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Conference 2016

The 2016 Joint AAO/AMA Conference was held at the Prince Arthur Hotel in Thunder Bay, Ontario from May 11-13 2016. It was hosted by members of the AAO's NOAA Chapter

The conference theme was Breaking Down the Barriers

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  • 10 May 2016 5:33 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Here are some friendly reminders and tips to help you out over the next few days:

    1. The Conference Registration Desk will be open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm on Wednesday, May 11th and will be open again at 8:30 am Thursday morning. The Conference Registration Desk is Located in Salon E. The Conference At a Glance is available on the AAO Conference web page and in your conference bags.

    2. The Opening Reception at the Thunder Bay Military Museum & O’Kelly Armouries, located at 317 Park Ave, is a short distance from the conference hotel. We will meet in the lobby of the hotel at 6:30 to walk over as a group.  For directions, please talk to the Conference Registration desk.

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    3. The dress code for this year’s banquet is casual to business casual – so enjoy the laid back setting!

    4. Local weather – days are warm, but temperatures do drop at night, so make sure to bring a light jacket! Those going on the Star Walk might want to bring a warm hat and gloves.

    5. Silent Auction items may be delivered to the Conference Registration Desk. Make sure to bring cash or your cheque book so you can bid on all the great items we have this year. Proceeds go to the Shirley Spragge Fund.

    6. Need a suggestion for a place to eat? Check your conference bag for information on local restaurants, ask a member of the Local Arrangements Committee or check out our list of things to do in Thunder Bay for more details.

    7. Contribute to the online discussion or follow along on Twitter using #aaoama16

  • 06 Apr 2016 4:17 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    The AAO Needs Your SUPPORT…Donate items to this year’s Silent Auction!

    The 2016 Joint AAO/AMA Conference will be hosted by NOAA in Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

    We are looking for members to donate items such as (but not limited to): 

    • Artwork 
    • Archival supplies
    • Baked goods
    • Books (related to the profession)
    • Hand crafted pieces (i.e. jewelry, knitted wares)
    • Pottery
    • Gift Baskets (i.e. chocolate, wine, beer)

    Funds raised from this auction will go to the AAO Shirley Spragge Education Fund, to encourage the continuing education of archivists in Ontario. Your donations are greatly appreciated. A donation to the silent auction would not only support this fund, but would honour the memory of a respected colleague. Items donated will receive a tax receipt upon request.

    If you have interested in donating to this year’s silent auction, please email

  • 04 Apr 2016 12:25 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    For a bit of healthy competition between the provinces, and to encourage conference delegates to get out and see some of Thunder Bay’s sights, you are welcomed to participate in the AAO/AMA Photo Scavenger Hunt! The goal is to take photographs of as many of the locations and activities listed below. The photo scavenger hunt will run the length of the conference! The lucky province will be announced at Friday’s luncheon.

    Each province will compete as a team. Designated team members will submit photos of each completed task. If both provinces complete the list (or if neither do..!), then the province with the most points wins.
    Send in your photos by tweeting them with the conference hashtag #aaoama16 

    1 point each:

    • A member of your team enjoying locally roasted coffee or locally brewed beer
    • The Thunder Bay Tourist Pagoda
    • Standing in the splash pad at Prince Arthur’s Landing
    • Your favourite piece of public art
    • Your best view of Lake Superior
    • Visiting Fort William Historical Park (location for walking tour and conference dinner)
    2 points each:
    • Riding on Thunder Bay Transit ($2.65 cash fare; some tickets available to conference attendees on request)
    • Visiting the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame (approximately 10 minute drive or 30 minute bus ride)
    • Visiting the Thunder Bay Museum (approximately 10 minute drive or 30 minute bus ride)
    • Visiting the Thunder Bay Art Gallery (approximately 10 minute drive or 40 minute bus ride) or Definitely Superior Art Gallery (approximately 10 minute walk)
    • At the Finnish Labour Temple / Finlandia Hall / Hoito Restaurant (Bay & Algoma neighbourhood, 15 minute walk or short bus ride)
    • Shopping at a locally owned business
    • The view from Hillcrest Park (5 minute drive, 10 minute bus ride, 25 minute walk)
    3 points each:
    • A photo of you in Thunder Bay as a child (or at least 15 years ago)
    • Visiting the Terry Fox Memorial (approximately 15 minute drive, no bus available)
    • Visiting Kakabeka Falls (approximately 30 minute drive, no bus available)
    1,000,000 points:
    • A photo of people curling on the ice of Lake Superior taken during the conference

  • 31 Mar 2016 11:44 AM | Danielle Robichaud

    Upon reviewing all successful applications, the AAO Fundraising Committee and Board of Directors have selected the winner of the Shirley Spragge Bursary for the Joint AAO/AMA Conference. Janel Cheng has been awarded the bursary. Janel is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto and has demonstrated an interest in and passion for archives. 

    Congratulations, Janel!

    Thank you,

    Dana Thorne

    Vice President, 2015-2016

  • 29 Mar 2016 1:08 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Where to Sleep

    The Prince Arthur Hotel, located at 17 Cumberland St. North, is our conference hotel. You’ll be able to book at a conference rate. You will have access to a restaurant, pool, and workout room on site.

