Great Northern Railway Historical Society

2020 Nelson Convention is POSTPONED

Click Herefor full convention details (PDF file).

The 2020 Nelson convention has been POSTPONED to 2022 due to the ongoing pandemic. Our 2021 convention will be held in Willmar, MN. The following information is presented for reference only.

The Nelson convention will focus on the history of the Great Northern in the beautiful and historic West Kootenays with tours and presentations. The banquet, raffle and the Model Display are also part of the great line-up we will have this year.

This is the first GNRHS convention in Canada, the first joint convention for GNRHS, and the first ever CPHA (Canadian Pacific Historical Association) convention. This is also the 50th anniversary year of “MERGER DAY”, when Great Northern ceased to exist. Nelson was the northern-most community, west of the Rocky Mountains, served by the GN at that time.

There is considerable mining, rail, and sternwheeler history of interest to GNRHS. • Nelson is the biggest city in the area with a diverse population of over 10,000 people. The legacy of the past, evident in the more than 350 preserved heritage buildings, mixes with a dynamic arts and culture scene. There are many restaurants and arts / crafts / specialty / book stores in the downtown area; as well as a thriving craft beer industry. The West Kootenays have many historic small towns, and we will be visiting many of them during our bus tours.

This convention has been several years in the making. We feel we have created an excellent and varied program for our attendees.

Getting to Nelson:

Nelson is 663 kms (412 miles) from Vancouver, 624 kms (387 miles) from Calgary, and 237 kms (148 miles) from Spokane WA.

Please see the preliminary Convention Timecardfor the times of the tours and presentations (subject to change).

Please Click Herefor a printable registration form.

Border Crossing Information:

Be aware - If you’ve been convicted of anything, including “DUI – Driving under the Influence”, you will not be allowed across the border.

Convention Hotel Reservations

Main Hotel: Prestige Lakeside Resort & Convention Centre

Alternate Hotel: Prestige Inn


You'll find a convention registration form included in the March issue of the Goat or Click Herefor a printable registration form. We'll also make online registration available soon. Early bird registration will close AUGUST 16, 2020. Late registration and registration at the convention will be available, subject to a $25 surcharge.

We are really looking forward to seeing you at the convention, to see one of our favourite regions of BC. If you have any questions, we can be reached by email at:

Tom – or Francina –

Tom and Francina Carr, National Convention Officer and Convention Registrar

Posted on February 2, 2020

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