Dear HSC Community Member:
As you know, the Huntington Society of Canada (HSC) national conference is a biennial event and as such was originally scheduled to take place in Niagara Falls, ON this coming November. Early in 2020, however, as restrictions on social gatherings were introduced in most provinces in Canada – and the safety of our attendees became paramount – it became clear that we would not be able to come together in person.
In the spring, we announced that our national conference would be postponed for a year, and I am proud to say the HSC events team pivoted extremely quickly. They were able to organize and present three previously unscheduled virtual Community Education Forums as part of a Seasonal Series over the course of the year, in order to ensure our community would still have access to important Huntington disease (HD) news and research updates. At the same time, staff worked hard to reschedule the national conference for 2021, in the hope that the COVID-19 pandemic may have subsided by then in order to allow us to meet safely.
However, given recent governmental announcements that a second wave of the virus is now in full swing and predictions regarding the longevity of COVID-19, HSC has made the decision to cancel the 2020 (2021) national conference completely. We will also defer planning for a future national conference given the uncertainly of how the pandemic will unfold over the next year or so. The organization is simply not in a position to commit to any mass in-person gatherings so far in advance.
While I understand that complete cancellation of the 2020 (2021) national conference may be dispiriting news, it is important to reiterate that the health and safety of the HD community is our number one priority. In order to address concerns about information transfer, HSC is committed to exploring continued ways to share updates virtually, as with our Community Education Forum Seasonal Series. I invite you now to sign up for our Nov. 14, 2020 CEF with Prof. Ed Wild and Dr. Jeff Carroll HERE or our Feb. 27, 2021 virtual CEF with Clare Gibbons, M. Sc., HERE.
Your HSC staff realizes this is a disappointing announcement. Please know that we are still committed to holding our next national conference in Niagara Falls, ON (whenever that can be done safely) and seeing everyone in person as soon as we can. Feel free to direct any questions or concerns with this notice to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Executive Officer
Huntington Society of Canada
2018 HSC National Conference Highlights
The 2018 Huntington Society of Canada National Conference saw several informative and engaging presentations. The Conference:
- Brought Canadian families affected by HD together for two days of education, team building and fun. The Conference offered them a place to feel safe, talk and learn. Participants were able to go back to their own communities and share the cutting edge information they learned at this conference.
- Educated professional Social Workers to learn about new coping strategies and disease management options for HD.
- Inspired professional development, offering exposure to new skills and cutting edge information about HD.
- Informed the medical community, including General Medical Practitioners, Medical Students, Psychiatrists and Neurologists, and physical and occupational therapists about advancements in research and treatments for Huntington disease.
- Supported Youth. The special day included at the beginning of the Conference brought together Young People affected by HD from across Canada. Many of the youth were members of Young People Affected by Huntington Disease (YPAHD), the Huntington Society of Canada’s official youth Chapter.
Click here to see photos of the Conference weekend on our Facebook page.
Watch the recordings of some of the presentations by visiting our YouTube channel!