    If you prefer other accommodations, there are many other hotels and motels a short bus ride or drive away.

    Food & Drink


    Across from the hotel, Espresso Joya (8 Cumberland St. South) serves locally roasted coffee starting at 7am, as well as baked goods and soups. A few blocks away is The Daily Grind is at 215 Red River Road.  

    In the Bay & Algoma Neighbourhood, about a 15 minute walk away, are Calico Coffeehouse at 316 Bay St., The Bean Fiend at 194 Algoma St. South, and Sweet Escape Café & Bakery at 271 Bay St.

    Breakfast, Brunch, or Lunch

    Within a 5 minute walk of the Prince Arthur Hotel you’ll find Rooster’s Bistro, 32 St. Paul St., Made Fresh!, 269 Red River Road, Lumberjacks, 16 St. Paul  St., and Sweet North Bakery, 10 Court St. South.

    The legendary Hoito Restaurant at the Finlandia Club (314 Bay Street) has been serving food since 1918, and its Finnish pancakes are often featured on “Must Do in Thunder Bay” lists. Also in the Bay & Algoma neighbourhood is The Growing Season, 201 Algoma St. South, which serves fresh juices, sandwiches, and salads.


    Downtown Port Arthur is home to some fantastic restaurants, many of which have opened in the past five years. All of these are within 15 minutes’ walk of the Prince Arthur Hotel.

    Bight Restaurant & Bar in Prince Arthur’s Landing Waterfront Park, 2210 Sleeping Giant Parkway, fine dining featuring local ingredients and an amazing view of Lake Superior.

    Bliss Café , 87 Cumberland St. North, serves organic, raw, and vegan meals.

    Both Hands , 297 Park Avenue, wood-fired pizza, local and organic ingredients.

    The Foundry , 242 Red River Road, gastropub and live music venue.

    Gargoyles Grille and Ale , 11 Cumberland St. South, for Canadian fusion cuisine and frequent live music.

    Lot 66, 66 Court St. South, fine dining and wine bar.

    Portside Restaurant & Bar, in the Prince Arthur Hotel, steak and seafood when you don’t want to go outside.

    The Prospector ,  27 Cumberland St. South has been a local favourite steakhouse for 25 years.

    The Red Lion Smokehouse, 28 Cumberland St. South, features barbecue and an extensive beer list.

    The Silver Birch, 28 Cumberland St. North, local and seasonal.

    The Sovereign Room, 220 Red River Road, is a gastropub with a focus on local ingredients.

    Thai Kitchen, 36 Cumberland St. South, casual and delicious.

    Tomlin, 202 Red River Road, fine dining.

    Uptown Cut, 252 Algoma St. South, steakhouse and fine dining.  

    For Drinks:

    Black Pirates Pub, 215 Red River Road, bar and live music.

    Breakwater Taphouse on the top floor of the old CN Building at Prince Arthur’s Landing Waterfront Park, 2212 Sleeping Giant Parkway. Features local beers and food.

    Crocks, 24 Cumberland St. South, bar and live music.

    The Foundry,242 Red River Road, gastropub and live music.

    On Deck, 54 Cumberland St. North, sports bar with full menu.

    The Red Lion Smokehouse, 28 Cumberland St. South, features barbecue and an extensive beer list.

    Madhouse, 295 Bay St., bar and grill with a great selection of craft beer.


    Close to the hotel:

    Clothing stores include The Loop at 2 Court St. South, Mars at 6 Court St. South, and Second Look Consignment at 14 Court St. South.

    Check out local and national art at Definitely Superior Art Gallery at 250 Park Ave, Ahnisnabae Art Gallery at 18 Court St. South, Local Colour Art Gallery at 269 Red River Road, and Chenier Fine Arts at 8 Court St. South.

    For fun, we also recommend Hill City Comics at 26 Court St. South, New Day Records at 15A St. Paul St, and Hide 5 Leather at 12 St. Paul St.

    The Bay & Algoma neighbourhood is about 15 minutes’ walk from the Prince Arthur Hotel, or 5 minutes by bus or car, notable for its Finnish heritage and local and independent businesses. You’ll find gifts and souvenirs, clothing, and food.

    The Thunder Bay Country Market runs Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds, a 10 minute drive or 25 minute bus ride from the Prince Arthur Hotel. Features local produce, food, crafts, and artwork.

    Things to Do

    Attendees of the 2011 AAO Conference would have seen the construction site, but now the Prince Arthur’s Landing Waterfront Park is open and has been recognized for its architecture, artwork, and public use. Adjacent to the hotel, enjoy the recreational trails, public art, splash pad, art centre, and views of Lake Superior.

    The Prince Arthur Hotel is surrounded by venues for live music. To see what’s going on while you’re here, check out TBShows

    Definitely Superior Art Gallery is less than 10 minutes away from the hotel by foot. This is an artist-run gallery showcasing contemporary works and local artists.

    The Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame is a heritage facility dedicated to preserving, honouring and displaying the rich sports tradition of the region. The Northwestern Ontario Sports hall of fame is open from 12:00 - 5:00 Tuesday to Saturday. It can be reached in 10 minutes by car or 25 minutes by bus.

