ANNOUNCEMENTS AND EVENTS

Scroll down to view posts of AA-related news from the National Capital Region and beyond. Listed from the most recent. If you have an announcement to post, please email info@ottawaaa.org.


Enhanced Search for In-Person Meetings Available on Desktop version of Meeting List

The online meeting list (desktop version) located at https://ottawaaa.org/meetings/ has been updated with the ability to filter meetings by Type.

The 3 available Types are: “INP” – for In-Person Meetings with COVID restrictions or “ONL” – for Online Meetings. Meetings marked “TC” are Temporarily Closed.

The meeting list for mobile devices displays the appropriate code (INP, ONL or TC) on each listing but the search function is not available yet. Stay tuned for an update on this in the coming days.

Please send updates to the meeting list to webmaster@ottawaaa.org.


COVID19 – Intergroup Impacts

The Intergroup Office at 211 Bronson Avenue, Suite 108 will be closed until further notice.

The online meeting list has been updated with a Temporary Closure (TC) code. This code flows to the Meeting Guide available at the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android. Make sure you update your version to 3.2.1. Meetings with the temporary closure tag appear in grey font with strike-through.

The meeting also has clickable links to ZOOM meetings set up by Ottawa Area groups or members. Click the City/Area field, scroll to select “Online” then click “Search”.

Each listing includes a Type code: TC = Temporary Closure, ONL = Online Meeting and INP = In-Person meeting with COVID restrictions. These codes are searchable in the Type Field on the desktop version. Mobile version includes the codes but they are not searchable at this time. Stay tuned for updates. 

Access the meeting list here: meetings-desktop or meetings-phone or tablet.

Other online meetings: aa-intergroup.org or https://www.intherooms.com/

Suggested resources for setting up a temporary online meeting


2020 International Convention Virtual Experience Beginning July 1, 2020

Announcement from the General Service Office

“There is good news as we now have an opportunity to bring together many of the
special components that make International Conventions memorable — by utilizing a
virtual platform. For this purpose, we are planning a 2020 International Convention digital
site. Throughout the month of July, the 2020 International Convention will come alive
online to provide a new experience that includes A.A. speakers; a digital “Carrying the
Message Pavilion”; sharing from nonalcoholic friends of A.A. and special guests linked to
our history; a presentation of the 40 millionth Big Book; a new Archives video on the
history of A.A.; an AA Grapevine video created for the Convention, and more.”
https://aa.org/pages/en_US/international-convention-2020


*New* Contributions to Ottawa Area Home Groups from Individuals

Click here to visit a new page has been added to provide links for directing online contributions to an individual Group!

The first group to set up their own Paypal contribution link is Vanier Happy Nooners.

For digital basket ideas, including how to set up your own contribution link, like the Happy Nooners group did, this document provides tips on how to get started.

If your group has a bank account with online banking capabilities, you can also consider creating a general group email address to receive etransfers with automatic deposit.


Dealing with trolls in Zoom meetings

From “As Bill Sees It”, page 28:

Troublemakers Can Be Teachers
Few of us are any longer afraid of what any newcomer can do to our A.A. reputation or effectiveness. Those who slip, those with mental twists, those who rebel at the program, those who trade on the A.A. reputation — all such persons seldom harm an A.A. group for long.

If anyone is wondering how to handle potential situations where people may join your online meetings with the intent to disrupt them, here is some information to help you prepare. Having a host and a co-host will allow you to deal with these situations as a team.

Below is an excerpt of an excellent post by Austin R that I read in the Technology in AA Forum where he shares his experience acting as co-host in an online AA Zoom meeting:

Another excellent resource graciously shared by Reagan of Intergroup Association of AA New York is a “Zoom protection guide” complete with screen shots. Click here to download it.

Austin’s post:
Having been a co-host here’s a reflection on what I’ve found to be effective for our meetings (Usually between 20-50 attendees) and what it means to be something of a Zoom Bouncer:

As a co-host, whose job it is to secure our meeting from unsafe attendees and disruptions, we have to basically forego the normal “meeting experience” for something quite different. It’s kind of a tense experience at first- particularly during an attack. But having done it a couple times, it gets easier, and actually kind of fun. All in all, it’s a pretty awesome and unique service position.

Some of my reflections as a “troll bouncer” are below. Love and tolerance, yes, but vigilance and action should be our watchwords during the meetings.

