Large genealogy conference slated for Kelowna in September

Conference will bring speakers in from Canada, U.K. and U.S., feature workshops and a marketplace.

  • Aug. 28, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Claire Smith-Burns

contributor

People are curious about their ancestral story.

Researching family history is a pastime that is snowballing in popularity. Who hasn’t seen the ancestry ads or the many genealogy-themed TV series, family history magazines on the newsstands or advertisements for DNA testing?

With the acceleration of digitization projects, the gratifying speed of email correspondence and a plethora of genealogy websites, discovering your family history is achievable for all of us.

For more than 30 years, the Kelowna and District Genealogical Society has been helping people to discover their ancestral heritage.

The society has hosted the biennial Harvest Your Family Tree Conference since 1996. This event has grown into one of the largest family history conferences in Western Canada.

With a roster of workshops and activities from Sept. 23 to 25, this year’s conference promises to be bigger, better and more inspiring than ever.

Featuring 10 acclaimed speakers from the U.K., U.S. and Canada presenting 33 workshops, whether you are just beginning your family history journey or are a seasoned researcher, there will be valuable information to advance your family history quest.

Some of the world’s top genealogical experts will be there including Texas-based Lisa Louise Cooke, host of the popular Genealogy Gems podcast and an expert on using technology to enhance your genealogy search; Audrey Collins, of The National Archives in England, a U.K. research specialist with an international following and Dave Obee one of Canada’s pre-eminent genealogists and a popular speaker and author.

Speakers from Library and Archives Canada, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Surrey Public Library (Cloverdale Genealogy Centre) plus several other professionals will share their knowledge.

As well as five workshops on Friday, Sept. 23, there will be 28 workshops to choose from in four concurrent streams on the Saturday. The program has been carefully scheduled to offer something for every interest and level of expertise in each time-slot. Topics range from beginners through to technology, location-specific, DNA, organization, research skills and more.

In addition, there will be a marketplace featuring more vendors and exhibitors than ever before. As our conference’s reputation has grown, it is attracting door prizes and sponsorships from some of the world’s largest genealogy vendors, such as My Heritage, FindMyPast, Ancestry and Family Tree DNA.

The conference will roll out over three days with Friday afternoon’s venue being the downtown Kelowna Library where the KDGS’s Family and Local History Resource Centre is located. The Okanagan Regional Library, UBCO Innovation Centre and the KDGS will be offering tours, workshops and research help. On Friday evening, a Meet the Speakers reception will be held at Okanagan College. Saturday will feature the workshops, marketplace “pop-up” sessions, and more at Okanagan College. On the Sunday, local historian Bob Hayes will lead a walk through Kelowna’s Cultural District complete with special tours of the Okanagan Military Museum and the Kelowna Art Gallery.

Organizers say registrations are coming in quickly and three workshops are already sold out.

To register go to www.KDGS.ca. For more information go to conference@KDGS.ca or call 250-763-7159.

 

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