Discover East Coast Charm at Congress 2011

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ryan Saxby Hill Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

A team from the Federation made the short trek from Ottawa to Fredericton last week for the annual Congress planning meeting. This trip gave us a chance not only to get information out to our over 150 Program Chairs and Local Arrangements Coordinators for 2011, but we also got a taste for the maritime hospitality that Fredericton is famous for. Being an east-coaster myself, I'm a bit biased, but I can say with certainty that the team at UNB and STU and the Fredericton community are ready to put on quite a show next May. This will be the biggest event EVER to be held in Fredericton and the community has fully mobilized around making Congress a great event. The tourist season will start early, with tours, exhibits and special events open for delegates when they arrive on May 28th.

After spending nearly a week with the fine folks of Fredericton, here are some of my picks for what not to miss while you're in town for this year's Congress.

1. Food! Fredericton has a pretty interesting restaurant scene for a city its size. For the finer pallet the Racines offers a great selection of french-inspired dishes and, interestingly, serves a in-house made carrot caviar. The Blue Door is a fun spot with a younger crowd and good cocktail menu. If you're looking for something spicy, Caribbean Flavas is a family-owned lunch and dinner spot that spawned out of a class project.

2. The Beaverbrook Art Gallery - Fredericton has one of the better small galleries in Canada. With a huge collection of Victorian Art and one giant Dali, the gallery defiantly punches above it's weight. The gallery also has just enough drama to make it newsworthy... having recently settled with the Beaverbrook estate for the right to keep 85 of the most valuable paintings.

3. The flora and fauna - Fredericton's natural environment is stunning. While we were in visiting the UNB/ STU campus we took a sneak peak at the location for the 2011 president's receptions. Standing on the terrace, looking out of the Saint John river valley you realize why people love to live in the region.

Fredericton Tourism is fully engaged in the Congress planning process and has some great ideas on things that you might want to take advantage of while you're in the region.There is still lots of room at area hotels and we're in touch with Air Canada to make sure that everyone has the flights that they need. Why not take the long weekend to plan your Congress travel? You can find the dates for your meetings online here.



Fredericton will be an amazing locale for Congress 2011. What's really impressive is to see how the community is mobilizing to host Congress. The media is also very interested and already looking to showcase researchers from the region. On a more terre à terre note, the pad thai at Blue Door is highly recommended.