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2018 (Vancouver) / Attendee Info

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    Coming to AvatarMeet 2018 in Vancouver? This is the page you need to read for all the nuts and bolts information to ensure a good trip. We'll keep updating the page over time.

Dates: September 12 – 16, 2018

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Map (Canada): https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@60.4625757,-104.2071026,3.75z
Map (Vancouver): https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@49.2246584,-123.0868423,11z

Some words:
Vancouver, a bustling west coast seaport in British Columbia, is among Canada’s densest, most ethnically diverse cities. A popular filming location, it’s surrounded by mountains, and also has thriving art, theatre and music scenes. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for its works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses preeminent First Nations collections.

    Getting into Canada:

To find out what you need....other than a passport....to get into Canada there is a simple webpage on the 'Visit Canada' website that asks you a few questions and then directs you to what you need. Here is the link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp?_ga=2.142983733.1862288240.1521487735-2084750729.1519674768

It seems the answer for anyone coming from the US, Germany, Sweden and UK is the same: If you are arriving over the boarder from the US or by sea then you just need your passport. If you are arriving by air, then you will need an 'eTA'. No not an 'Estimated Time of Arrival', but an 'Electronic Travel Authorisation'. This is an online thing that costs $7CAN and last for 5 years. The link to get one is below: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/eta/apply.html?lnktrk=eta_required

If you are a US citizen and NEXUS and FAST mean anything to you then the following webpage might be of interest: http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/travel-voyage/td-dv-eng.html

And that's all there is to it really.

    Accommodations:

The hotel for this year’s meet is conveniently located literally within minutes of Vancouver’s International Airport (YVR) and is easily accessible by car or by transit from the airport itself.

The hotel is the Days Inn - Vancouver Airport, located on:

2840 Sexsmith Rd
Richmond, BC
V6X 2H3
(604) 207-8000

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/en-ca/days-inn/richmond-british-columbia/days-inn-vancouver-airport/overview

With the exchange rate at the time of this newsletter, the rate for a non-smoking room with two queen-sized beds is: $194.30CAD/$154.50USD/£108.99GBP/€124.96Euros per night with all taxes included.

Of course, as with any meet in the past, the overall costs depends on the number of people you decide to room with. So...

With two people, the rate becomes: $97.15CAD/$77.25USD/£54.50GBP/€62.48Euros. Or...

With three people, the rate becomes: $64.77CAD/$51.50USD/£36.33GBP/€41.65Euros, etc...


    Transit:

Public transit is readily available and accessible for all attendees to and from the airport and accommodations, and to all the planned activities as well. This will ensure that everyone attending will be able to get around without the need for a car if you so choose, or for attendees who may not drive.

Transit costs $4.10CAD/$3.25USD/£2.30GBP/€2.65Euros one way to take a short 10 minute elevated train ride from the YVR - Airport Station to Bridgeport Station near the hotel. From Bridgeport Station, it is then a short 5-6 minute walk to the accommodations.

    Meet Up Activities:

Meet Up Activities:
Luckily, in Vancouver there are lots of things to see and do! Currently, the planning team for this year’s event in Vancouver is looking at several group activities for the meet. Some of the potential activities are:

1. A visit to the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus for an opportunity to learn about some of our planet’s biodiversity, geology and fossils. There is also an exhibit to learn about the indigenous peoples of the greater Vancouver and British Columbia areas, as well as a chance to visit the university’s botanical gardens with a unique opportunity to do a suspended treetop walk amongst the hemlock and Douglas fir forests located on the campus grounds! Potential activities at the UBC campus include: the UBC Beaty Biodiversity Museum, UBC Pacific Museum of Earth, UBC Museum of Anthropology, UBC Botanical Garden, UBC Greenheart TreeWalk (suspended treetop walk), UBC Nitobe Memorial Garden, as well as the potential to meet with a local indigenous speaker to teach us about their culture (depending on availability and group size). A “Museum and Garden Pass” for all areas is $33CAD/$26USD/£19GBP/€21Euros. Admission to the Greenheart TreeWalk is $18CAD/$14USD/£10GBP/€12Euros.

2. A visit to the beautiful and massive Pacific Spirit Regional Park adjoining the UBC campus. The park features coastal rainforests, creeks, rare bog areas, cliffs and oceanfront shorelines with beaches. At 1,885 acres/763 hectares and with 49 mils/78 kms of forested trails within the park, there would be lots of things to see there and it would give everyone attending an opportunity to get in touch with nature during the meet. Free.

