Making plans to mark the occasion

Paul Mayne // Western News

Western’s Canada 150 Committee co-chairs Jerry White, Sociology professor, and Marcia Steyaert, Community Relations Specialist in Communications and Public Affairs, are encouraging Western students, staff and faculty to help in the celebration by sharing their ideas about how to mark the occasion.

You’re going to see a lot of red and white mixed in with purple next year as the university prepares to help Canada celebrate its sesquicentennial.

Starting Jan. 1, 2017, Canadians throughout the country, as well as those living abroad, will take part in celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation in various ways. Canada Day 2017 will be the focal point of the celebrations, but the party will continue all year long.

Right here on campus, Western’s Canada 150 Committee is working on ways for the university community to mark the occasion, as well. With the university just 11 years the nation’s junior, the coming year offers an opportunity to reflect on our collective pasts and get excited about our futures, said Marcia Steyaert, Canada 150 Committee co-chair.

“Canada’s 150th provides us with an opportunity to not only celebrate our country’s history, but also the innovations and accomplishments of Western’s people through the years that have helped shape Canada,” said Steyaert, Community Relations Specialist in Communications and Public Affairs.

In advance of the celebrations, committee members, including Steyaert and fellow co-chair Sociology professor Jerry White, are encouraging Western students, staff and faculty to help in the celebration by sharing their ideas about how to mark the occasion.

“This is an exciting opportunity to put our unique Western spin on this nationwide celebration,” Steyaert said.

The university has earmarked two funds to support individuals and groups with ideas on ways to mark the occasion, including:

  • The Canada 150 Faculty/Staff Fund, where current faculty and staff members can apply for awards valued up to $2,500 each to support “an event, project or initiative taking place in 2017 related to Canada’s 150th.” Deadline to apply is Nov. 1. Visit for details; and
  • The Canada 150 Funding for Students program, where funds are available to the University Students’ Council (USC) and the Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) to “support projects, events or initiatives proposed by Western students or student organizations.” For information, contact USC Student Programs Officer Allie Adamo at or SOGS President Tamara Hinan at

“We have an opportunity to make this nationwide celebration resonate for those of us right here on campus, right here in London,” Steyaert continued. “While there will be celebrations going on from sea to sea to sea, we have an exciting opportunity to see how Western wants to recognize our nation’s history. As a university, we can bring a wealth of knowledge, creativity and context to the celebration. With everyone’s help, we can make this next year a meaningful experience for all.”

In 2017, Canada will commemorate several other important events, including the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup; the centennials of Vimy Ridge and the National Hockey League; the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid; and the 50th anniversary of the Canada Games.

Next year also marks a number of campus celebrations, including the 100th anniversary of the Department of History; the 85th anniversary of the French Immersion School at Trois-Pistoles; the 75th anniversary of the McIntosh Gallery; the 50th anniversaries for the Department of Visual Arts and Master of Library and Information Science program; and the 20th anniversaries for the Faculty of Information and Media Studies and its Media, Information and Technoculture (MIT) program.