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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Friday, June 27, 1997

O Canada! We take the weekend off

Hong Kong becomes Chinese

[Hong Kong scene] The major news event of the next few days is the change of sovereignty in Hong Kong, a land where hundreds of UW students have roots or relatives. In accordance with a treaty almost a century old, Hong Kong moves from being a British colony to a "Special Administrative Region" of China.

Web sites of special interest:

Post-secondary institutions in Hong Kong, as listed by the government:
We come now to a four-day weekend. Canada Day (née Dominion Day) is Tuesday, July 1, and UW is taking a holiday also on Monday, June 30. On both days, therefore, university offices and most services will be closed, and classes will not be held.

Here are notes, so far as I have them, on specifics of what's in operation at Waterloo over the weekend:

Party on the north campus

Tuesday is the day -- and no, there's no "rain date" -- for UW's annual Canada Day party beside Columbia Lake. It's the biggest event of the year on campus, drawing an estimated 50,000 people for the fireworks that wrap up the festivities at 10 p.m.

Starting at 2 p.m., the activities include a teddy bear fair, children's games, a mini-Olympics, face painting, medieval demonstrations, puppet shows, an arts and crafts fair and live entertainment.

The Canada Day party is jointly presented by UW and the Federation of Students. "The festivities are a way for the university and its students to give back to the community," says Ben Robins, volunteer event manager for the Canada Day celebrations. "And the best part is, it's free. People can come out and have a good time with their family, friends and neighbors without spending much money at all." (But donations will be accepted, and food will be for sale, as well as $2 candles for the emotional candelight closing ceremony.)

[Maple leaves] Throughout the afternoon and evening, area musicians will perform on stage, starting at 3 p.m. with the jazz group Jazarus. The opening ceremonies officially kick-off the event at 4 p.m. with the national anthem and a giant birthday cake.

Chris Rawlings, a children's entertainer, performs at 4:30 p.m. The Fletcher Valve Drummers provide rhythmic percussion sounds at 5:30 p.m. and the local group Reson takes to the stage at 6:30 p.m. Traces Steel Drum Band offers island sounds at 7:45 p.m. and this year's closing act, Myth of Innocence, starts at 9 p.m. playing "everyone's favorite rock songs".

A candle-lighting ceremony and CHYM-FM's musically enhanced fireworks display bring the celebrations to a grand finale at 10 p.m. "The candle-lighting ceremony with everyone singing O Canada is very moving," says Robins. "And the fireworks with the music is beyond words. It's an incredible way to end an incredible day."

A special addition to this year's celebrations is UW's 40th anniversary pavilion. Departmental displays and photo exhibits will highlight the university's developments and achievements over four decades.

Many on-campus and community groups collaborate to make this event happen year after year. Activity World, sponsored by Westmount Place, provides fun for children and teens. The Engineering Society's mini-Olympics and the Mathematics Society's Fun Fest also keep kids active all day. Other sponsors of the event include the City of Waterloo, The Record, Canadian Heritage, UW Graphic Services, Sherwood Audio, Domino's Pizza, J.M. Schneider Inc., Big Bear Services, Reitzel Rentals, IBM, Meloche-Monnex and COM DEV International.

The first UW Canada Day community event was held July 1, 1984, and consisted mainly of activities for children. Over the next decade, the programming was expanded to include live entertainment and the popular 25-minute musically enhanced fireworks.

But it's not the weekend yet

Today, Friday, is the last day to pay tuition fees for the spring term, the registrar's office reminds all procrastinators.

The information systems and technology department holds an open house this morning (Davis Centre 1302, 9 a.m.) about Polaris, the upgrade of the Watstar network to provide a Windows 95 environment.

"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" continues tonight and Saturday night at the Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre (886-0660).

And these bits of news

Sunrayce '97 continues today and tomorrow, as the cars move out of Kansas and across Colorado. UW's Midnight Sun IV had a bad day Wednesday, taking more than six and a half hours for the 150-mile run from Manhattan to Smith Center; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was in the lead again, and Midnight Sun came in 23rd among the 35 cars still in the race. But there's time for much to happen before the journey ends in Colorado Springs on Saturday night.

The United States Supreme Court yesterday ruled by a strong majority that the Communications Decency Act, which places restrictions on "indecent" communication over the Internet, is unconstitutional. The court ruling in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union says that the Act, passed by Congress in 1996, "is a content-based regulation of speech. The vagueness of such a regulation raises special First Amendment concerns because of its obvious chilling effect on free speech."

The Globe and Mail yesterday had a sizeable article on "Creating a superlibrary", much of it about the Tri-University Consortium linking the libraries of UW, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Guelph.


June 27, 1988: Rod Sawatsky is named to be president of Conrad Grebel College, succeeding Ralph Lebold.

June 28, 1979: Long closed because of a fire, the Brubacher farmhouse on the north campus is reopened as a museum.

June 29, 1985: The Toronto Star labels UW "a university for Yuppies". June 29, 1988: Len Guelke, president of the faculty association, charges in a letter to the Gazette that UW president Doug Wright "is doing a double disservice" to the university and to faculty members by overemphasizing the income they earn from consulting and outside businesses.

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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