FAQ

Who can attend?

All members of Mensa Canada, other national Mensa members and their guests.

What facilities does the hotel offer?
The hotel has an on-site Fitness Centre, a heated indoor pool, complimentary Wi-Fi and a complimentary hotel shuttle service to and from YVR Airport. The hotel also has a limited number of accessible rooms for handicapped guests.

Are there provisions for special diets?
All effort will be made to provide a wide variety of foods and drinks to participants, both in the Hospitality Suite and at the formal meals.

In particular, vegetarian alternatives will normally be available. However, due to various limitations, we are unable to make special allowances for religious and other food restrictions. We cannot guarantee that all possible allergens have been eliminated from the meals provided.

What is the weather going to be like?
The weather in Vancouver is generally very pleasant at the beginning of August. The average high temperature for the day at that time of the year is 22C  (72F). Temperatures may rise above 30C (86F), but this is rare. Although Vancouver has the reputation of being a rainy city, there is relatively little rain in Vancouver in the summer, and the chance of rain on any given day is only about 20%.

What time zone is Vancouver in?
Vancouver is in the Pacific Time Zone, the same as the states of California, Oregon and Washington in the US. In summer, Vancouver follows Daylight Savings Time. When it is 6 PM in Vancouver, it is 8 PM in Chicago, 9 PM in Toronto and New York, and 2 AM the following day in London, England.

What is the currency in Canada?
The currency in Canada is the Canadian dollar.

The following banknotes are in common use: $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. Banknotes are all of a different colour.

Coins in use are: 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), $1 (loonie), $2 (toonie). The 1 cent coin (penny) is no longer in circulations, and prices in stores (if payment is in cash) are rounded up or down to the nearest 5 cents.

What are the electrical standards?
Electrical standards are pretty much the same all over North America, so don’t worry about being able to plug in your hair dryers, shavers and all electronic equipment.

What about the cost of medical care in case of accidental injury or other emergencies?
British Columbia residents are covered by the BC Medical Services Plan for most (although not all) costs of medical care. Visitors from other provinces and from other countries should have reasonable levels of medical insurance, as hospital care, specialist services and ambulances for non-residents can be extremely expensive.

What are the main rules for driving in British Columbia?
Note that Canada is fully metric.

Unless otherwise posted, speed limit in BC are 50km/h (32 mph) in built-up areas, 80 km/h (50 mph) on rural highways, 100 km/h (64 mph) on grade-separated highways and 110 km/h (69 mph) on expressways. There are special provisions near schools and playgrounds.

Turning right on a red light is normally permitted, after coming to a full stop first.

Daytime running lights are compulsory.

Seatbelts must be worn by drivers and passengers alike.

If your Blood Alcolhol Content exceeds 0.05 mg/100 mo of blood, you may receive an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) as well as a substantial fine.

What is the price of gas in the Vancouver area?
The price of gasoline is considerably higher (by as much as 40-50%) in the Vancouver area than in neighbouring Washington State, therefore we highly recommend that you fill up before crossing the border.

If you do buy gasoline in Canada, note that it is sold by the litre. A litre is just over a quarter (0.26) of a US gallon.

What is the language situation?
The official languages of Canada are English and French. Vancouver is a city with a very large immigrant population, and immigrant languages are widely heard. Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese, in particular) and Punjabi are the most widely spoken immigrant languages. The City of Richmond, where the RG takes place, has a very large Chinese presence.

How much are sales taxes in British Columbia?
Most goods in British Columbia are subject to a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) of 7% and a federally imposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5%

What is the drinking age?
The minimum drinking (and smoking) age in British Columbia is 19.

Where can you smoke?
Smoking is not permitted in public spaces anywhere in British Columbia

What are the laws relating to drugs?
The possession, sale or production of so-called recreational drugs, including marijuana, is illegal in Canada. Medicinal use of marijuana may be legal for authorized persons. If this applies to you, please inform yourself as to how such authorization can be obtained and proven.

How much tipping is expected?
Tipping is expected in Vancouver restaurants and bars, which means that service personnel count on tips in order to make a living wage. 15% – 20% seems to be the norm.