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Monday, June 21, 1999

  • Ready for Canada's birthday party
  • Visitors expected in October
  • Pakistan group visits ES
  • Race car, senate, and more

Ready for Canada's birthday party

Aboriginal Day

Today, like every June 21, is National Aboriginal Day, and celebrations are planned at UW as elsewhere. "The Native Students Association will be hosting a celebration throughout the Student Life Centre," writes Chris Harold of the Federation of Students. "Everyone is invited to come experience handmade native crafts, the Spirit Nation Singers, and dancers in full regalia. It should be an incredible day!" Most of the celebrations will be happening at noon hour.
Today is the first day of summer (astronomers say the season will begin at 3:49 p.m.), but everybody knows that summer really begins with the Canada Day holiday on July 1. And nobody knows it better than the staff and volunteers who are preparing UW's fifteenth annual Canada Day party on the north campus.

It'll be "an exciting day of free fun in celebration of Canada . . . Waterloo Region's premier Canada Day event", says Martha Foulds, a temporary staff member in the UW community relations office who's helping to coordinate the plans. Says Foulds: "Over 300 volunteers organize and run the day's many activities. Last year alone, over 50,000 community members celebrated Canada Day at the university." The event is sponsored jointly by UW and the Federation of Students.

"Our volunteers really work together to make the day fun," says volunteer event manager Daryl Lee Winters. "We're proud to be part of a team that's giving something to the community. And what better way to do that than host a free party and invite everyone?"

[Canada day face-painting] Known across Kitchener-Waterloo for its "fantastic musically-enhanced fireworks display", the UW Canada Day celebrations also offer a full day of free activities before the evening's light show. Starting at 2 p.m., the festivities include children's games and entertainment, crafts, face painting, a dunk tank and water slide, demonstrations and a camp-style sing-along.

The university's four museums are open that afternoon as well. An arts and crafts fair will feature a wide selection of hand-crafted goods for sale, and food vendors offer hamburgers, souvlaki, candy floss and more. The Canada Day Celebrations also include live musical entertainment, starting with folk/rock music at 3 p.m. At 4 p.m., the opening ceremonies launch the festivities with the national anthem and free birthday cake for everyone. Live entertainment continues all day, ending with the event's closing ceremonies at 10:00 p.m. Other groups performing on-stage include rock cover bands, a First Nations drum group, Celtic, jazz and island music groups.

Immediately following the closing ceremonies, CHYM-FM's musically-enhanced fireworks display brings the Canada Day Celebrations to a spectacular close. Souvenir candles, sold on the field for $2 each, provide ideal lighting for the crowd assembled to view the fireworks.

"The feeling you get singing O Canada, surrounded by tens of thousands of your neighbours and friends, is really amazing. Add to that 20 minutes of fantastic fireworks, and you've got the perfect finale to a really memorable day," says Winters, who also volunteered at last year's event.

Many local businesses and organizations, through donations and sponsorships, help make the UW Canada Day Celebrations possible year after year. This year's presenting sponsors are the City of Waterloo, CHYM-FM, Domino's Pizza, Canadian Heritage, the Record, J.M. Schneider, Waterloo Printing, Canadian Waste Services and Sherwood Audio. Campus groups, including the Engineering Society, Math Society and Student Ambassador Association, sponsor individual activities as well.

The UW Canada Day Celebrations are held on the Columbia Lake Fields, just north of Columbia Street West, between Phillip and Westmount. Free parking for the day's festivities is available in most campus lots.

Visitors expected in October

Another influx of visitors to campus is set for Saturday, October 30, says Tina Roberts, director of undergraduate student recruitment. That day will see a "Fall Saturday Tour" for potential students, to run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Life Centre.

Says Roberts: "The day is being guided by the KISS principle -- keep it super simple -- and it will be very different from our March break Campus Day event. We realize that the name is not very innovative, but we purposely decided to keep it simple. We did not want our visitors to get the impression that it's an Open House because it's not."

What it will have, she says, is two-hour tours of the campus, starting at 10:30 and 1:00, and a group of faculty information booths in the Great Hall of the SLC, "staffed by the faculty and university college recruitment experts, co-op co-ordinators, and others".

The Fall Saturday Tour will be advertised in admissions publications and web pages, she said, "and we're developing an on-campus visits poster that is being mailed to all Ontario high school guidance offices. We're also investigating a number of other forms of advertising. Pre-registration for the day will be necessary. There will be web, e-mail, and phone pre-registration through our Visitors Centre."

Roberts predicted a turnout of 1,000 to 2,000 students for the October 30 tour, compared to 4,000 at Campus Day in March.

Pakistan group visits ES

A group of nine faculty and staff members from the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute for Engineering Science in Pakistan is at UW this month for the first big step in a "linkage project" through which UW will help strengthen GIKI in its environmental work.

The connection is beginning with a workshop on natural resource management, to be followed by workshops on Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing, says David Wood in the research development office in ES.

The UW-GIKI "linkage project" is part of a larger-scale, five-year Pakistan Environment Program financed by the Canadian International Development Agency. The goal, says a background paper, "is to support the joint development of mutually beneficial activities that will yield lasting results in a priority area of Pakistan's National Conservation Strategy."

