Frequently asked questions

General information

The summit is being held from May 29-31, 2019.  The opening plenary will be on May 29, 2019. Some side events may occur before or after the Summit.

The main events and workshops will be held in downtown Ottawa, Canada, at the Shaw Centre located at 55 Colonel By Drive, K1N 9J2. Some side events will be held at other locations in the Ottawa area. Please visit the side events page for further information.

Information on how to get to Ottawa or the venue can be found in the Travel to Ottawa section.

Yes. Please refer to the Accommodation section for a list of hotels and discounted room rates.

Transportation for attendees is not being arranged. Ottawa is an easy city to get around by foot and by public transit. Please refer to the Travel to Ottawa section for more information.

Yes, a reception will be held for all participants after the Opening Ceremony on May 29 and Closing Ceremony on May 31. Coffee, lunch, and refreshments will be provided on May 30 and 31. Please consult the individual event agendas for more information.

Attendee badges will be available to be picked up at the Registration Desks in the Shaw Centre from Monday May 27 to Friday May 31. The exact location of these desks will be updated at a later time. Make sure you have valid photo identification (e.g. passport for international attendees, driver’s license for Canadians) in order to receive your badge.

If you have a general inquiry please contact: If you have a questions regarding the agenda or session management please contact:

Yes! We will be live-streaming many parts of the Summit to support digital participation and inclusion. More details will be made available closer to the event date.

Yes. This information will be made available on the facilities map as well as within the conference app. You can also visit the registration table on-site for more details.

Yes. This information will be made available on the facilities map as well as within the conference app. You can also visit the registration table on-site for more details.

The Summit organizers are environmentally conscious and therefore all documentation/information will be available electronically. However, if you require documents in formats other than electronic, or if you have specific accessibility needs, please let us know so we can make arrangements in advance. Please also identify any assistance you may require in the event of an emergency evacuation. Contact us at

Lucy McTernan, from the University of York (UK) and Civil Society Member of the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee, will be observing proceedings to collect data for a PhD project. The project is examining the ways that Global Civil Society and Inter-Governmental Organisations relate, including in the context of Summit events. Summit participants may be approached for an interview by Lucy. Participation is voluntary. This research is being conducted independently and is not mandated by the Government of Canada.

For further information contact Lucy via email at


Yes, most side events will require their own registration process. For safety and security reasons, accreditation for the core Summit is a pre-requisite for side events at the Shaw Centre. Accreditation is secured through your confirmation of Summit registration. Please note that not all side events take place at the Shaw Centre – please see the side events page for more information. Please contact if you have questions regarding the process

Only OGP Government Points of Contact (POC) will be invited to participate in POC Day. OGP POCs will be contacted directly about the agenda and pertinent logistical information. Only representatives of civil society organizations are encouraged to attend Civil Society Day as capacity may be limited. If capacity is met, criteria will be made available to prioritize attendance.

Yes, non-OGP countries are allowed to register to attend the Summit.

Participation in the summit is free of charge.

The Summit is a global event and it looks like lots of people are keen to take part!  You need to register so that we can manage the number of participants and create a safe, productive environment. You also need to be accredited to attend the Summit. Accreditation is an internationally-recognized process to identify and register participants, and control access for an event. It is also a key component of the overall security that will be in place for the Summit. We want to provide peace of mind to all participants, delegates, official guests, media and suppliers of the Summit. You can email your questions about measures to ensure public safety and security at the Summit to

You will see on the Summit registration page that we are asking for 4 main items: basic personal information; addresses for the past 3 years; passport information (for international attendees) or a government-issued ID for Canadian citizens; and a photo. This information is required for Canadian police and security agencies to conduct security background checks. These checks are necessary to complete the accreditation process and issue a Personal Identity Accreditation Card with your picture on it that will allow access to the Summit. We know that we’re asking for quite a bit of information. But we need to manage security risks and this information will help us to do so. You can find information on our How we will manage and store your information page.

The Government of Canada is committed to creating an environment that ensures the safety and security of all participants.  We’re expecting a number of wonderful open government leaders and dignitaries to attend the Summit. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have been enlisted to conduct Summit security. Accredited people will have access to the venue and the opportunity to interact with all other Summit participants.

Your data will be managed or shared with the following organizations:

  • Your data is being collected by Global Affairs Canada, the department in the Government of Canada that is managing logistics for the Summit, to facilitate registration;
  • Your data will be shared with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and may be shared with Government of Canada security agencies, the organizations responsible for the security at the Summit, to conduct security background checks required to complete the accreditation process;
  • Your data may be shared with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, the department in the Government of Canada that is managing the content for the Summit, to manage the registration process, communicate with you about the Summit, and for statistical purposes; and;
  • Your data will also be shared with the Open Government Partnership, the organization that hosts the Summit every year, to help manage participation in the Summit.

Your security is important to us. If you are accredited to attend the Summit, you will have a badge to access the venue. Your badge will have your photo on it. When you pick up your badge, accreditation officers will compare the photo on your badge to your government issued ID. The photo you submit for registration will not be filtered through facial recognition software. It will be handled by the Summit Office and will not be shared with another government institution.

No. Data collected by the Government of Canada is handled in accordance with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. There are provisions in the Acts that provide for a right to request information and that protect personal information. The Privacy Act imposes strict rules that limit the release of personal information to authorized parties.

After the event, Global Affairs Canada will retain your information for a period of 2 years after which it will be destroyed.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police must keep information relating to a denied accreditation for up to 5 years. All other information will be purged 2 weeks after the completion of the accreditation security verification process.

No, we will not be closing registration, but there are limited places left due to the high volume of interest. The OGP will work with local and individual member nations and Multi-Stakeholder Forum representatives to identify participants based on inclusion and diversity.

