Wednesday, June 30, 2010

  • Sun ready to shine on Canada Day party
  • Former prof mourned, and other notes
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

[Kids with flags]
Sun ready to shine on Canada Day party

The dumpsters and garbage cans, the tents and the porta-potties, should all be in place by now on the fields north of Columbia Street, where tomorrow’s Canada Day celebration is expected to bring 60,000 visitors to help mark the country’s 143rd birthday.

The weather forecast is looking perfect for the 26th annual Canada Day event, co-sponsored by UW and the Federation of Students.

It’s a massive undertaking, as infrastructure for the afternoon and evening celebrations includes handwashing stations, shelters for food and crafts, equipment for children’s games, a stage and loudspeakers for performers, the trucks from which fireworks are launched, and signs, barricades and cellphones for the security crew.

"It's wonderful to see the dedication from our student volunteers, who have been working extremely hard to provide an entertaining day for the community," said Sally Litchfield, the student who’s serving as event manager. "Waterloo students give back to the local community by celebrating Canada's birthday with friends and families."

It's one of the largest Canada Day celebrations in southwestern Ontario. Everyone is invited to attend; the action begins at 2 p.m. and continues throughout the day, wrapping up at 10 p.m. with the grand finale of fireworks. (Most children's activities run from 2 to 8 p.m.) The student-led festivity, now in its 26th year, offers a wealth of cheerful activities for all ages, along with diverse musical entertainment. Among the attractions:

  • The Waterloo chapter of Engineers Without Borders will provide a special activity where children can test a treadle pump (a human-powered pump for retrieving water from shallow depths) and learn about the importance of having a clean supply of water.
  • The earth sciences museum, which features many exhibits and activities for children, will offer a Dig Deep for Fish event. Children can view a rock, mineral and fossil collection and go on a mini-fossil adventure for fish.
  • Waterloo Region's water services program will show children how to conserve water at home and school while they play Thrills and Spills — a life-size board game. As well, the program will offer a bean bag toss game and temporary tattoos.
  • WeConnect presents Engineering Science Quest, one of the university's non-profit summer camps for children. Children can make gooey slime, create a glow in the dark bracelet with ultraviolet beads, or try some homemade ice cream.
  • Children can learn about vegetarian and vegan diets with CALM Action as they colour and make paper animal crafts. CALM Action is a decentralized network of animal-liberation activists who teach children about eating alternatives.

The Canada Day event will feature live music throughout the day and evening. R&B singer Rufus, the headline performer, will play the main stage at 9:15 p.m. Pop-rockers Hello Bella perform at 8:15 p.m., after Vinyl Heart appear at 7:15 p.m. Other evening entertainment highlights include The Rosewoods, an alt rock/pop band, at 6:15 p.m. and alt-rockers Breaching Vista, with a post-fireworks performance.

Earlier, The Guys, a dance-rock band, open the day's live music entertainment at 2 p.m., followed by Rory McDonald with the Yvonne Heely Band at 3 p.m., Shaun Sutter at 4 p.m., and avant garde band Trap Tiger at 5 p.m.

Official opening ceremonies take place at 5:45 p.m., complete with a birthday party and free cupcakes for the community.

An arts and crafts fair will feature a wide selection of hand-made goods and kid-friendly products. Food will be available in a UW concessions tent with pizza, burgers and so on, plus food vendors “from Greek food to health food”.

Parking is free in most UW lots for the day, but the lots beside the Village residences will not be available, and the road through the residence area will be closed to traffic. Accessible parking is available at the Open Text building, located at the end of Frank Tompa Drive on the north campus.

Traffic has traditionally been a Canada Day challenge, especially as the massive crowds head home at the end of the fireworks show, and visitors should know that Columbia Street will be closed from Westmount Road to Hagey Boulevard. The west side of the ring road is also currently closed, at the Environment 3 construction site. Best advice: to avoid traffic jams, come and leave by University Avenue and use the east (engineering) side of the ring road.