  1. Keep an eye on people who join the meeting.
    a) Look for names that are suspicious or obviously offensive. Some examples of typical troll names might be: “Jack Hoff”, “Richard Hertz”, “Phil Myas”
    b) Look for pictures that are suspicious or obviously offensive.
    c) If meetings have “Virtual Background Enabled” (most of ours do), note that users can play offensive porn videos using this option.
  2. Live people, while actually on camera, can show offensive pictures or do offensive things while their video is playing. Watch for this. However, most of the trolls will wait until they’ve been unmuted and have the spotlight video before they do something truly offensive. Some are very clever and will even begin to share as if they’re a newcomer… so, be careful.
  3. Setting the “Mute on entry” and “Disable users to unmute themselves” options are key if/when trolls arrive. It’s important to communicate to the other members what we’re doing and why. This might be somebody’s first experience with disturbing trolls and/or with having a little bit more restrictions placed on the meeting format.
  4. After a meeting starts, disabling the “allow users to rename” option is helpful. What happens usually when a troll is removed, they’ll rejoin and change their name. This will let you re-kick them.
  5. This is also critical. Having tech-savvy co-hosts on a laptop can make all the difference. A laptop is like 10X more effective scrolling/clicking than on a tablet or phone. If trolls are cut off immediately and relentlessly, they tire quickly. If they get just a little bit of air time, they’ll keep coming back.
  6. Unity, qualified authorities, and perseverance is key. If the co-hosts stay on top of it, the trolls will get annoyed/bored and move on from the meeting. This, unfortunately, might transfer the problem to another meeting. However, if AA as a whole builds up their immune system to this kind of behavior, the bad actors will hopefully move on entirely.

7th Tradition (Online)

To make an online Individual or Group Contribution to the Ottawa Area Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous please visit the following pages: desktop version https://interactive.ottawaaa.org/online-7th-tradition-contributions/ or mobile version: https://ottawaaa.org/mobile/online-7th-tradition.html

*Important* Intergroup does not accept contributions that are intended to go to your home group.

Ideas for setting up digital baskets for your Home Group

Here is a short document outlining ideas for using Paypal for online contributions – one time or monthly subscription and/or Square for the ability to accept 7th tradition contributions via debit or credit card at your home group meetings. Click here to open the document.

Intergroup can help by posting your home group contribution link on the website for easy access by your members. If your home group has a bank account with online banking, you can set up a generic email account using your group name and set it up to accept interac etransfers.


Meetings hosted at Correction Facilities/Treatment Centres (CFT) Suspended

With COVID-19 virus concerns, effective immediately, we will be suspending all meetings being held in the facilities that we frequent. This includes the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, the Ottawa Withdrawal Management Centre (detox) and Maison Billy Buffett.

As it stands, the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre and all Provincial jails have stopped accepting visitors until further notice.

As for the Ottawa Withdrawal Management Centre (detox) and Maison Billy Buffett. , it is our responsibility as AA members and good responsible corporate citizens to think of their clients. Hopefully, we will resume normal operations by April 6-2020.


Suggested resources for setting up a temporary online meeting updated

The information below (as sourced from the Washington Area Intergroup Association) is provided as a starting place to set up an online meeting for your group by using a free or a very low cost conferencing service.

To begin, it is suggested that the group conscience designate a service position to start the account, organize the distribution of the information (dial in number and code), and then host the online meeting.

It may help if the person attends one of the many existing online groups that can be found at the Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous: https://www.aa-intergroup.org/directory.php  to get a feel for how phone meetings are run. They also have this resource with pamphlets and information: https://www.aa-intergroup.org/downloads/index.php

Here are several free and low cost technologies: 

  1. FreeConferenceCall.com
    One of the more popular sites, FreeConferenceCall.com, is easy to use and is (as the name implies) free for a basic account.Sign up is instant and requires just an e-mail and password. You will be provided with a phone number and Access Code for immediate conferencing. Just give this number and code out to your members, they call and get connected. You will also get an Online Meeting ID for hosting meetings from their web site. It is available 24 hours a day without any reservations. Each audio conference can accommodate 1,000 callers on an unlimited number of free conference calls.

    You may access a general FAQ for the site here: https://www.freeconferencecall.com/support

    Instructions for Hosting a Call are here: https://www.freeconferencecall.com/host-instructions

    Instructions for Participants are here: https://www.freeconferencecall.com/participant-instructions

  2. FaceTime (iPhone)
  3. Google Hangouts (available as a Chrome app)
  4. Google Duo (Chrome, Android or Iphone app)
    Please be aware that based on shared experience – by default – Google and Apple services may display the full name of users based on the person’s profile in Google/Apple. Proceed on those platforms only after exploring whether it is appropriate for your group.
  1. Zoom.com (Free services include the following, but a low cost monthly subscription will remove most of these restrictions:) 
    Host up to 100 participants
    Unlimited 1-to-1 meetings
    40 mins limit on group meetings
    Unlimited number of meetings

Ottawa Area Intergroup does not endorse any of the above services and there may be others that also serve your Group’s purposes. It would be incredible service for individuals who have the time to assist other groups whose membership may not include tech savvy people who can get this going.

Please share your experiences setting up and running meetings in a short statement with webmaster@ottawaaa.org and we can post them here.


