BCQP 2019: AGN TWO BLOCKS over Saturday/Sunday February 2, local time, 8am to 8pm AND February 3, 8am to 4pmThat’s UTC 1600z Feb 2 to 0359z Feb 3 and 1600z to 2359z Feb 3
Band conditions, at least from the perspective of operators in the Pacific Northwest, have been incredibly challenging of late. But as tough as conditions may be, this doesn’t necessarily mean QSOs are impossible. It just means that different strategies are required. 
Key Details
Date/Time:   1600z Feb 2 to 0359z Feb 3 AND 1600z to 2359z Feb 3 (Saturday, Feb 2, 8am to 8pm AND Sunday Feb 3 from 8am to 4pm, local time in BC)Objectives:   BC stations contact anyone anywhere. (BC stations can contact other BC stations, stations in the U.S., stations in other provinces/territories of Canada, and stations in other countries.)

 Stations outside BC have to contact VE7/VA7s.

Exchange:    BC stations give three-letter code representing the federal electoral district in BC + RS(T)   *Confirm district at elections.ca/home.aspx and use the multiplier list (see URL below) to determine the   corresponding three-letter code for BCQP.   tations outside BC give province/state/”DX” *In BCQP, Hawaii and Alaska are not considered DX. Stations in KH6 and KL7 will give “HI” and “AK”,  spectively. Stations outside the U.S. and Canada will give “DX”.
There is NO OTHER EVENT like BCQP for BC operators. The potential for a tangible award is super high for BC stations. 
Top scores in every class of entry receive a one-of-a-kind certificate showcasing beautiful BC — different photo every year taken especially for this event. In addition, top scores in each federal electoral district — the multipliers in BCQP — are awarded one-of-a-kind certificates, too. Very few contests hand out photo-based certificates and NO OTHER REGULAR ON-AIR EVENT uses a different photo each year. Definitely shack-worthy.
BCQP is quite probably the only annual on-air event that puts BC in a spotlight. VE7/VA7s can contact anyone anywhere. We can QSO with other BC stations, with stations in other parts of Canada, with U.S. stations, with stations in Asia and Europe and South America and Africa and Australia, with DXpeditions, with anyone. Anywhere. Consequently, the potential for fairly constant activity, regardless of band conditions, is tremendously high for BC operators who get on the air, stay in the chair and call “CQ BCQP”. If the pool of BC operators is deep, stations outside BC will have an easier time in their hunt for VE7/VA7s, and the number of participants from outside BC will grow. The activity fuels more activity. This is the snowball effect. Let’s get it rolling. Let’s keep it rolling!
ResourcesRules, tools, helpful hints, in-depth event analysis/reports and scores from past years, examples of the lovely photo-based certificates and plaques… all available for viewing from links on the BCQP page of the Orca DXCC website. Go to http://www.orcadxcc.org/bcqp.html I strongly recommend looking at post-contest reports for previous years as well as the FAQ page. 
Logging SoftwareBCQP is fully supported by N1MM Logger+ software as well as CQ/X GPS-enabled software for mobile contesting and QSO party software by N3FJP. Other programs have generic QSO party options, but all software really needs computer and radio to be interfaced to work as intended. If computer and radio are not interfaced, you can still use logging software, but be aware that you’ll have to enter frequencies manually, and your score may not compute correctly. Paper logs are OK if the QSO count is under 50. No one should worry about logging software — or lack of it. Each operator can use whatever logging method works for him/her, and the BCQP Committee will help solve issues. But, and this is a big but, logs MUST show the required information. See the rules for details. 
Be PreparedBCQP has the potential to be tremendously fun, even when band conditions are frustratingly bad. But operators must be prepared, not only from a hardware/software point of view but from a simple administrative point of view. 1. Read the rules.2. Have your multiplier lists handy — both the BCQP federal electoral districts AND the U.S. states — to facilitate logging.3. Know your own district!!!!4. Know how to execute a trade (see Helpful Hints) to maximize QSO potential.5. Be aware of the suggested frequencies, especially alternate suggested frequencies for CW during overlap with NA Sprint.
OpportunitiesNot only does BCQP present a fabulous opportunity to test hardware and software for other purposes, such as bigger contests and DX-hunting, it also offers newcomers to the hobby a chance to acquire skills and old-timers a chance to refine techniques and strategies at a slower, more relaxed pace than in high-stress, gotta-beat-the-world weekend marathons or emergency situations. 
Tangible Rewards 1 — CertificatesBCQP relies on stations in BC to get on the air and stay in the chair. The party just doesn’t happen without us. And because this is a home-grown event with the spotlight on BC, BC stations have more chances than in any other on-air event to capture tangible rewards.

  • Certificates: Top scores in each class of entry receive a beautiful photo-based certificate highlighting something scenic or special about BC.
  • Special Recognition: If submitted logs are particularly numerous in any given category or results are particularly noteworthy, additional certificates are awarded, as appropriate. The more logs submitted, the more chances there are to capture a certificate!
  • Top District* Awards: BC’s federal electoral map has 42 districts. To encourage operators all over BC to get on the air, we offer special certificates for top scores in each federal electoral district. Only 10 QSOs are needed to qualify.

*Note: If you are not sure of your electoral district, go to http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx , scroll down a bit and plug your postal code into the space provided. Compare against the BCQP multiplier list to find the appropriate three-letter code.
Tangible Rewards 2 — Plaque ProgramThrough the plaque program, supported by radio-related clubs, businesses and individuals, we are going into BCQP 2019 with plaques in 10 categories: Top BC Score (Single-Op), Top BC Score (Multi-Op), Top DX, Top Mixed Mode, Top CW, Top Club Score, Top YL, Top Score Canada Outside BC, Top US, and Most Electoral Districts Contacted. Some categories are limited in scope: the YL plaque, for example, will only go to a YL, and the top U.S. score will only go to a station in the U.S. 
To see the kind of certificates and plaques offered in past years, go to http://www.orcadxcc.org/bcqp_awards.html
BCQP is a fabulous opportunity on so many levels. But ultimately, whether amateur radio is used for emergency purposes, for ragchewing or for radiosport, it won’t survive if we don’t practice our skills and share our knowledge.   
BCQP is on contest calendars and personal calendars, from BC to Japan to EU. Make the most of this excellent opportunity to QSO near and far. As contest coordinator for BCQP, I’m here to help. If anyone has questions, I’m just an email away. va7bec [at] rac {dot] ca