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NDS CONVENTION FAQ - INCLUDES OUR 2019 CANADA CONVENTION FAQ AT TOP, GENERIC FAQ BELOW THAT:

Check out our Convention FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) below. Still have further qustions? E-mail us at sleuths@ndsleuths.com

2019 Nancy Drew Convention FAQ for Toronto, Canada

1. Entry into Canada - Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens.

2. Driving - As with most big North American cities, you should avoid driving in central and downtown Toronto. During morning and afternoon rush hours especially, jams are long and tedious. Public transportation or your own two feet will always get you where you’re going quicker. Finding parking can be difficult and rates are steep. Once we have our Facebook page up and running there will be a post about the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

3. Money - According to the Canadian Currency Act, the Canadian dollar is our only official currency. This technically means that American money is not accepted in Canada. It is strongly recommended that you use your ATM bank card to withdraw money in Canadian dollars or exchange your money at an exchange store. Visa and Master Cards are widely accepted. Confirm with your bank to find out which banks in Canada allow you to use your cards for the cheapest fees. Major hotels and retailers may accept payments in American money, but smaller businesses usually do not want the hassle that comes with exchanging US dollars into Canadian dollars. Also, businesses that accept American money set their own exchange rates which will likely be unfavorable. Once we have our Facebook page up and running there will be a post about our bills and coins.

4. Medical Insurance - Canada does not pay for hospital or medical services for visitors so travel and health insurance is a must. An overnight stay in a hospital can cost $3,000. Hospitals and walk-in clinics will want the name of your insurer and policy number, so be sure to keep them handy.

5. Cell phone service - If you visit Canada from the U.S. or any other country, you will have to consider what to do as far as using your cell phone goes while you're away. Canada has no caps on roaming fees so take care.  If you are bringing your cell phone to Canada, the best advice is to call your local cell phone service provider before you arrive and decide on a plan that is reasonable.  Explain the duration of your trip and a representative will set you up with the most appropriate texting and calling plan.

6. Rest Up - You can see from the itinerary we are going to be doing lots of things and having lots of fun. Our days will begin early and finish late. Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Please note, Casa Loma has one small heritage elevator that is staff run and only used for visitors who cannot climb stairs. The basement, second and third floor are accessible by the elevator. The 800 foot tunnel that leads to the stables and the secret passage ways have stairs. The towers have spiral staircases. The CN tower elevator has a partial glass floor and windows so if you have a huge problem with heights this activity may not be for you. Most people can avoid seeing the ground disappear beneath them by turning towards the back of the elevator. Our walking tour on Saturday which ends up at the CN tower for lunch has the potential to last about 2 hours, depending on how many locations we are up for and if we want to stop at the farmers market for maple syrup. The pace will be leisurely but we’ll cover about 2 miles.

1. HOW DO I REGISTER TO ATTEND THE NANCY DREW CONVENTION?

A: Visit our website convention page - print out the registration forms and fill them out and mail them in with your registration fee or e-mail us at sleuths@ndsleuths.com to set up a time to call and pay via credit card.

2. DO I HAVE TO BE A NANCY DREW SLEUTHS MEMBER TO ATTEND?

A: No, anyone can attend. If you'd like to join, please check out our information on how to become a member.

3. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ATTEND THE CONVENTION?

A: In addition to the registration fee which is found at our website convention page, your transportation, hotel, and meals not covered by the registration fee will vary depending on how you travel and what you order, plus the souvenirs you might purchase and other things you choose to do during free day or down time. The cost of the hotel is listed at our website convention page.

4. WHAT AGE ARE MOST OF THOSE WHO ATTEND? DO KIDS ATTEND?

A: Most who attend are in their 20s to 50s+ We generally do have several kids attend each year, usually age 8 to 12 or older. We are a very family friendly group - "safe and sane" just like Nancy Drew! We do ask however, that if you have babies or very young children that they be very well behaved, especially on our main convention days (when our conventions have these) when we are hosting our speakers and videotaping the proceedings.

5. HOW MANY PEOPLE USUALLY ATTEND?

A: It varies, depending on location and time of year, but we typically have 50 to 75+ in attendance of those who register. Sometimes we also have locals join us when we hold convention days or library events with speakers/activities, and that adds to the count.

6. I'VE NEVER BEEN BEFORE--WHAT CAN I EXPECT IT TO BE LIKE?

A: We are a very friendly group--and we try to make everyone, especially newbies, feel comfortable. And really, we've always received feedback from newbies that they just felt right at home and welcomed. This is because everyone has a common passion--Nancy Drew and collecting--so that makes everything easy and fun. At our Meet & Greet we strive to get people to know each other through introductions and get-to-know you activities. In addition to making newbies feel at home and seeing old friends who regularly attend, our mantra at these conventions is to walk in Nancy Drew's footsteps. So you'll find yourself doing things that Nancy Drew did in the theme books depending on location and logistics - so we might visit local sights she did and other sights of interest, you sometimes will have opportunities to book hunt, there are sometimes convention days with fan oriented to scholarly presentations all about Nancy Drew, merchandise to shop for, and mysteries to solve--plus a fun optional Nancy Drew gift exchange to wrap everything up! We really try to bring the theme book alive for fans, so it's a very rewarding and memorable experience. And you'll find yourself treated to a Nancy Drew goody bag with lots of fun items which usually include Nancy Drew books and computer games.

