Subject: Cancellation of CTRA 2020 Annual Conference
From Tanea Goncalves Forward, Executive Director of Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association
Dear Members, Delegates, Volunteers, Staff and Clients,
CTRA has made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the 2020 Annual Conference scheduled for May 6-8, 2020 in Jasper, Alberta due to the continued rapid spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
The CTRA Board of Directors and staff have been following the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Government of Canada, the World Health Organization and multiple regional and national authorities in Canada, and ultimately one need remained at the forefront of our decision and planning: the need to protect the health and well being of Recreation Therapists, our members, delegates, volunteers, staff and clients.
The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Government of Canada has issued statements that the risk COVID-19 poses may be increased for vulnerable populations (clients we serve), delegates from international conferences and other large gatherings held in enclosed spaces. Alberta has implemented public health restrictions – events that should be cancelled are those with more than 50 attendees and expect to have international participants or involve critical infrastructure (health) staff, seniors, or other high risk populations. In addition, several Provincial Health Authorities and Universities have implemented new travel restrictions impacting a large portion of our delegates.
CTRA’s Annual Conference would have hosted well over 300 delegates, volunteers and exhibitors representing all ten provinces, three territories, the United States and other countries around the world. Our volunteer leaders, presenters, participants, exhibitors and staff have dedicated countless hours in planning for the CTRA 2020 Annual Conference, in an effort to create an incredible and invigorating experience that was set to build meaningful networking connections for Recreation Therapists and promote the significant value of Recreation Therapy.
CTRA believes that creative problem solving is central to the practice of Recreation Therapy and we are hoping our strengths in this area will aide us in driving innovation to offer continuing education opportunities in an innovative manner, providing additional connections within our Communities of Practice and hosting a Virtual AGM.
CTRA plans to explore alternate virtual continuing education opportunities with Conference presenters and volunteer leadership as part of our ongoing commitment to equipping Recreation Therapists with the resources needed to provide effective services and empower our clients in achieving their goals.
Additionally, CTRA will be meeting with our Provincial Partners to devise a strategy to offer online continuing educational opportunities to Recreation Therapists, members and delegates.
CTRA is pleased to announce that we will be continuing our Conference partnership with our Conference planning co-hosts the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association and the CTRA 2020 Annual Conference planning committee to bring you our 2021 Annual Conference in Jasper.
To ease financial considerations that this cancellation may cause our delegates, CTRA has instituted a flexible refund policy that gives registrants the option to:
- Apply their registration investment to the 2021 CTRA Conference, Jasper, AB
- Receive a full refund
If you would like to receive a full refund for your conference please contact CTRA Treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday April 14, 2020. Otherwise, CTRA will defer your registration investment to be applied to the next CTRA Annual Conference scheduled for 2021 in Jasper, Alberta. Full refunds will be issued within 60 days from March 14, 2020 Conference cancellation date (May 13, 2020).
Check the CTRA Website (www.canadian-tr.org) for information about our progressive plans as this situation evolves.
We appreciate your cooperation and support as we move forward through this unprecedented situation. Often innovation develops from challenging situations and creates opportunities that we would never have thought of or been willing to attempt.
Tanea Goncalves Forward
CTRA Executive Director