A little while ago John and I expressed an interest in attending this year’s Northern Voice conference. Being bloggers and podcasters (in Vancouver and Iowa) for 3 years it seemed like a great opportunity to meet other locals with the same interest. We’ve met up with other bloggers before and attended a podcast meetup last year, which was really fun, but we’ve never been to a Northern Voice conference before. Most of all it would be a great opportunity for John to network since he’s going to get his work permit for Canada any day now.
The only thing keeping us from going was the entry fee. The two day conference is $100 out of our pockets and another $40 is we wanted t-shirts. So… for full participation and t-shirty experience it would cost our family $140. Now let me give you a quick little background on John and I.
John moved here in 2005 to be with me and hopefully start a lovely new career. Since he’s basically immigrating he cannot work until the Permanent Resident application is approved. He’s been jobless and I’ve been supporting our family monetarily ever since, needless to say, we don’t have a lot of money. We splurg sometimes and go out to watch a Canucks game at our fave local watering hole, and yes we attended Barcamp in the summer – which was really great. But at this point in time we’re inches away from having his work permit, which on top of all other immigration and lawyer fees, is $150. You may be able to see our financial dilemma now.
The Northern Voice crew were looking for submissions for a travel bursary, $500 for 5 people to make their way to the conference, who otherwise probably wouldn’t be able to attend. John and I jumped on this and recorded a podcast a couple days ago. We submitted and were hopeful. We only asked for part of ONE of the bursaries, not really the whole thing either, just the admission fee. Sure, we’re locals but maybe our cause is worthy enough, we’ve never been to a Northern Voice and we were really looking forward to it.
This morning the winners were announced, and we weren’t included. That’s perfectly fine, I mean it would only cost us $4.50 to get there by bus, but the admission is really the kicker. Oh well, right? I’m sure others were just as deserving and had to travel greater distances. Hmm…. although I think the idea of one of the winners could have just been put implemented, since it’s a great gesture, not sure it should have taken up one of the bursary spots though...
Regardless, if this is the first you’ve heard of Northern Voice and you’re a local blogger, check it out – the schedule has been posted and it looks really great – hopefully you’ll network, learn, shmooze and have great fun.
On the other hand, this was something that I really wanted to be a part of but I’m not certain that we’ll be able to get there this year, due to financial constraints (getting John’s open work permit = $150). So if that’s the case there’s always next year…
Update: To be a good sport, here are links to the winners’ blogs.
*Candace, Will, Jim, Mike, Monique, Laurie