Canada's Largest Academic Gathering Promises Boom For Local Business

Human and Social Development

The influx of delegates for the 82nd annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, to be hosted by the University of Victoria in June 2013, is expected to translate into economic opportunities for local businesses. Congress will bring together 70 scholarly associations representing upwards of 7,000 delegates, including leading academics, internationally recognized researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to share findings, refine ideas and build partnerships.

A survey conducted at Congress 2012 showed that 66 per cent of delegates plan to extend their time in Victoria beyond the conference dates of June 1 to 8, and 40 per cent plan to bring family guests, resulting in a potential 2,800 additional visitors to the area. “According to Tourism Victoria, the average Victoria overnight visitor spends approximately $408 on accommodation, food and entertainment. Based on these figures, Congress 2013 promises to inject $9 to $12 million into the local economy,” says Suzanne Dane, UVic’s Congress 2013 manager.

Organized by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, Congress features a range of activities open to the public, including the Big Thinking Speaker Series and the Expo, the largest book fair in Canada. This will be the second time the event has been hosted at the University of Victoria; the first was in 1990.

“Congress is a world-class showcase of scholarly excellence, creativity and leadership,” says Congress Chair Dr. Catherine Mateer, UVic’s associate vice-president academic planning. “It is an especially fitting event in a year that will mark the 50th anniversary of UVic.”

Local businesses with products or services to offer Congress are invited to participate in a vendor fair at the Victoria Conference Centre Crystal Garden on Friday, Sept. 28 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. The fair is part of a welcome reception for planners coordinating conference activities for the academic associations. For more information and to register for the vendor fair, email or visit

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Media contacts

Suzanne Dane (Congress 2013) at 250-516-5101 or congress2013

Melanie Groves (UVic Communications) at 250-472-4357 or

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Keywords: congress

People: Suzanne Dane, Catherine Mateer

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