3. A visit to the Capilano Recreation Area. Potential activities there include: yet another, and even more stunning suspended treetop walk amongst the forest of the Capilano River valley; a suspension bridge across the Capliano River with beautiful views of the river below and the surrounding forest; a unique suspension bridge walk on the face of a granite cliff with beautiful views of river valley, surrounding forest and mountain scenery; as well as a small attraction to learn about some of the local indigenous peoples of the area. In addition to those activities, there is also another opportunity to walk a forested trail to the Cleveland Dam and salmon hatchery area. With any luck, coho salmon may be running up the river to spawn right around the time we would be there! At the top of the dam there is also Cleveland Park with stunning views of Capilano Lake and the surrounding North Shore Mountains. Admission to the Capilano Suspension Bridge area is $43CAD/$34USD/£24GBP/€28Euros. The trail, Cleveland Dam, hatchery and Cleveland Park area are free.

4. A visit to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Observatory. Scenically situated in a park that overlooks the downtown skyline and the North Shore Mountains, the space centre and observatory would offer an opportunity to view space exhibits to learn about our galaxy and the universe. There are also presentations in their large planetarium, as well the opportunity for a night of stargazing at the space centre’s observatory! Admission to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is $18CAD/$14USD/£10GBP/€12Euros in the daytime, and $13CAD/$10USD/£7GBP/€8Euros in the evening. Admission to the observatory is by donation.

In addition to these activities, there are TONS of things to see and do in and around Vancouver on your own time as well. Just remember, there is nothing to prevent anyone from coming to Vancouver before or after the meet to take part in the many activities to do there! After all, there is only so much we can cram into three days during the meet! However, just some of the many activities for your consideration are:

- Grouse Mountain recreational area with adventurous activities that include zip lining, tandem paragliding and helicopter rides to view the gorgeous scenery of the surrounding North Shore Mountains. There is also a famous hike called the “Grouse Grind” to the top of Grouse Mountain as well (only for the absolute fittest among us! It would literally be like your own iknimaya!) But for the less athletic among us, there is a peaceful, scenic cable car ride up the mountain with stunning views of the surrounding mountain landscape along the way. Admission is dependent on the activities you’d like to do. See more at: https://www.grousemountain.com

- Stanley Park. It can be argued that Stanley Park is Vancouver’s premiere park for several reasons. It is a 1,000 acre/400 hectare park located right in the heart of downtown with opportunities to walk in forests, along beaches and seawalls with scenic views of the mountains, interior lakes, and you can also view Vancouver’s iconic totem poles carved by the indigenous First Nations Peoples of the surrounding area. Free.

- The Van Dusen Botanical Garden. Admission is $11.25CAD/$9USD/£6GBP/€7Euros.

- The Bloedel Conservatory greenhouse and aviary. Admission is $6.50CAD/$5USD/$4GBP/€4Euros.

- Whale watching tours and boat tours of Vancouver. Rates dependent on the tour service you select.

- Kayaking in the surrounding oceanfront and mountainous coves. Rates dependent on the kayak rental service you select.

- Vancouver also has many beaches to visit as well to catch some rays or to just gaze at the oceanfront and surrounding mountains. Free.

- The Museum of Vancouver. Admission is $19CAD/$15USD/£11GBP/€12Euros.

- The Vancouver Art Gallery. Admission is $24CAD/$19USD/£13GBP/€15Euros.

- The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coastal Art. This is an art gallery and museum of artifacts made by the local indigenous peoples of the Vancouver and greater British Columbia coastal areas, but mostly by the acclaimed native Canadian artist, Bill Reid. Admission is $11CAD/$9USD/£6GBP/€7Euros.

- The Vancouver lookout tower. Admission is $17.50CAD/$14USD/£10GBP/€11Euros.

- For the explorers among us, there are also many, MANY parks and hiking trails to visit in and around the Vancouver area as well. Some of which run through absolutely beautiful forested areas and/or with stunning mountain or oceanfront views. Again, there’s nothing to prevent anyone from visiting these areas before or after the meet if you’d like to take advantage of the incredible natural scenery around the immediate Vancouver area!

For everyone reading, we highly encourage you to visit the excellent Tourism Vancouver website below to explore and learn about just how much there is to do there: https://www.tourismvancouver.com

 
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