Important Information

Conference Language

The official language of the congress is English and all printed materials will be published in English.

Time Zone

Vancouver is 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT -8 hours  or UTC -8 hours). But in the summer, it does have daylight savings time, changing it to UTC -7 hours from mid-March to early November.

Climate

The average daytime temperature in June is high: 19°C / 66°F; low: 11°C / 52°F. It is a great time to combine business with pleasure and head outside to discover Vancouver.

Currency and Credit Cards

The Canadian currency is the dollar. The dollar can be divided in 100 cents. Coin denominations are 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, $1 and $2. Bank notes are $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Foreign currency and traveler’s cheques can be converted into Canadian dollars at foreign exchange banks and other authorized money exchangers. Credit cards such as VISA, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in hotels, department stores and restaurants.

Automated Teller Machines (ATM)

Travelers who carry internationally recognized credit cards can get a cash advance in Canadian dollars at ATMs installed at airports, hotels, department stores, subway stations and tourist attractions. Credit cards like VISA, MasterCard and American Express are the most widely accepted in Canada. They will also take Interac cards, from known banks.

Transportation

The Vancouver International Airport is only 30 minutes from the Vancouver Convention Centre (conference venue).

Public Transportation, shuttle buses, car rentals and taxis are available. Get details here.

Business Hours

Most government offices, private companies and banks are open between the hours of 10:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Saturday, and noon til 17:00 on Sundays. Larger stores and those in shopping malls will often stay open later on Thursdays through Saturdays.

Tipping

In bars and restaurants, it is very rare that gratuities are included in the bill. In general people are expected to leave 15% of the bill to the waiter, and 10-15% to a taxi driver or tour guide.

For porters or other hotel employees the average tip is $2.00. If the customer is paying with his card, they will either have to write down the amount they are leaving or will be able to choose it on the machine.

Tax

Two taxes apply in Vancouver; the federal and provincial. They are 5% and 7% respectively, adding up to 12%.

GST/PST is refundable to non-residents. All receipts must be kept and a copy of the Tax Refund for Visitors to Canada must be filled. The form can be found at Customs offices, duty free shops, department stores and some hotels.

Electricity

The standard electrical supply is 110 volts (60Hz).

Telephone / Mobile Phone

To make international phone calls, outside of the United states, please dial 011 + country code + area code + phone number. North America area codes and frequently called international country codes can be found in phone books or online.

Please note that emergency(911), directory assistance(411) and international directory assistance(1+area code+555 1212) phone calls are free from pay phones. In Vancouver, 604 is the area code.

Insurance

Participants are advised to get adequate travel and health insurance before leaving their respective countries.

Useful Phone Numbers

•  Police, Fire and Ambulance 911
•  Medical Emergency 911
•  HealthLink BC 811
•  Poison Control 1.800.567.8911
•  Directory Assistance 411
•  Highway Conditions 1.800.550.4997
•  Overseas/International Calls Assistance 0 (zero)
•  Long Distance Directory Assistance 1+Area code+555-1212
•  Tourist Information 1.604.682.2222