Celebrating Canada’s 150th

From new scholarships and initiatives, to cultural celebrations, anniversaries and on-campus discussions with former prime ministers, the University of Saskatchewan is ready to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation this year.

By HenryTye Glazebrook

The U of S will hold an array of events highlighting three key university themes—diversity, connectivity and sustainability—as part of the nation-wide Canada 150 festivities.

“Canada 150 is about ideas, dialogue and celebration, as well as looking back at our legacy and looking ahead to the Canada we’re creating for 2067,” said Karen Chad, vice-president of research and the executive sponsor of the U of S Canada 150 Project. “This initiative is focused on celebrating the many ways that our faculty, students, staff and alumni have contributed to Canada throughout our 110-year (university) history and continue to shape the country and change the world.”

In addition to the events planned as part of the celebrations, a number of new scholarships have been created. There are 25 scholarships valued at $3,000 each for U of S students studying abroad in 2017-18 (13 graduate and 12 undergraduate) and three scholarships valued at $5,000 each for

inbound international undergraduate students studying at overseas Canadian curriculum high schools who are applying to arts and science, Edwards or engineering. A one-year international graduate student fellowship has also been established, to act as an ambassador for the university’s study abroad initiatives to encourage international study.

Patti McDougall, vice-provost of teaching and learning, said these scholarship opportunities are another example of U of S efforts to foster global citizens.

“We’re showcasing Canada, both in terms of those who are coming here to study and our own Canadian students who are going abroad,” McDougall said. “When somebody comes from a different country to study with us, they’re helping to internationalize our learning environment. When we’re able to send one of our students to study abroad, when they return we are also internationalizing our environment. In some ways, we’re providing these students once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for personal growth.”

Special events include a visit this fall by former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien—co-ordinated by U of S Chancellor Roy Romanow—to take part in a public discussion on Canada’s future and a panel session on the future of health care.

The U of S has also partnered with Indspire, an Indigenous-led charity that seeks long-term growth in Aboriginal education, to bring its Cross Canada Youth Laureate Tour to campus on May 30. The event will feature a panel discussion in which local Indspire Awards laureates will engage in dialogue with students, educators, parents and the community about the importance of education.

Chad said a goal of the U of S Canada 150 celebrations is to give the university community an opportunity to reflect on the country in which they live and to consider what they want the future to bring for the nation and the university.

“We’re asking our community to ask themselves, ‘What kind of Canada do you want to see in 50 years?’” she said.

Here is a quick look at some of the other campus events to celebrate Canada 150 (visit canada150.usask.ca for the complete list):

  • Multiple major anniversary celebrations, including the university’s 110th anniversary, the 100th anniversary of the U of S Alumni Association, and the 10th anniversaries of the School of Environment and Sustainability, the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, and the School of Public Health.
  • Supporting student artistic work: A three-movement work entitled Scenes of Plains Peoples has been commissioned for performance by the Greystone Singers and the U of S jazz and wind orchestras. The pieces were composed by U of S music graduate Paul Suchan.
  • A new category—Making a Difference Video Competition—was added to the Images of Research competition, offering people a chance to tell in 60 seconds the story of their research and how it benefits the country.
  • Nominations are being accepted for deserving faculty, staff, students and alumni for the Canada 150 Citizen campaign, as the U of S recognizes members of our community who are helping make Canada a more diverse, inclusive and environmentally sustainable country."
  • A collection of 150 photographs highlighting university history have been selected by university archivist Patrick Hayes and showcased on the U of S Canada 150 website.
  • A sponsored essay contest for high school students in partnership with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix that will be judged by novelist Yann Martel.