Nicky takes on Canada

From the 25-28th May 2019, Nicky flew over to Vancouver for the annual CALAS-ASCAL meeting. This was the first time a Datesand representative visited this particular exhibition and what a fantastic adventure it was! Read on to learn all about her exciting journey…


After a long, busy 9.5-hour flight, I landed in Vancouver mid-afternoon and headed to the hotel.  After checking in and getting my delegate badge, I made the effort and went for a t(run)dle along the river. It turns out that the conference is actually in Richmond which is about 30 minutes on the train from Vancouver itself.

Saturday morning started early… the jetlag kicked in and I was wide awake at 3am! The conference only had pre-booked workshops on Saturday, so I took the opportunity to head into a very wet Vancouver and be a tourist. The harbour is pretty impressive and seeing the seaplanes take off was a sight to behold. 

The weather was very “Manc” and it didn’t stop raining all day! The Gala dinner was on Saturday evening and had a pirate theme. I had made the effort to borrow a pirate’s outfit which I duly put on, had a disco nap, and woke up at 1am after it had all finished! Oops…

Sunday was the first proper day of the meeting and the weather certainly made a turn for the better! We had workshops in the morning and my Talking Poster Presentation session from 12.30pm. The turnout was great for the Talking Poster session with around 80-100 delegates staying for the whole 6 presentations. The subject matter was wide-ranging with each poster author being given 15 minutes to present their poster subject. The presentations were as follows:

1. Identification of cat pain using the revised Glasgow Feline Composite Measure Pain Scale: does training help?

2. Zebrafish Breeding Colony Solutions for Space-Limited Facilities

3. The Janet Wood Innovation Award – A Global Initiative to Invent and Introduce Novel Enrichment

4. Paced mating: a refinement opportunity for breeding rats

5. Fostering positive collaborative relationships between veterinary and research personnel when setting Humane Intervention Points

6. Comparative Approach to Monitoring Rodent Colonies for Infectious Agents


Sunday evening saw the opening of trade with food and drinks and a great turnout of people at the stand. Ryan Doyle, who we are working with, knows everyone! There was really good interest in our products and lots of samples were given out. A quick drink at the bar with Colleen from The Andersons and a sensible early night was had.

Monday evening was the Charles River event (which everyone is invited to), held at the Richmond Olympic museum where we got to try the bobsleigh, chair skiing and watch real Canadians practice ice hockey! 


Tuesday was the final day of the show and my last day in Canada. It was a fantastic show with some excellent networking opportunity and an opportunity for Datesand to showcase to a whole new market!


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