The safety and comfort of our delegates, sponsors, and exhibitors, is extremely important to the GeoNiagara 2021 Local Organizing Committee. We are committed to providing a positive conference experience, while taking any necessary precautions.
Considering the vaccination program has already commenced and the adaptive response by the conference venue, we are confident that the conference will take place in-person in September. We also recognize the importance of monitoring the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic protocols and guidelines, and are constantly working with the venue in that aspect. Nevertheless, and in order to provide a comfortable and safe experience for all involved, we are planning for a ‘hybrid’ style conference with a virtual component for delegates who are unable to attend in-person. We will provide updates on details of the hybrid GeoNiagara 2021 conference as they become available.
GEONIAGARA 2021 COVID-19 POLICY
The GeoNiagara 2021 Local Organizing Committee (LOC), in conjunction with our partners, the Canadian Geotechnical Society (CGS), and the International Association of Hydrogeologists - Canadian National Chapter (IAH-CNC) have prepared the following policy with respect to the COVID-19 situation.
GeoNiagara 2021 will be the 74th Canadian Geotechnical Conference and 14th Joint CGS/IAH-CNC Groundwater Conference. The LOC and our partners intend to host this conference as an in-person event. The LOC feels confident in the ability to host an in-person event in September for the following reasons:
Vaccination Rollout: The Canadian Government is projecting that most Canadians will have had the opportunity to receive vaccinations before the conference dates in late September.
Timing of the Event: GeoNiagara 2021 will be held September 26-29, 2021. Based on the conditions experienced in 2020, the incidents of COVID-19 during the late summer and early fall were dramatically lower due to the nature of coronaviruses, and only picked up after Canadian Thanksgiving in late October. There is no indication from Health Canada that this pattern will change in 2021.
Venue: GeoNiagara 2021 will be held at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, a large, bright and modern facility with good ventilation and plenty of space to adhere to Health Canada guidelines on COVID-19 (i.e. social distancing, mask wearing, etc.). The layout and configuration of the rooms and conference common areas will factor in the latest best practices for organizing a safe event (i.e., spacing of seats, managing the flow of traffic, frequent cleaning of higher traffic spaces and surfaces).
Additional Safeguards: In addition to enhanced and frequent cleaning protocols, social distancing, and mask mandate in public spaces, we will be working under the direction of Health Canada, Public Health Ontario, and the Scotiabank Convention Centre to add measures such as daily temperature checks and requiring participants to conduct COVID-19 screening or self-assessments per the Ontario protocol prior to attending the event.
Should government restrictions or other factors prevent or severely limit an in-person event, GeoNiagara 2021 will be held September 26-29, 2021 as a virtual event, and:
Delegates that have purchased in-person registrations will be issued a partial refund in recognition that the virtual event will not have the full benefits of an in-person event (i.e., networking, entertainment, tours, etc.).
Sponsors and Exhibitors will be issued partial or full refunds depending on whether or not the virtual event has an effective online exhibition floor.
The Scotiabank Convention Centre has protocols in place to address the current and ongoing COVID-19 situation. If you'd like more details, please click on the button above to view their Adaptive Response PDF.
We have arranged accommodation blocks for conference delegates at the Niagara Falls Marriott on the Falls, across the street from the conference venue. Marriott has a 'Commitment to Clean', to provide guests "with a safe environment that aligns with expert protocols for working to defeat COVID-19". Please click on the button above for further details.