Updated March 30, 2020

To our IGA community,

The growing COVID-19 emergency is affecting all of our lives, and we want to first and foremost express our concern and support for all of you as we deal with this crisis. We have had an outpouring of support from the interpretive guiding community – our members – and that has definitely kept us going over the past couple of weeks. Thank you! We appreciate you more than you can imagine.

Our staff are working around the clock to develop online programs so we can continue to offer great products and services. This new normal doesn’t feel very normal but we hope the supports and services we will be offering over the next few months will help keep some sense of sanity and normalcy in your lives until this passes (we know with time it shall).

Below we have listed the programs and supports we are making available to all our members, as well as links to various governmental supports that you should probably check out. This information is changing rapidly and we will do our best to keep it as up to date as possible. We will also continue to send out our members only weekly newsletters and will advertise our courses, professional development opportunities and more in there.

New Offers Being Extended to IGA Members:

Over the next couple months, you may find yourself with a little more time on your hands, so we would like to offer you opportunities to learn, to engage with other guides (electronically) and to have a little fun.

  • We are working on a plan to offer our members FREE and extremely discounted online professional development opportunities – more to come in the following weeks.
  • We will be running contests with prize give-aways for members only over the next couple months.
  • We are opening up our Online Basic Banff and Jasper courses to all 2020/2021 members in good standing. Contact us for a link.

Courses, changes, and general updates:

  • We are working on a plan to offer (where possible) our May and June courses online. Refunds will be issued for any course fees collected for courses we cannot run at this time.
  • Staff will be in touch with registrants to explain any changes in course delivery as well as to issue refunds where needed.
  • We have waived the $10 late fee on all late membership payments.
  • We have extended the deadline for continuing professional development (CPD) submission for one full year. When you pay this year’s, membership fees you are automatically in good standing and can spend the time you need to get your CPD hours in and recorded. 
  • If you are working on completing our Professional Interpreter exams and are worried you won’t be able to do it in the two-year time slot required, don’t worry, we have extended this another year as well. You now have 3 full years from the date you took your course to start these two exams.
  • April courses are being rescheduled and refunds are being issued.
  • The Wild About Nature public and CPD event has been canceled.
  • Our AGM will be scheduled later this year.
  • Red Cross and St. John’s Ambulance have placed a 90 day extension on 1st aid re-certifications to give people a chance to stay on track this spring/summer. If you need to re-certify in the next few months make sure to contact them and watch their websites for updates.
  • The IGA office is closed at this time but all staff continue to work from home. If you have questions or need assistance please send us an email. We can also set up meetings on the phone or over Zoom.

Government Support:

The National and Provincial governments have started and will continue to roll out packages and programs to Canadians who need financial assistance during this crisis. The tourism industry has been hit hard and we all may require these services to get through the difficult months ahead. If you haven’t already seen this information click on these links to find out more:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#improved_access_employment_insurance

https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx?fbclid=IwAR1s0myCEm_iAQmhu3xtn3c6obGBWdxQHkGBGnsJ8-OPXM0we97Ippv1puc#toc-1

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/covid-19-financial-supports

https://www.feddevontario.gc.ca/eic/site/723.nsf/eng/h_02567.html?OpenDocument

Stay tuned for more information through email, social media and on our website as the situation evolves, as we spend more time working through the details and putting the plans into action.

Wishing you and your families the very best in this confusing and difficult time.

Stay well!

Tracey Gage, Wendy Niven, Rod Plasman, Colin Murton, Lawrence Nyman and the IGA board of directors