Yes. We are thrilled with the high volume of interest expressed in the Summit. As a result, we are engaging in a triaged approach to ensure global participation across the OGP community. The OGP will work with local and individual member nations and Multi-Stakeholder Forum representatives to identify participants based on inclusion and diversity.

If your registration is approved, you will receive a confirmation email (with a visa letter, if requested).

If we are unable to accommodate you due to the high volume of registrations and interest in the Summit, you will be notified. We will also inform you of virtual ways to participate in the Summit. If you feel you have received this email in error, please reach out to your local OGP representative or contact us at

Summit program information

Following the call for proposals, the Summit program will be released in spring 2019.

The deadline for the call for proposals for participation in the summit as a session organizer or speaker has now closed.  We are in the process of reviewing proposals through the agenda-building process. If you are planning to host a side event in Ottawa or elsewhere before or during the Summit, please let us know.

If your session is selected, you will be contacted by the summit organizers in early March via email. Please note that we expect the selection process to be very competitive. We will only contact session organizers that have been selected. The selected proposals will be announced publicly on our website by the end of March.

Yes, you will still need to register for the summit.

Yes, digitally including participants in the Summit through live-streaming is a priority.

A considerable number of key sessions between May 29 and 31, 2019 will be live-streamed and made available on as well as the Government of Canada’s and Open Government Partnership’s social media channels. Live-streams will be available in multiple languages.

Please consult the Summit agenda and @OpenGovCan and @OpenGovPart for the livestream schedules.

Translation will be provided in English, French and Spanish, during the opening ceremony, closing ceremony, and select sessions.

A reception will be held for all participants after the Opening Ceremony on May 29 and Closing Ceremony on May 31. Coffee, lunch, and refreshments will be provided on May 30 and 31. Please consult the individual event agendas for more information.

Visa processes and guidelines

Certain summit attendees will need to apply for either a temporary resident visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on your country of citizenship, to travel to Canada. United States citizens traveling on a U.S. passport are exempt. Other exemptions are listed on our website. Find out if you need a visa or an eTA for your trip to the Summit.

Summit attendees can apply for a visa online or on paper through the Visa Application Centre (VAC). Canada does not have a visa office in every country so it is important that you visit the website of the Canadian visa office responsible for processing your visa application. Note that you may have to travel to an alternative location to apply for your visa or to submit biometrics. Review options for applying for a visa to Canada. You can submit your paper visa application and provide your biometric at the same time at any Visa Application Centre. VACs are commercial service providers authorized by Canada to provide specific services to applicants, such as helping applicants fill out forms, serving as a collection point for applicants to provide biometrics, and securely sending applications and passport to the visa office. VACs do not process visa applications and have no decision-making authority. Find a Visa Application Centre.

Processing times for visa applications vary depending on the visa office and the time of the year. Participants are encouraged to apply as soon as their registration is confirmed to ensure they receive the visa in time. Check processing times (updated weekly) for your country to determine how early to apply. Please note that processing times are calculated in calendar days. Processing times do not include the time it takes to send an application between a VAC and the IRCC office, or the time you need to provide your biometrics.

Please consult the application guide and corresponding visa checklist. You must include all required documentation. Failure to include all the necessary information and supporting documentation may result in a refusal. If you are applying for a visa to Canada for the first time, you may be required to provide biometrics (your fingerprints and photograph). You only need to give your biometrics once every 10 years. Review instructions for providing biometrics.

Please indicate that you need an invitation letter when completing your registration application. Visa letters will be issued on a rolling basis after your attendance is confirmed. There will be a delay between registering, receiving confirmation of your attendance, and receiving your invitation letter.

The Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada Special Event Code for this event is 19TBCS. In the visa application, you will be asked to provide information about the person(s) or institution(s) you intend to visit during your stay in Canada. This includes the name of the person(s)/institution(s), relationship you have to the person(s)/institution(s) and their respective address(es). This information will be communicated to you through the visa invitation letter.

The cost of a visa is $100 CAD. If you are a first-time applicant, you may also need to provide biometrics, which cost $85 CAD.

If you are eligible, please apply for an eTA. The cost of an eTA is $7 CAD.

If you need travel support to attend the summit, please indicate “Yes” for “Do you require travel support?” when you complete your registration. There are a limited number of travel scholarships available to support the participation of civil society at the Summit. The last date to request travel support is March 31. For more information, please refer to the criteria for assigning travel support from the OGP Support Unit.

The OGP Support Unit will review applications on a rolling basis. The deadline to request travel support is March 31, 2019. As we usually receive more requests for travel support than can be accommodated, we are unable to respond to every request. Notifications for individuals selected to receive travel support will be sent by April 19, 2019. For any questions regarding travel support, please contact

All visa applications from around the world are assessed equally against the same criteria by the Government of Canada. Visa applications are reviewed against many factors and considered on a case-by-case basis, based on the information presented by the individual applicant. The onus is on the applicant to show that they meet the requirements for a visa.

Some applicants may have their application refused and there can be a number of reasons why that would be the case.  The Government of Canada cannot comment on the admissibility or eligibility of any particular applicant. However, we can say that when an application is refused, it is because the applicant does not meet the requirements set out in Canada’s immigration laws.

For more information, please see this Government of Canada web page: Reasons you may be inadmissible to Canada.

If your visa application has been refused, you may not be admissible to Canada. Make sure you understand the requirements and only reapply if you have addressed the reasons why you were refused. If you are re-applying, please use the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada Special Event Code for this event: 19TBCS.

You may be able to check your visa application status by using Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s online application status tool.

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