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Circus Historical Society
July 10 - 12, Montreal, Canada
The Circus Historical Society will hold its 2014 annual convention in Montreal, visiting this capital of circus arts for the first time. Registration is on the afternoon of the 9th. Activities start 9 a.m. July 10 at hotel for the first day of the convention. Don't miss this unique city where English and French cultures come together to create a circus world adventure like no other.
Convention activities will include a day of paper presentations, the auction, movies, and the banquet. Outside activities will include a day at the site of Cirque du Soleil's World Headquarters, a tour of TOHU, the spectacular 1600 seat performance centre which also has on display numerous items from the Pascal Jacobs circus collection, plus a tour of the National Circus School.
We plan to secure tickets to the new Soleil tent circus which will be set up in the "old port" in the world heritage district of the city. If you like cobbled streets and horse carriages, you will love "old port." Conventioneers will be able to attend many of the circuses, acts, etc. offered by the Montreal Circus Festival. The latter has not set its schedule of artists, circuses, troupes etc. but as soon as it is known we will post them.
Quebec's official language is French. You will find highway signs in French. There are no right turns on red in the city of Montreal. The city has great bike lanes. The city also has a huge English population and most people in restaurants, stores, hotels, etc. speak both languages. The city thrives on tourism and visitors are treated well. Learing a few words of French such as please, thank you, etc. will not hurt. Quebec is noted for its outstanding cuisine and its wonderfully restaurants, including their famous "hot dog" and french fry establishments. Make sure you enjoy a "steamie" hot dog - all dressed. Tout la works!!
It is recommended that your exchange your American money for Canadian money prior to coming into the country. Presently the Canadian dollar is 8 cents lower than the American dollar and the prediction by economists is that it will go down further in the next months. This makes the trip to Canada even cheaper! You also get the best exchange rates when you use your credit cards. If you are flying make sure you check into Porter Airlines. They fly daily from Vermont, New York City, Boston, Washington, Chicago. This airline was named the best airline in North America last year.
Make sure you have your documents ready for the 2014 CHS convention! Since 2009, you can no longer cross the Canada-US border using a driver's license and birth certificate. Needed is a US passport ($165). If you have a passport, check the status. For more information about applying for or renewing a passport, go to: travel.state.gov. Routine processing time is 4 to 6 weeks for a new passport.
• Or, Trusted Traveler Card - NEXUS ($50). Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the NEXUS card has been approved as an alternative to the passport for air, land, and sea travel into the United States for US and Canadian citizens. Go to: NEXUS
• Or, US passport card ($55 first time applicant or $30 previous passport holder). For information on a US passport card, which is valid when entering the US from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings and sea ports of entry, go to: Passports information
• Or, Enhanced driver's license (EDL) available in Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington. These can be obtained from a State Department of Motor Vehicles office.
Three big days of world class circus fun! Make sure you're on board when the whistle blows!
Convention hotel: Auberge Royal Versailles, 7200, rue Sherbrooke East, Montreal, Quebec H1N 1E7. Phone: 514-256-1613; Fax: 514-256-5150. Room rate is $119.00 plus taxes, when reservation is made prior to May 30, 2014. The rate after May 30th is $129.95; but it has to be booked before June 21, 2014. The hotel complex has an outdoor pool, restaurant, and bar. It is located in the east end of the city just off Highway 40. If you are driving, it is easily approachable from the south - Vermont, New York or from the east from Ontario, New York, Michigan, etc. You do not have to drive downtown to reach the hotel. The hotel has lots of free parking. Malls and restaurants are nearby.
Montreal is a city of festivals and during the Spring, Summer and Fall there are many international festivals taking place, sometimes 3 or 4 on the same weekend. It is also a major destination in the world for tourists. This is why you need to book the rooms early. The same week as our convention and the Montreal Circus Festival (50,000 attendance), the city is host to a huge swim meet with 20,000 competitors. It is absolutely necessary for you to book rooms early.
Transportation: The airport is at the opposite end of the city by the hotel and is easily reached by taxi along the main expressway. The railroad station is in the center of the city as is the bus depot. One line of the subway system stops at the hotel door steps. Sherbrooke Street is one of the main streets in the city and runs east to west. In the heart of the city, many of the hotels, museums and universities front onto Sherbrooke. The other main street is Rue St. Catherines. This is the main commercial street. In the east end it is the location of many of the city's night clubs, principal theatres and festival locations. St. Catherines runs east-west. One of the main north-south streets is Rue St. Laurent. This is an old ethnic area now transferred into the "hip" part of the city. The area still has a large Jewish population and is home of Swart's Deli - one of the greatest smoked meat emporiums in the world.
Call For Papers and Presentations - 2014The Circus Historical Society welcomes proposals for papers and presentations on all aspects of the circus and circus history. Papers and presentations can be submitted for publication in the Society's journal, Bandwagon. Interested persons can view recent past conventions and presentations (see links at the bottom of this page).
The Circus Historical Society typically holds its annual convention in a variety of locations that include opportunities to experience present day circuses and, when available, repositiories of circus history. The convention brings together a stimulating variety of individuals who seldom or never meet otherwise, with results that are always interesting and fun. Final arrangements for the 2014 convention are in progress.
Proposals for papers and presentations should include a brief summary, information on the presenter, phone number, and postal and email address of the presenter(s). Presentations can include a variety of media, such as slides, power-point and other visuals. CHS would also like to hear from "first-timers" and individuals with unique views of the circus world.
To submit information on a proposal or request presentation information: CHS Convention or phone Al Stencell, 416-694-4545.
Please forward this information to any individuals you think might be interested.
The CHS convention encompasses circus history, the purpose of the organization; fellowship, the social contacts that make life worthwhile; and relaxation, a break in the daily routine, travel to different part of the county and just plain amusement and entertainment. People of all walks of life and from all sections of the country come together with a common purpose - the circus.
CHS members and other interested people gather annually at a different location in North America to hold a convention and share a common purpose, circus history. Papers are given, visual media are presented, live demonstrations are displayed, information on circus history and lore is exchanged, current circus executives set forth their views and challenges, friendships are renewed and new ones made - all in the interest of the preservation of circus history. The sessions represent the culmination the circus research and writings of CHS members and others to further our knowledge of the circus past and present. Even if your particular interest is unique, you will find an audience when you discuss it.
Last modified 2013