As we turn our eyes towards 2014, there is something afoot in the countryside, and that is, Canada is becoming more tech savvy in its conferences this year.
Many societies open their registration for their summer conferences in January, and have already listed the speakers and topics that they will have at their conferences on their websites, along with early bird prices.
The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) is starting to make their registration public for the 2014 Conference to be held May 1st to May 3rd at Brock University in St. Catharines in the Niagara Peninsula. And the theme for this year’s conference is an exciting one – Genealogy Without Borders.
And the format of the conference will be a sort of a “mini-RootsTech”.
First of all, as soon as they announced the speakers at the conference, Steve Fulton, the self-professed “Tech Guy of the OGS”, did an extensive interview with one of them - Hank Jones at his home in Hollywood, California.
Jones will be the keynote speaker at the conference’s banquet Saturday evening, and will talk about how “Psychic Roots” became an “Unsolved Mystery”.
You can listen to the interview here.
Expect more interviews with other speakers in the near future.
And the biggest tech news of all is that various parts of the conference will come to you at home via Google+ Hangout and Live Streaming!
The Plenary: Social Media Panel will be broadcast via Google+ Hangout early Saturday morning at 8:15 to everyone in the genealogical community.
I believe that this is the first time any of the sessions have ever been on Google+ Hangout from any conference anywhere in Canada.
The panel will consist of Tony Bandy, author and speaker; Kirsty Gray, the chairman of The Guild of One-Name Studies; Daniel Horowitz from MyHeritage; Chris Paton, the British Genes blogger; and Marian Press, a Toronto genealogist. The host will be John D. Reid, a blogger known for his Anglo-Celtic Connections blog.
Meanwhile, the AGM and Branch Executive Meeting which will start at 9:20 on Saturday morning, and will be Live Streamed to the OGS members.
Other sessions will be streamed out to the online community at different times throughout the weekend, at a cost of $25.00 CDN per session.
Pretty nifty, right? And there’s even more!
On Friday, there will be workshops, and on Thursday and Friday, there will also be tours!
The first tour will be An Historical Journey through Niagara on the Lake, and the bus tour will stop at the village of Queenston to visit the Brock monument as well as the Laura Secord House.
The second tour will be of Fort George and the McFarland House, the site of the headquarters of the British Army during the War of 1812-14. The third tour, Journey through Historic Port Dalhousie and the Welland Canal, will be a 70 minute stroll around historic Port Dalhousie, where you will view early canal locks and buildings.
On Friday, the tours continue with The Black History Tour and the Underground Railway, which will begin by travelling to Fort Erie to visit the site at which many Blacks first entered Canada, and then stop at the BME church in St. Catharines which Harriet Tubman helped found. Another tour will be the Fort Erie and Battlefield Tour, which will visit Canada's oldest British fort (1764) and take the attendee back to the fort’s siege in 1814.