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2019 Gwaii Haanas Urban Orientation Sessions Announced by Parks Canada

Jennifer Handley

February 20th, 2019

Anna Maria Husband, Visitor Services Team Leader, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site recently advised BCA that Parks Canada has again scheduled orientation sessions in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.

This 90 minute orientation session is mandatory before you can visit this amazingly beautiful area of British Columbia.  Parks Canada recognizes that the travel plans of most boaters involve crossing the South Hecate and entering Gwaii Haanas from the southern tip, which makes attending an information session in Skidegate awkward and/or problematic.  Attending an orientation session in southern BC will allow you to enter the area by boat, directly from the Mainland Coast after you have made your reservations, thus making passage to the area far more convenient.

Signage is intentionally minimized in Gwaii Haanas to protect the wilderness experience, which is one of the reasons why all visitors are required to attend a pre-trip orientation. The presentation reviews current safety information and traveler protocols, and discusses appropriate conduct while visiting Gwaii Haanas to ensure that the area, as well as the experience of other visitors, is protected. It is also an opportunity for visitors to ask questions about their upcoming trip and ensure that they have the information that they need.  It is a legal requirement for all visitors to attend the orientation annually.

These are the dates for the Lower Mainland and VI orientations in 2019:

  • Wednesday, March 6 at 7:00 PM – Vancouver Public Library (Library Square) 350 West Georgia St
  • Friday, March 8 at 6:00 PM – Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, 9811 Sea Port Place, Sidney

The Orientation is FREE of charge, so even if you are just thinking about going to Gwaii Haanas this year or would like to learn more, please attend to find out what’s involved in visiting this part of the world. Regardless, you will be glad you did. No reservations are required to attend the orientation.  However, cruisers who have made a reservation to visit Gwaii Haanas prior to these orientations will be able to pick up their trip permits at the end of the session.

If you have any questions and/or would like to make a reservation to visit Gwaii Haanas this year, please feel free to contact Anna Maria directly; she will be pleased to assist.

Feature photo credits: Sgan Gwaay Village (© Parks Canada/Maggie Stronge); Tufted Puffin (© Parks Canada/Carey Bergman); Mount Yatza (© Parks Canada/Charlotte Houston); Humpback (© Parks Canada/Daniel McNeill)


  1. Brent Ashe says:

    As a young boy growing up in Jedway bay southern queen charolette islands , I have longed to get back to where I attended primary school and also lived the most memorable years of my life . Now retired and with a nice trawler to cruise the coast , I so want to get back for a few days.
    Can you let me know when the next orientation for Gwaii Haanas is .
    Thanks, Brent

    1. Anonymous says:

      Hi Brent,
      Haven’t seen anything for 2020, but here is the link where Parks Canada posts all the information:


    2. Jennifer Handley says:

      Hi Brent!
      If you are still interested, Parks Canada has just released their 2020 urban orientation dates. Tues Mar 3, 7-8:30pm Vancouver (Library Square Convention Centre) and Sun Mar 8, 5:30-7pm Sidney (Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea). Cheers!

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