2019-2020 Group Liability Insurance Program for Ottawa area AA Groups

Ottawa Area Intergroup has negotiated the renewal of this valuable program for our groups. If you had to purchase a similar policy for your group on an individual basis, the minimum premium would be $540.

Please note, that the $100 premium for $2,000,000 Liability is an annual minimum premium and cannot be pro-rated. The Master Policy runs from November to November, and certificates are issued for that term.

Insurance premiums are GST exempt, but PST is still charged. When writing your cheque, please make it out for $108, including the 8% PST, or $54 if you are taking a short-term policy.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND THE APPLICATION TO THE INTERGROUP OFFICE! The address is to be found on the attached form. Click here to download it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Harry B at vicechair@ottawaaa.org


Training Video for new TAS Remote Forwarding now available

Attention TAS Volunteers,

If you are already trained on the current remote forwarding system, updated instructions and a training video are now available in the Service Login area of the website.

Here is a direct link to the page: https://interactive.ottawaaa.org/support/ (use the existing volunteer password – it has not changed).

Please check out the instructions as soon as possible so you’re ready to answer calls from home when we change the system mid-June. Until then, keep using the current instructions also available for download on the support page.

If you have any questions, send an email to webmaster@ottawaaa.org. the exact date for the change will be communicated shortly.

Note to Intergroup Reps for regular shift commitments: Please pass this along to people in your group who are already trained on remote forwarding and ask them to please email webmaster@ottawaaa.org to be added to the internal TAS distribution list.

If you are trained and see an opening on the calendar please feel free to take the shift. Please email tas@ottawaaa.org to let our coordinator know and so they can add you to the calender.

You can view the calendar at https://interactive.ottawaaa.org/tas/ 

Thank you for your service!


Looking for French Meetings in Ottawa?

District 90-05 (Ottawa-Hull-Aylmer) holds seven weekly French meetings in the Ottawa Region:

Dimanche – 10 :00 AM – Groupe Fraternité
250, rue Somerset Est, Centre communautaire, Côte-de-Sable, Ottawa

Dimanche – 12 :00 PM – Groupe Midi-Vanier
242, rue Cantin, Maison Fraternité, Ottawa (Vanier)

Lundi – 8 :00 PM – Groupe Orléans
4831, chemin Innes, Paroisse Sainte Marie, Ottawa (Orléans)

Mercredi- 8 :00 PM -Groupe Renaissance
33, rue Quill, Centre communautaire Overbrook, Ottawa (Overbrook)

Jeudi – 7 :00 PM – Groupe Voyageur
1900, boulevard St-Joseph, Terrasses Montfort, Ottawa (Orléans)

Samedi -12 :00 PM – Groupe Midi-Vanier
242, rue Cantin, Maison Fraternité Ottawa (Vanier)

Samedi – 8 :00 PM – Groupe Je suis responsable
250, rue Somerset Est, Centre communautaire, Côte-de-Sable, Ottawa


Online Credit Card Pay & Pick-Up Service

Groups and individuals can order literature, wallet cards, chips medallions and other merchandise from Intergroup. Click here to access our online order form.

You will receive an email confirmation and receipt for your purchase and someone from the office will contact you when your order is ready for pick-up.

If you have any questions please use the contact form to email the Literature Coordinator and the Office Administrator.

For technical questions about the actual form, please include the Webmaster on the contact form distribution.


2018-2019 Group Liability Insurance Program for Ottawa area AA Groups

Ottawa Area Intergroup has negotiated the renewal of this valuable program for our groups. If you had to purchase a similar policy for your group on an individual basis, the minimum premium would be $540.

Please note, that the $100 premium for $2,000,000 Liability is an annual minimum premium and cannot be pro-rated. The Master Policy runs from November to November, and certificates are issued for that term.

FOR THIS YEAR ONLY, if a group needs coverage between now and November, the insurer has agreed to charge only $50 plus tax to issue a certificate of insurance.

Insurance premiums are GST exempt, but PST is still charged. When writing your cheque, please make it out for $108, including the 8% PST, or $54 if you are taking a short-term policy.

PLEASE DO NOT SEND THE APPLICATION TO THE INTERGROUP OFFICE! The address is to be found on the attached form. Click here to download it.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Harry B at vicechair@ottawaaa.org


2017 Fellowship Report on Intergroup…

As we neatly tie a bow around another year at Intergroup, we wanted to share how you, “the fellowship”, thought we did this year and what you identified as Intergroup’s Opportunities and Challenges moving forward in 2018.

Click here to view the 2017 Intergroup Inventory Results

Thanks again for your input, support, dedication and indeed direction of this past year.

Wishing you and your family much Peace, Love, Friendship and Health.

2017 Board of Directors
Ottawa Area Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous