(or other event)
These are guidelines (not instructions): hopefully they are useful! Some of the steps are not needed if your event is a repeat of a previous year’s event.
1) Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the Row Touring Manual for Canada. You can find it on the OAR web-site in the Organizers tab.
2) Contact the OAR President and the Tour Facilitator to discuss your idea, if it is a new one, and set a date. Each year’s schedule is worked out at a planning meeting held in February.
3) Reconnoitre the proposed route, including landing places, and make sure the proposed plan is feasible. Some routes may be good at one time of the year, but not at another.
4) Contact the OAR Champion in each OAR member club, and decide from their responses whether the interest level is high enough to encourage you to go ahead. In particular, there should be a lot of enthusiasm within your own club. The list of current Champions is in the Organizers tab.
5) Decide how many people you need on the organizing committee, and make sure you can form a committee. Two active people, plus one back-up, is the minimum recommended.
Once the decision to go ahead is made:
6) Advertise the event in the OAR newsletter and on the OAR web-site (e-mail Homam at firstname.lastname@example.org), through the club champions, and in every other way you can think of. This is just to get people to save the date.
7) Apply for sanction. You do that on https://membership.rowingcanada.org (not https://rowing canada.org!). Hit ‘My Account’ and log in (you must have an RCA number, and if you don’t have a password already you will have to register first), then hit + Propose an Event and choose Tour. It’s straightforward after that. Just leave the section about Regatta Central empty, unless you plan to use Regatta Central instead of Eventbrite or your own system. Using Regatta Central is not recommended, for 2019. For OAR tours, RCA passes the responsibility for sanctioning to Rowing Ontario, and they usually reply within a few days. Leave yourself plenty of time anyway.
8) Engage any outside bodies you will need (maybe the local Parks and Recreation department, maybe a hotel or restaurant).
9) Find sponsors, if you want.
10) Develop a budget. On the ‘OAR Fees’ list, you will see the charge for a club organizing a tour to rent the OAR equipment. Other expenses will probably include:
– fuel to transport the OAR equipment
– lock fees and similar
There are currently (2019) no ‘seat fees’ payable to RCA or Rowing Ontario for tours. When the entry fee is published, be sure it is clear what is included and what is not. Accommodation, by the way, is usually not included: it is usually up to the participants to arrange and pay for.
11) Develop an application process. Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.ca) is recommended. Eventbrite is an Canadian firm which has a website which advertises events for free. This application is very simple to set up. It allows you to collect registration fees for events. Eventbrite charges a small processing fee on top of the event fee. This application is fairly simple to set up as long as the event is fairly simple, e.g. registrations by individuals only. Eventbrite also has advanced set-ups; here fees of $25 to $35 are charged in addition to the processing fee. This set-up would need to be explored for situations where there are multiple entry types, e.g., singles, doubles, and coxed quads.
12) Make sure you can find and arrange enough boats for the expected number of participants. Contact the director responsible for equipment (currently Arnold VanderMeer) regarding OAR equipment and its transport to the site.
13) Develop the Safety Plan. See the separate section about Safety Plans.
Items 6 through 13 can be done concurrently, but don’t go any further until sanction has been granted.
14) Invite applications, using the OAR website and OAR newsletter, through the OAR Champions in each club and by every other means you can think of.
15) The organizers should cover themselves against legal liability in case of something going wrong, even though RCA provides insurance. The form ‘Waiver of Liability’, to be found under the Organizers tab, is recommended. Enter the specific details on the form (things in red) before sending it. The basic Eventbrite system does not include provision for inclusion of such a form (though the advanced set-ups may), so the form should be sent to each participant by e-mail, requesting that they print, sign, scan, save as .pdf, and return it. Participants should be sent the form as soon as they register for the tour, but the organizers should have a few paper copies on hand at the beginning of the tour in case somebody has failed to return their form previously.
16) As soon as the list of participants is complete, inform the Registrar, currently Elaine Bursztyn, by e-mail to email@example.com. The Registrar checks that all participants are registered for the current year with RCA and Rowing Ontario. If a participant is not registered, the liability insurance provided to OAR is not valid. The registration must be done by the participant’s rowing club, if they are a member of a club. ‘Independent’ members of OAR must be registered through OAR, by the Treasurer, currently Donna Speigel.
The information required is:
(1) Name of participant, exactly as used on the RCA WRS (WebRegistrationSystem),
(2) Club Affiliation, if any,
(3) RCA number, *
(4) E-mail address.
* If the RCA # is not known, date of birth must be sent, to allow the Registrar to find the person on the WRS.
Anyone coming for a second tour will already be registered. However, the organizer may not know whether a person has gone on a tour before, so it is best for the full list to be sent for every tour.
17) Inform the local press, if you wish. If you have a sponsor, work on publicity with them.
18) By now, you should have a pretty good list of everything that has to be done. Make sure the list is written (not just in your head), each item on the list includes the date by which it must be done, and the name of the person responsible – and make sure that person knows about it!
After the event:
19) Thank the sponsors and everybody who helped with organizing the event profusely. Sponsors usually like to receive a letter. Don’t forget those who provided services such as food and transport.
20) Complete an Expense Account (to present to the organizing club). Make sure all the bills have been paid.
21) Within a day or two of the end of the tour, ask participants what they thought about the tour, preferably using the OAR Tour Survey Form to be found under the Organizers tab. Request that they attach any photos they took which are suitable for OAR publicity when they return the survey. Request also that they return it both to the sender and to the OAR Tour Facilitator (Cynthia Warn, at firstname.lastname@example.org). If the participants have indicated they would like to have each others’ e-mail addresses, send just one e-mail to everybody.
22) Write a report about the event, not forgetting notes about things which should be improved the next year.
23) Inform the director responsible for equipment about anything that needs to be repaired before the next tour.
24)Send a report to the OAR Newsletter and your local press.
25) Put your feet up and have a beer.