Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Gene-O-Rama Cancelled

The Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa is at it again, imposing more fees on their formerly free facilties. And now it has cost us Gene-O-Rama -which has been cancelled. It was to be held at the LAC in April.

Here is what Mike More, past chairperson of the Ottawa Branch had to say in an email last night -

“Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society began Gene-O-Rama in 1981 to share knowledge and experience on a range of genealogical topics. Every year since then has seen either Gene-O-Rama or the provincial Conference. The 29th Gene-O-Rama was scheduled for April 2013 at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Due to unexpected restrictions on the use of the building and the escalating costs imposed by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), who have assumed responsibility for the public facilities at LAC, Gene-O-Rama 2013 has been cancelled.

When originally booked in March of 2012, the prices quoted to us would have meant additional costs of about $500. Registration fees were adjusted to take this into account. The imposition in November of a service charge and fees for the use of the building’s lobby raised these costs to $1000. The registration brochure was amended, printed and distribution began. In January, we were advised that we could not use our own audio-visual equipment that had been purchased to be compatible with the installed equipment at 395 Wellington and used without incident for many years. Instead we would have to pay for the use of PWGSC equipment. As well, the wireless would no longer be free but a charge would be imposed, but they were not sure when. The cost had now risen to an estimated $2300 or nearly five times what we had been told when we first booked the facility.

We cannot know if PWGSC will impose more restrictions on the use of the building or add additional fees as we get closer to the date. At this late stage, finding another suitable location is not feasible. With regret, we therefore cancel Gene-O-Rama 2013.

We may be able to put together a smaller event in another venue that is more conducive to heritage activities. Please watch our website, blog or Facebook page for details”.

Information on the Ottawa Branch is at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/home/gene-o-rama

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