The Ring

50th Anniversary Festival a feast of fun

Wed, 2012-10-03 10:11

Elder-in-residence Ron George (Cowichan) tends the pit cook fire. Photo: UVic Ph
Elder-in-residence Ron George (Cowichan) tends the pit cook fire. Photo: UVic Photo Services

Anniversary Festival on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28–29 was a scene of celebration in the quad. Performers including The Chantrelles, Carmanah, Hayley and Acres of Lions created a party atmosphere as over 100 showcases—tours, talks and open houses—took place all over campus and visitors sampled the offerings of more than 30 faculties and departments.

The Island Savings Family Zone near the MacLaurin Building was a hive of activity, with inflatables, experiments, face painting, games and performances. At the tents in the quad, visitors of all ages found out more about UVic, competed in skill-testing quizzes, and enjoyed barbecue fare and the family atmosphere.

“We are delighted that we were able to open the doors of the campus to the community during the festival,” says Joy Davis, Interim Director of Ceremonies and Special Events. “It was wonderful to see so many alumni, staff, faculty, current students and community members enjoying themselves and celebrating together.”

Vic’s 50th birthday party kicked off Friday, Sept. 28 with a succession of local bands playing from the roof of the SUB, recreating a 1960s piece of campus history. The line-up for 50th anniversary cupcakes snaked along Ring Road while students enthusiastically signed UVic’s giant birthday card. At the first-ever Coast Salish pit cook outside First Peoples House (pictured above), a crowd of people enjoyed the stories of members of UVic’s Elders’ Voices and sampled vegetables that were layered and cooked in a traditional fire pit.

The inaugural alumni Homecoming—welcoming UVic grads from 1963 to 2011—took place concurrently over the festival weekend. It featured special alumni talks, pub gatherings, a reunion dinner at the University Club and Vikes Retro Party at the McKinnon Gym.

Check the website at for details of upcoming 50th anniversary events and lectures. UVic is celebrating its 50th anniversary now through June 2013.