delegates will have a chance to register for those sessions free of charge. Watch for more information.
  • Sponsors: Despite the cancellation of Congress, many of our amazing sponsors have agreed to retain their sponsorship support for CHRA. These organizations are truly leaders at a time of profound anxiety. We look forward to working with each of our sponsors to develop alternative means to communicate their value and their work to the community housing sector. We thank all of our Congress 2020 sponsors for their ongoing support. (See list of sponsors at the bottom of this page)

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the CHRA staff. There’s no question this is a difficult situation for all of us. Cancellation of Congress is a significant financial challenge for CHRA. But we will continue to provide service, communications, advocacy, and programs to our valued members, building on the successes we’ve seen over the past several years. Together, we will pull through this, stronger than ever.

Jeff Morrison
Executive Director
Canadian Housing and Renewal Association