Due to COVID-19, the Federation has decided that there will not be an in-person Congress 2020. Furthermore, the Executive Board of the ACQL came to the unanimous decision to withdraw entirely from Congress 2020. I want to assure you that this decision was reached after thoughtful deliberation and with a twinge of sorrow. We came to this decision after weighing the many implications of a virtual conference, including the various logistical complications related to coordinating with other associations that have already withdrawn, time constraints and conflicts, lack of accessibility to adequate technology, the risk of excluding certain members, and the costs envisioned by the Federation. We were also forced to acknowledge that the benefits of in-person contact at our ACQL conferences over the years would not be retained in an on-line conference setting.

Many of you have already paid the Congress fees and the ACQL fees through the Congress website. We are awaiting an official announcement from the Federation regarding when and how reimbursements will be made. Some of you have also already purchased or renewed your ACQL membership for 2020 on the ACQL website. If you purchased or renewed your ACQL solely for participation in Congress 2020 and wish to cancel your membership, we can offer you a full refund. Please send an email request to our treasurer Steven Urquhart at steven.urquhart@uleth.ca.

For those of you whose paper was accepted and included in the 2020 ACQL programme, the Executive Board would like to extend to you the invitation to present your paper at next year’s Congress. If you wish to do so, please re-send your abstract proposal by the deadline for the General Call for Papers in early January 2021. Although we will not be able to guarantee that your paper will be included in the same panel, your paper will be accepted and included in the 2021 program. Although we regret that participants will not be able to present their papers this year, we encourage you to make mention in end-of-the-year reports and in your curriculum vitae that your abstract was officially accepted for the 2020 ACQL conference.

I would like to confirm that the anglophone and francophone juries presided by Veronica Austen and Eftihia Mihelakis will continue their work, and that the finalists and winners of the 2020 Gabrielle-Roy prize will be announced in late Summer and early Fall.

I would also like to confirm that it is still our intention to hold an Annual General Meeting (on-line) at the end of May. I will send an email with more details in the weeks to come.

I would like to thank all of you who sent abstract proposals for the conference, our many session organizers, our plenary speakers Dr. David Bentley and Dr. Janet Paterson, our vice-presidents Thomas Hodd and Julien Defraeye for creating a rich conference program, and our local coordinator Alicia Robinet for her careful planning of our on-site events. The impressive work and coordination of all involved only make the otherwise necessary cancellation of this year’s in-person conference that much more regrettable.

I wish everyone the best in adapting to the many challenges that we face now and in the months ahead. I would also like to express my hope to see all of you at the 2021 ACQL conference in Edmonton.

Sincerely,

Scott Powers, President of the ACQL