    The Thunder Bay Museum shows permanent galleries of the city’s and region’s history, and features other temporary and touring exhibits. The Museum is located in Thunder Bay’s other downtown, and can be reached in 10 minutes by car or 25 minutes by bus.

    The Thunder Bay Art Gallery located on the campus of Confederation College, is about 10 minutes by car or 40 minutes by bus. The Art Gallery has a focus on the contemporary artwork of Canadian Aboriginal and Northwestern Ontario artists.  

    If you like casinos, then there’s the OLG Casino at 50 Cumberland St. South.

    Kakabeka Falls would be Ontario’s largest waterfall if it wasn’t for that other one. A 35 minute drive from the hotel will bring you to Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, where you’ll see spectacular views of the falls, learn about local wildlife and geology in the visitor centre, and enjoy a short hike. The boardwalk to the falls is wheelchair accessible.

    A bit over an hour East of town you’ll find Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, where you’ll enjoy spectacular views and learn a bit about the region’s unique geology and plant life, and Eagle Canyon Adventures, home of Canada’s longest foot suspension bridge and Canada’s longest, highest, and fastest zip line. Neither is particularly recommended for anyone who is afraid of heights.

    The Sleeping Giant you see across Thunder Bay is at the tip of the peninsula that makes up Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. It’ll take about an hour to drive, and then you’ll have your pick of hiking trails, as well as bicycling and wildlife viewing.

    There is an assortment of other activities to do in Thunder Bay, check out The City of Thunder Bay’s Tourism Website for more ideas!

    Getting Around

    Thunder Bay Transit

    The Prince Arthur Hotel is close to the Water Street Bus Terminal, so you’ll have access to many bus routes. Thunder Bay Transit is integrated with Google Transit, so you can plan your trips through or visit A limited number of Thunder Bay Transit tickets will be made available to conference attendees on request. Cash fare is $2.65, or you can purchase sets of tickets or a day pass.


    Call Diamond Taxi at (807) 622-6001 or Roach’s Taxi at (807) 344-8481.

    Car Rental

    Rent a car at the Thunder Bay Airport from Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National/Alamo, or Hertz.  

  • 11 Mar 2016 2:26 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Shirley Spragge Bursary! One successful applicant will be awarded free conference registration and up to $650.00 in travel reimbursement to attend the 2016 AAO/AMA Joint Conference in Thunder Bay (May 11-13).

    Eligible applicants are:

    • AAO student members enrolled in a recognized archival program.
    • AAO members who are recent (1-3 years) graduates of an archival program.
    • AAO members who are practicing (or volunteer) archivists in financial need.

    Applications opened on March 7 and will close on March 18. The winner will be announced March 31.

    For more information and to submit your online application, please visit the Shirley Spragge Bursary page on the AAO website.

  • 08 Mar 2016 12:33 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    We are pleased to announce that early bird registration for the joint conference of the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) and the Association for Manitoba Archives (AMA) is now open! The theme of the conference isArchives Confidential: Breaking Down the Barriers. The draft conference-at-a-glance is available on the website. The AAO/AMA joint conference will be held in Thunder Bay, Ontario from May 11 – 13.

    Do not miss out on the early bird registration which will run from March 8 to April 8. Member rates are available to members of the AAO and the AMA. A promo code will be sent to AMA members to ensure that they get the member registration rates. Register for the conference.  More information on the conference can be found here.


    Emma Prescott                                                             Marissa Paron

    AMA Chair                                                                          AAO President

  • 06 Mar 2016 8:56 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    Thunder Bay is located at the west end of Lake Superior. There are a number of ways to get here. For those coming from the east the drive along the north shore of Lake Superior is one of the most spectacular in Canada. For those coming from the west the drive is less spectacular but still scenic! You should allow one day for the drive from Winnipeg and two days for the drive from Toronto or Ottawa.

    Not interested in a road trip? Porter Airlines and Air Canada are both offering discounts.

    Porter Discount

    Porter Airlines is offering a 15% discount on available base fares (with the exception of the lowest class fare during a public seat sale) for travel to and from Thunder Bay. The discounted fares are available for booking from March 7 to May 14, 2016 and available for travel:

    Location:                                         Dates of Travel:

    From: Anywhere in Canada or the US To: Thunder Bay From: 05/10/2016 To: 05/13/2016
    From: Thunder Bay To: Anywhere in Canada or the US From: 05/11/2016 To: 05/14/2016

    Please book online or through your travel agent using promo code ACBDB16.

    Air Canada Discount

    Air Canada is offering a 10% discount. To book online and quote promo code  B9NMUMF1 at checkout.

  • 06 Mar 2016 5:28 PM | Danielle Robichaud

    The Joint AAO/AMA Conference will be held at the Prince Arthur Hotel in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Prince Arthur Hotel has reserved a block of rooms from May 10th to May 13th at the special rate of $90.00 plus HST per night. Please quote confirmation code 208542 when making your reservation. 

    For more information on the Prince Arthur Hotel and to make your reservation call 1-800-267-2675.

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