Admission to the day is free, though there will be many opportunities to spend money: not just the food tents but also the arts-and-crafts fair and some souvenir sales. In addition, donation boxes will be available throughout the day, collecting funds to help with the cost of fireworks for next year.

The Waterloo Canada Day celebration is made possible by the support of many local businesses and organizations. Key sponsors are the Department of Canadian Heritage, City of Waterloo, City of Kitchener, Waterloo Region Record and CHYM FM.

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[Cummings]Former prof mourned, and other notes

Larry Cummings (right), a pioneer faculty member at St. Jerome's University and later in the UW school of architecture, died on Monday. Originally a mediaevalist, he was at what was then "St. Jerome's College" from 1961 to 1971, then moving to architecture to establish the cultural history courses that gave the Waterloo school much of its unique character. He was, says architecture director Rick Haldenby, "the man who believed before anyone else that Waterloo could be one of the most original, scholarly and creative schools on the continent, the man to whom I owe more than any other teacher. He was the mind behind Cultural History — the idea that architecture was a form of cultural expression, inextricably linked to literature, history, philosophy, language, music, and, yes, sport. Larry made ideas live. He drew maps that turned into chaos, but still made the most extraordinary connections. He told stories whose meanings only became clear much later. Though he retired two decades ago, his mark is still now, and will always be on this school."

Work is under way to choose the next president of Conrad Grebel University College, as a news release announces that the college’s board has named the members of a presidential search committee. The committee is chaired by board member Debra Simpson, a lawyer from the Niagara area. Board chair Bert Lobe noted that “we are confident that there are good candidates who will have interest in leading the College into its next chapter as we build from a position of strength.” The current president, Henry Paetkau, will conclude his term in June 2011. “During his term,” says the release, “the College has enjoyed surplus budgets, strong enrolment and a new arrangement with the University of Waterloo for graduate Theological Studies. There are many impending developments as the College approaches its 50th anniversary in 2013. These include faculty retirements and replacements, a new graduate program in Peace and Conflict Studies, and the potential to embark on a building project to enhance the Library and Archives. In addition to Board members, the presidential search committee includes representatives from faculty, staff, administration and students. The goal is to have an announcement of a new president in April, 2011.”

People at Waterloo’s school of optometry have been in touch with the governments in three western provinces lately, says the school’s director, Thomas Freddo, writing in the newsletter that goes to optometry alumni across Canada. “While alumni from one province may know what the School has done to support their efforts,” he writes, “many may not know what we do to support the efforts of the profession nationwide. Providing an authoritative, evidence-based answer for the challenges facing our profession is a natural and logical part of our mission.” Hence the school’s involvement, he says, as Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia look at their regulations about the optometric profession, touching on laboratory testing, referrals to medical specialists and so on. “In the past few weeks,” he adds, “the School has developed an extensive evidence-based response to the recent ruling of the Minister of Health in British Columbia regarding sight-testing and the unregulated sale of medical devices.”

Sam Eyles of the women’s rugby Warriors will be on the field this weekend helping to represent Ontario as part of the national under-23 women’s rugby championships. The event runs Thursday to Sunday at the University of Toronto campus in Scarborough. Making the top 25 was not a walk in the park, says the fifth year kinesiology student: “There were initial invitational try-outs in May with over 65 women attending! You are playing rugby with the best of the best in Ontario, some of who have played for Canada (National team), others who have been playing rugby in Ontario since they were 16. It is a whole other playing field and it really forces you to step up and prove that you belong there.” She’s currently on a co-op term working at the Columbia Icefield as a wellness and conditioning assistant.

Engineering students are being invited to nominate "your best teaching assistant" for the annual Sandford Fleming Foundation TA Award (deadline July 28). • The Humanities Theatre will be "closed for construction" through July and August, a facility schedule says, though the auditorium will be used for meetings during Student Life 101 on July 24. • Richard Gesinghaus, a staff member in graphic services since May 1973, will officially retire as of July 1.