7. DO I HAVE TO READ THE THEME BOOKS TO ATTEND?

A: No you do not, but it will enhance your experience greatly and if we have any trivia based challenges or do book discussions, this will come in handy! If you do not currently own the theme book(s), you can find them handily at eBay or even Etsy. You can purchase new books at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble online.

8. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE NANCY DREW GIFT EXCHANGE?

A: The gift exchange takes place usually at our convention mystery dinner on Saturday evenings, but some years we do it on a different night. It is an optional gift exchange, so you do not have to participate. It's run like a Secret Santa-type exchange--everyone will bring a gift and receive a gift. Numbers are drawn and then people pick in order from 1+. We do not steal from each other, so the gift you pick is yours to keep.

The criteria for the gifts falls into 2 categories--store bought and homemade. We have 2 separate tables in the exchange for these--so if you make a gift you pick from the homemade table. If you purchased a gift then you pick from the store bought table. We do both tables because some members are not crafty and do not want the pressure of having to craft a gift so it makes the exchange easier on everyone.

It's "The thought that counts" and we suggest spending no more than around $20 on the gift as a general rule. The main rule though is that the gift has to be ALL ABOUT NANCY DREW--if store bought it needs to be Nancy Drew books and/or Nancy Drew merchandise. If handmade, it needs to be full of Nancy Drew imagery and/or be UNIQUE or specific to Nancy Drew. For instance, a magnifying glass is not unique to Nancy Drew, though it is one of her favorite sleuthing tools, but a magnifying glass paired with a Nancy Drew item is fine. But the gift must be unique or specific to Nancy Drew. So, for instance, a generic clock wouldn't be unique or specific, but if someone wanted to recreate the Crowley Clock from The Secret of the Old Clock, as it looks on the cover, that would be unique/specific to Nancy Drew and would fit the exchange. Whatever you do, it must fit that pattern of imagery/uniqueness.

Past gifts from exchanges can be seen at our Nancy Drew Sleuths Blog. Also if you'd like some Dos & Don'ts for the Handcrafted gifts, check out Sleuth Lea's Gift Exchange Hints. And here's a Pinterest board of Nancy Drew handcrafted gift ideas to inspire you.

9. WHAT IS SLEUTH SURVIVOR? THE AMAZING CASE?

A: We do not do these events at every convention, but do so from time to time depending on our theme and the location. "Sleuth Survivor" is similar to the show "Survivor," in that we break into teams and compete in challenges similar to the show. Each team (Nancy/Bess/George...) has their own "buff" which is a bandana in the team's color with the challenge logo. Each team breaks down into sub groups who each perform 1 of 3 tasks in the challenge. The first group typically puts together a puzzle, the 2nd team typically deciphers it and the 3rd team typically does/finds something the puzzle tells them to do and then races to the finish line. The winning team receives a grand prize. Everyone else gets a consolation prize. "Amazing Case" is similar to the show "Amazing Race" in that we break into teams who race around going from clue to clue. The first clue is typically discovered by the team putting together some kind of puzzle or deciphering something to start them on their case. Once the final clue is found, it will lead them to race to the finish line or final destination. Winning teams get grand prizes, everyone else gets a consolation prize. These challenges for both Sleuth Survivor and Amazing Case involve some mental portions and physical portions. If you are unable to race around very easily, you would be best utilized in the puzzle/deciphering portions. These challenges are also optional for anyone not able to participate.

10. WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE FOR CONVENTION DAYS AND MYSTERY DINNERS?

A: For convention day at our hotel during the day on Saturdays, I suggest dressy casual. Most of our speakers will dress up for making presentations. At the dinner, it is always dressier that evening. No shorts, jeans, and really casual dress--unless it somehow fits in with the theme or a costume. Otherwise, typical dress for women would be dresses, skirts, nice dressy pantsuits and for men: nice slacks and dress shirts on up to suits and the like. Typically our Saturday mystery dinner involves a theme and most people wear costumes - costumes are optional however and you may just dress up if you like. During the week, unless otherwise noted in the itinerary, other days are just casual. On days when we're doing a lot of touring, comfortable walking shoes are a must!

11. WHAT IS THE CHARITY RAFFLE? HOW ARE THE PROCEEDS DONATED?

A: At some conventions, where we have a convention day, we might host a charity raffle to benefit a local library for the children's section. Books are close to our hearts and so is getting kids interested in reading, so naturally, benefitting the local library is a great help in achieving that goal. We raffle off a variety of Nancy Drew books and merchandise each year and we set it up so that you can put your tickets in individual bags by each of the items. This way, you can select to put your tickets in the bags of the items you most want to win. Then we draw for the prizes throughout the day. Half the proceeds from the raffle ticket sales go to the library, the other half helps cover convention costs and purchases made for the raffle as not all items are donated. At the end of each convention as we wrap up business back home, we cut a check to the library. We have raised over $1500 for libraries at the last few conventions!

In recent years we have started donating full sets of Nancy Drew books (brand new) to the libraries, and this is what we will likely do more of in the future.


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