Thompson Rivers University
TRU recently celebrated its 45th birthday as an institution of higher learning. Originally a community college, which then transitioned to become a university college granting undergraduate degrees, TRU took on its current name and became a fully-fledged research and teaching university a little over 10 years ago, incorporating both the existing traditional campus (formerly the University College of the Cariboo) and a large online educational institution in the province (formerly known as BC Open Campus). The “Thompson Rivers” are the North Thompson, which flows down from the evergreen mountain landscape north of Kamloops, and the South Thompson, which flows across from the rocky desert landscape that lies to the east of the city. The North and South Thompson Rivers meet at Kamloops, to form the Thompson River, which flows westward toward the Pacific Ocean. The name “Kamloops” derives from the local Secwepemc word “Tk'əmlúps,” meaning “where the rivers meet.” TRU represents the meeting of the two institutions which formed it, as well as the meeting of indigenous and settler cultures, and increasingly cultures from around the world, as TRU has one of the most internationally diverse student bodies in all of Canadian higher education. The campus itself is located on traditional territories of the Secwepemc people which were never ceded under the treaty process, and it is through the hospitality of our indigenous neighbors that we are able to in turn offer you welcome to the TRU campus for TEFI 9.
TEFI 9 will begin on the morning of Sunday, June 26, and end on the evening of Wednesday, June 29, so please book your transit plans with this in mind.
Kamloops is located in the interior of British Columbia. It is served by a regional airport, YKA, which has connecting flights to the nearest large cities with major international airports, Vancouver and Calgary. Alternatively, Kamloops can be reached by car from the Vancouver airport via a 3-and-a-half hour drive that features stunning scenery. Canada is a “car culture” country, given its large area and small population, so highways are typically wide and uncrowded making driving fairly easy, and car rental rates are quite affordable.
For those flying all the way in to Kamloops, we will attempt to organize free airport pick-ups and drop-offs to and from YKA. A taxi ride from the airport to the conference hotel downtown runs around $35 CAD one way. (We regret that we are not able to provide airport transfers from Vancouver, but there is no company offering this service at present. Although Kamloops is a railway town, western Canada does not have much in the way of passenger rail service, so this is also not an option from the Vancouver airport, but the Greyhound bus does run from Vancouver to Kamloops.)
Organized transportation will be provided to bring delegates back and forth between the conference hotel and the TRU campus each morning and late afternoon, as well as to carry our group on all field trips and dinners included in the program. For those wishing to move back and forth between the conference hotel and the campus more frequently during the day, taxis can be hired for between $5 and $10 CAD per one-way trip. The journey is a little over 45 minutes by foot, with a steep uphill stretch from downtown to campus.
Kamloops is a desert ecosystem, and summer days are hot and dry, while nights are cool. The average high at the end of June is 27 degrees C (80 F), and the average low is 13 degrees C (55 F). It is typically sunny, although rain showers occur from time to time. Days are long, with the sun rising before 5 AM and not setting until after 9 PM. Remember to pack sunscreen and to drink lots of water while you are visiting us—but also to pack a sweater for cool evenings!