Finally, this note: I'll be leaving, as of today, for some vacation time. Until I return, the Daily Bulletin will be in the hands of my colleagues Pat Bow and Brandon Sweet here in Communications and Public Affairs. Information intended for publication can be sent, as usual, to bulletin@


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Open and shut for the long weekend

The university will observe a long weekend for Canada Day, with classes cancelled, and offices and most services closed, both Thursday and Friday, July 1 and 2.

That includes the bookstore and other retail services outlets. Mudie’s cafeteria, in Village I, will be open as usual, but all other food outlets, including Tim Hortons in the Student Life Centre, will be closed Thursday through Sunday. The Dana Porter and Davis Centre libraries will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and the usual 11-to-11 hours Saturday and Sunday. The Physical Activities Complex will be closed all weekend, and the Columbia Icefield closed Thursday and Friday (but open Saturday and Sunday).

Some key services continue uninterrupted: UW police, 519-888-4911 (ext. 22222 on campus); Student Life Centre, turnkey desk 519-888–4434 (ext. 84434 on campus); maintenance emergencies ext. 33793.

Link of the day

Friendship across the border

When and where

Ring road closed between PAS building and Needles Hall, because of Environment 3 construction work, through July 12.

Centre for Teaching Excellence workshop: “Classroom Communication Strategies”, 10:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library. Details.

‘Celebrate Canada’ luncheon, University Club, 11:30 to 2:00, reservations ext. 33801.

Mashable Meetup for social media users, sponsored by Stratford campus, 5:30 p.m., Parlour Hotel, Stratford. Details.

Bombshelter pub, Student Life Centre, Canada Day celebration from 9 p.m., “Canadian burger” and poutine specials.

Ottawa and Montréal long weekend, July 1-4, bus and accommodation $199, tickets at Federation of Students office.

Engineering Science Quest (details) and Arts Computer Experience summer day camps begin sessions July 5, continuing through August 27.

Women’s volleyball “all skills development camp” for girls 12-17, July 5-9, Physical Activities Complex. Details.

The Queen visits Research In Motion facilities in Waterloo, Monday 11 a.m. Details.

Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference hosted by Waterloo July 6-10. Details.

‘Be Engaged’ lunch-and-learn presentation for staff about student engagement, Wednesday 12:00, Arts Lecture Hall room 208. Details.

The Impact of Canada’s Oil Sands, forum with Marcel Coutu, Waterloo graduate, president of Canadian Oil Sands Limited, sponsored by faculties of engineering and science, Thursday 3:30, CEIT room 1015. Details.

Class enrolment on Quest for fall term courses: students enrolling for the first time, July 12-25; open enrolment begins July 26.

Last day of classes for spring term Wednesday, July 28. (Note: Thursday schedule on July 27, Friday schedule on July 28.)

PhD oral defences

Psychology. Jeffrey Paulitzki, “Procrastination as  Self-Regulatory Failure? Habitual Avoidance and Inhibitory Control Moderate the Intention-Behaviour Relation for Unpleasant Tasks.” Supervisor, Jonathan Oakman. On display in the faculty of arts, PAS 2434. Oral defence Monday, July 12, 10:00 a.m., PAS building room 3026.

Physics and astronomy. Sean McGee, “The Role of the Group Environment in Galaxy Evolution.” Supervisor, Michael L. Balogh. On display in the faculty of science, ESC 254A. Oral defence Tuesday, July 13, 9:00 a.m., Physics room 2002.

Chemical engineering. Navid Omidbakhsh, “Computer Aided Product Design and Development for Peroxide Based Disinfectants.” Supervisors, Thomas Duever, Park Reilly and Ali Elkamel. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Wednesday, July 14, 9:30 a.m., Doug Wright Engineering room 2534.

Positions available

On this week's list from the human resources department:

• Employer services assistant manager, co-operative education and career services, USG 6/7
• Manager, lending services, library, USG 9
• Business analyst, co-operative education and career services, USG 9
• Administrative assistant, applied mathematics, USG 6
• Mentor, PDEng, USG 5 (six-month secondment or contract)

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