A Message from the President of the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada

Kedves Kollégáink/Dear Colleagues:

If this were a normal year, the Executive and I would be busy making last minute preparations for our annual conference, which this year was going to be at the University of Western Ontario in London.

I don’t have to remind any of you that this has been far from a normal year. The COVID-19 crisis that forced the closure of universities around the world in the middle of March also not surprisingly led to the cancelation of Congress, and our conference. Though there was talk in early April about holding a virtual gathering, those plans were soon abandoned as everyone involved, from Congress leadership to association organizers, recognized how difficult it would be to shift our conferences to an online format in such a short period of time, especially as so many of us were dealing with the added pressures of online teaching, end-of-semester marking, and working from home.

Though we immediately contacted those who were coming to London to present a paper, we have been regrettably too slow in communicating directly with the rest of our membership, and for this I am very sorry.

On Friday, May 22, the HSAC Executive met by Zoom, and though there will be more news and information coming out soon in our newsletter, we would like to reach out to you right now with two important announcements.

First, we will be holding our first ever “virtual” AGM on Friday, June 12 starting at 12:00 pm EST (9:00am for our members on the Pacific coast, 6:00pm for our members in Hungary, and so on). This is by no means ideal, but we hope you can join us. As President, I am especially happy to announce that we will be honouring Éva Tömöry as this year’s recipient of the Nandor Dreisziger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Hungarian Studies in Canada. Éva is a long-standing member of our organization, and this is a well-deserved honour.

To join the meeting, please follow this link: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/j/93638900245.

All are welcome to join us at the AGM, but only members in good standing will be permitted to vote at the meeting itself.

Second, we would like to encourage members to renew their memberships if they have not done so already. Please note that, because of the disruption caused by COVID-19, membership fees paid for 2020 will also apply to 2021. So, if you have paid already, congratulations, you just got two years for the price of one! Those who pay now will also have their memberships paid up to December 31, 2021.

You can make your payment choosing from these options:
1. by PayPal
2. by a personal cheque or money order
3. by e-Transfer from your bank account to the Treasurer, Ilona Sandor, at isandor2003@yahoo.com

Please note: You can find more information on payment details (including our mailing address) on our website: hungarianstudies.org/blog/membership/ or you can send an email to the treasurer, Ilona Sandor at isandor2003@yahoo.com.

Our decision to extend 2020 memberships until the end of 2021 is in recognition of the uncertainty, hardship, and negative financial impact that the pandemic has had on so many. At the same time, HSAC’s basic operational expenses continue, especially as we seek to offer meaningful programs and resources to HSAC members even if we cannot meet in person this year. If you are able, we invite you to consider making a tax deductible donation to HSAC through our partner, the Canada Hungary Educational Foundation. You can do so through Canada Helps and you will be automatically issued a tax receipt. Please visit this page and select the second item from the drop-down menu, which references HSAC conferences: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/canada-hungary-educational-foundation-fondation-educative-canada-hongrie/

Once again, we apologize for not communicating any of this sooner, and for being slow to update our website and get Association news to our membership. We have, however, been working diligently over the past year on some new – and we think exciting – initiatives, and look forward to sharing these with you at the AGM, and over the coming weeks.

On behalf of the entire HSAC Executive, I would like to wish you continued good health, and look forward to seeing you at the AGM on June 12.

All the best,

Steven Jobbitt
President, Hungarian Studies Association of Canada