Updated April 15, 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 from home at this time but are available by phone, email and zoom. If you want to talk, have a question, concern or request, please reach out. This new normal doesn’t feel very normal but we hope the supports and services we have on offer 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 the IGA is making available for members, as well as links to various government financial, health and wellness supports for Canadians.

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 offering FREE and extremely discounted online professional development opportunities – click on this link to discover more: /courses/field-trips-events/
  • We will be running contests with prize give-aways for members only over the next couple months.
  • We have opened up our Online Basic Banff and Jasper courses for free to all 2020/2021 AI, PI and MI members in good standing. Contact us for a link.

Courses, Changes and General Updates

  • We will be running Apprentice Interpreter and Professional Interpreter courses in May and June online via Zoom.
  • We have had to make the difficult decision to cancel all of our May and June Group Management courses at this time. As soon as we are allowed to get back out on the trails with groups of unrelated people we will start offering these again.
  • 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.
  • We have started offering online professional development sessions to our members and non-members. We have had a lot of interest in these programs and space is limited so make sure to register early. If you are registered and can no longer attend your session please let us know so someone else can take your place. We will continue to add programs and you can find what is available by clicking on our Field Trips and Event tab above.
  • 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 reach out.

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:

Canada’s Economic Response Fund:

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

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/benefits/apply-for-cerb-with-cra.html

Alberta Financial Programs:

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

British Columbia Financial Programs:

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

Ontario Financial Programs:

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

Health and Wellness Services

Want to talk to someone? There are many services available to you.

You don’t have to do this alone. At some point in our lives we have all experienced stressful times. We can be impacted by such things as financial pressures, unexpected difficulties, unemployment, or stressful situations like the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Asking for help is not a weakness, it is natural, and you may be surprised just how many of us need it.

First and foremost, if you are in crisis, call 911 or 1-877-303-2642

Alberta Health Services 
Text4Hope
Supporting Mental Health & Wellness in a Time of Stress & Isolation Mental Health HelplineHelp in Tough Times

British Columbia Mental Health Support:
Mental Health B.C.

Ontario Mental Health Support:
Mental Health Support Ontario

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
Resources to Support Mental Health 

Suicide Intervention 24 Hr Line
https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/
Call 1.833.456.4566Text 45645

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