GIKI is a brand-new, "very modern" university, the background paper notes. "It has chosen to specialize in selected high level areas of engineering that are of most interest to industry," with a strong emphasis on computer science. One feature of GIKI is a Centre for Energy and Environment Studies, "to improve the efficiency of industrial operations by optimal use of energy and scarce resources". Research work so far has been in such areas as solar energy, urban air quality, vehicle pollution and fuel combustion.

Now GIKI is looking to create a program in natural resource management, and that's where UW can help, says the background paper. People from UW's faculty of environmental studies, including Ross Newkirk, Bruce Mitchell, Roger Suffling and others, will help a group of GIKI engineers "understand the principles, context, practices and applications of NRM".

Since the UW experts know relatively little about Pakistan, the workshop will use the problems of the Kitchener-Waterloo area and the Grand River watershed as a case study. "Pakistani participants will be asked to relate this information on theory and methods to the Pakistan situation."

The workshop began on Monday of last week and has touched on land use planning, "balancing technical, political and socio-economic dimensions", "gender and cultural sensitivity", "the ecosystem approach", and water and climate change. Participants made a trip to the Niagara area on Friday, with a visit to Cytek Corporation, "where participants will see a specific example of environmental restoration of a contaminated industrial site". This week the workshop continues with attention to environmental assessment and monitoring, ISO 14000 certification, and flood protection.

Race car, senate, and more

UW's Midnight Sun V and solar-powered cars from a couple of dozen other universities left Washington, D.C., yesterday as Sunrayce '99 began. Midnight Sun was near the back of the pack as the cars finished their first day's run at the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. "Due to the heavy rain," a team report says, "the car experienced electrical problems attributable to rain entering the car. The majority of the lost time was due to a 1 1/2 hour stop on the side of the road in order to fix the electrical system. The team reports, however, that spirits are running high because the car worked well in the adverse conditions (bar the leaks). While running, the car averaged approximately 30 mph (48 km/h). Also, the team is impressed with its battery pack, which is still nearly full even after 184 km. Last night the team spent adding extra seals to the car in an attempt to prevent any more lost time due to water in the car." The 2,175-kilometre race will run for ten days and take the cars across the Appalachians and down to Orlando.

The UW senate will meet at 7:30 tonight in Needles Hall room 3001. Many new and revised academic programs are on the agenda, including a "collaborative program in behavioural neuroscience" at the PhD level involving the departments of psychology, kinesiology, and health studies and gerontology.

The University Photographers' Association of America is holding its annual symposium at UW this year, today through Friday. Chris Hughes, UW's university photographer, is host for the event, and will be on the program (speaking on "Evolution to Digital Solutions"), as will his colleague Mike Christie. Also speaking, on Friday: Ellsworth LeDrew of the geography department, on satellite sensing and digital underwater photography.

The annual Matthews Golf Classic is taking place today at the Grand Valley Golf Course.

An hour-long training program on the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System is offered tomorrow by UW's safety office. Safety coordinator Angelo Graham sends word that the session (consisting of a video and a brief quiz) has been rescheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., still in Davis Centre room 1304.

The Dollars for Scholars raffle is followed with keen interest, judging from some questions I've been receiving. So here's the news from Meredith McGinnis in the development office: John Molson, staff member in the earth sciences department, is the winner of the June draw.

Note from Bob Hicks in the information systems and technology department: "The IST course 'Introduction to HTML' had a long waiting list the last time it was offered on May 25. For this reason we are repeating the course on Thursday, July 8, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in MC 1050. The course is open to UW faculty, staff and students. Please register by calling Judi at ext. 6494. Only 15 people will be allowed to register."

Fee statements will be mailed next week, the registrar's office says, for students who have preregistered for the fall term. (That includes first-year students planning to come to Waterloo this fall -- which means some 4,500 young people suddenly faced with the reality of how much university education costs.) "Included in this mailing," I'm told, "will be 'Do You Have Questions' and 'Registration Information for Undergraduate Students' information sheets, which contain important information."

Graduates gave UW more than $280,000 at Saturday's two convocation ceremonies. In the morning, the graduating math class handed over a record $127,857 for the "pink tie pledge". Brian Neill, computer science student and director of the pledge campaign, brought the cheque forward in company with two of the brand-new Bachelors of Mathematics. The money will end up in the mathematics endowment fund and Descartes Scholarship Foundation. The previous "pink tie" record was exceeded by about $50,000. At the afternoon ceremony, engineering graduate Michael J. Neville led a contingent in delivering a big cheque to dean Sujeet Chaudhuri. The cheque was for $157,000, from the class of '99, for the Waterloo Endowment Engeering Foundation. Chaudhuri noted that it was the second largest donation by any graduating class, and WEEF is the largest student endowment on campus, "perhaps in Canada".

And from Charlene Schumm, chair of the staff association nominating committee: "Due to unforeseen circumstances, Redina Caracaz has asked to be replaced as staff representative on the Dean of Math Search Committee, a position to which she was appointed May 31. After consultation with the Nominations Committee, it was decided that the first runner-up would be offered the position. I am very pleased to announce that Ed Chrzanowski has accepted the position of staff representative. The committee is currently preparing for their first meeting."


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