We will be using the Hotel 540 as our conference hotel for TEFI 9. Located in downtown Kamloops, the Hotel 540 features a fitness center, an outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, and a business center. A shuttle bus will run from the hotel up the hill each morning to the TRU campus, where conference sessions will be held, and then back down the hill to the hotel at the end of the day. (For those who love to be on foot, the campus is a little over a 45-minute uphill walk from the hotel.) The Hotel 540 is also the venue for our gala on the closing night of the conference. We have a block of rooms reserved for the conference, at a rate of $114 CAD for a deluxe room (no breakfast included) or $140 for a club room (which includes breakfast and parking). The latter option may be nice for those sharing a room with a colleague, as the breakfast becomes quite affordable that way. There are also many other great breakfast spots within a couple of blocks’ walk, as mentioned in the “Breakfast” section below. To book at the Hotel 540, call 1-800-663-2837, and ask for the TEFI 9 room block and rate. (http://hotel540.ca/)
The Plaza Hotel
Another great downtown option is the historic Plaza Hotel, located just one block from the Hotel 540. The Plaza is a boutique hotel which features an historic ambience and complimentary admission to the nearby YMCA fitness facilities as well as to certain classes at the nearby Yoga Loft. Rates run from $119 to $179 CAD, depending on the room category (breakfast is included). Bookings can be made by calling 1-877-977-5292. Delegates choosing to stay at the Plaza may walk a block to the Hotel 540 to catch the shuttle up to the TRU campus. (http://www.theplazahotel.ca/)
There are several other hotels located in downtown Kamloops, as well as up the hill closer to campus along Columbia Street (these hotels up the hill are roughly a 15 to 20 minute walk from the conference location). Prices and amenities vary. Most choices close to campus are chain hotels (e.g., the Ramada, the Best Western), which don’t feature much in the way of local flavor, and their prices are generally equal to or higher than the downtown hotels, which have much more character.
Located on the lower level inside the Hotel 540, Blue offers an affordable traditional North American breakfast menu in a stylish modern setting. Outdoor seating is not available, and poolside food service upstairs at the rooftop pool
does not begin until noon.
Located a block west of the Hotel 540 on the same side of the street, at 428 Victoria Street, the family-owned and -operated restaurant Hello Toast is something of a “hippie café,” featuring health conscious fare in a cozy environment which includes outdoor seating. The menu includes great options for vegetarians, as well as for those with food allergy restrictions.
Located a block west of the Hotel 540 on the same side of the street, at 438 Victoria Street, PDK Café is a casual coffee shop featuring creative twists on traditional hot breakfast fare as well as yummy baked goods (including gluten-free options).
The Fireside Steakhouse
Similar to Blue at the Hotel 540, the Fireside Steakhouse, located a block west and across the street at the Plaza Hotel at 405 Victoria Street, features traditional North American breakfast fare in an upscale setting at affordable prices. Outdoor seating is available.
The Ploughman’s Lunch
For those up for a longer walk, the Ploughman’s Lunch is located at 152 Victoria Street, four blocks west of the Hotel 540 on the same side of the street. Run by the wonderful Marjorie and her son Quinn and daughter Chelsea, this breakfast and lunch café features comfort food, with everything on the menu made completely from scratch and served in a cozy farm-style setting. The Ploughman’s Lunch’s menu is entirely vegetarian, although carnivores aren’t likely to notice, given the homestyle flavor palate. Outdoor seating is available.
Registration prices are listed below in Canadian dollars (prices are inclusive of the conference fee, a 5% sales tax, and a 1.5% transaction fee). The early bird deadline is May 1, 2016.
Standard Rate (Early Bird): $550
Student Rate♥ (Early Bird): $425
Standard Rate: $600
Student Rate♥: $475
Companion Rate†: $325
Day Pass Rate*: $160
♥ The student rate is intended both for current students and for recent graduates who are still on the job market and have not yet secured a position.
† The companion rate is intended for significant others of delegates who wish to attend only the evening social activities and not the conference sessions and lunches. Companions who wish to attend sessions and lunches, as well as evening activities, may register at the student rate.
* Day passes may be purchased to attend individual days of the conference. A day pass includes access to all sessions on a given day, lunch and two coffee breaks on that day, and access to one dinner. Delegates purchasing a day pass may redeem the included dinner on any night of the conference (i.e., it need not be the dinner held on the same day for which the day pass was purchased). More than one day pass may be purchased, if delegates are wishing to attend multiple days of the conference.
Cancellations may be made before June 1, 2016. The registration fee and sales tax will be fully refunded, but we regret that we can not refund the 1.5% transaction fee, and we will also have to retain another 1.5% in order to have the transaction reversed. Cancellations after June 1, 2016, can only be made under exceptional circumstances.