By order of the Provincial Health Officer, in-person UBC events — both indoors and outdoors — are suspended. Events are required to be held virtually with only essential staff on site in-person to support the virtual event delivery and broadcast. This is in effect until February 5, 2021, at midnight. Visit for information updates on COVID-19 and UBC’s response.

Engaging with our community is at the core of everything we do. We have curated a year-long lineup of events to inspire ideas and catalyze conversation as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of this campus.

Introducing the Festival of Ideas


2020 marks the 15th anniversary of UBC Okanagan. In these 15 years, talented and passionate people have come together to create a university campus whose impact is felt in the region and beyond. Our partnerships with the Syilx Okanagan Nation and the communities we serve are central to this trajectory.

2020 also marks the most unique set of global circumstances that we have ever seen. Although our options for coming together safely in person are limited the importance of building community and connection is still paramount – now more than ever.

Over the coming months, we will be curating events that will connect our community, virtually and safely. Until we can meet again in person we will not falter on our commitment to our community.

Lesley Cormack,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Ananya Mukherjee Reed

Ananya Mukherjee Reed,
Provost and Vice-President Academic


Check back for details.

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Science and Systemic Racism

Date: Thursday, November 26, 2020
Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am PST | 12:00 – 2:00 pm EST
Format: Webinar; the conversation will be followed by a moderated Q&A.
Cost: Free, registration is required

Watch the recording

Beneath the Surface: Root Determinants of Indigenous Health Inequities

Date: October 19, 2020
Time: 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Format: Webinar; the talk will be followed by a discussion and Q&A moderated
Cost: Free, registration is required


Aerial view of the UBC Okanagan campus

Being creative for health and wellbeing

A partnership in research webinar

Date: October 22, 2020
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Format: Webinar
Cost: Free, but registration is required

This presentation focuses on projects developed by members of the UBC-funded “Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-Being” Research Cluster. These projects honour diverse forms of knowledge and experiences; promote intergenerational and cross-cultural community connectivity; and valorize the contributions of those who have traditionally been marginalised or excluded from health-related arts-based qualitative research.

Learn More

The Potential for Black Studies Programs in Canada

A talk with Professor Andrea A. Davis, York University and Professor Handel Kashope Wright, UBC Vancouver  


Date: October 23, 2020
Time: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm PST | 2:00 – 3:30 pm EST
Format: Webinar; the talk will be followed by a discussion and Q&A moderated
Cost: Free, registration is required

Join the first official speaker event in Provost’s Speaker Series on Systemic Racism with two unique presentations:

  • Building Black Studies in Canada: Moving beyond Anti-Racism Courses
  • Did Someone Say Black British Columbia? Rough Autobiographical Notes on Blackness and the Prospects of Black Studies at UBC

Watch the recording

You’re not crazy, you’re not wrong: Hearing experiences of people of colour in the University

A talk with Professor Anthony Stewart, John P. Crozer Chair of English Literature, Bucknell University, Pennsylvania, USA

Date: September 17, 2020
Time: 1:00 – 2:30 pm Vancouver time | 4:00 – 5:30 EST
Format: Webinar; the talk will be followed by a discussion and Q&A moderated by Minelle Mahtani, Senior Advisor to the Provost on Racialized Faculty, UBC Vancouver
Cost: Free, but registration is required as seating is limited

The conventional image of the university is of a place that promises an environment where open-minded people exchange ideas freely, for the benefit of all parties equally. And for some, that is the experience of a university campus. But for others—specifically students, faculty, and staff of colour—the campus is a contradictory space, where tolerance is promised but not always delivered, and where the ugly realities of everyday non-campus life are also a significant part of the university experience.

Watch the recording

Igniting Greater Civic Engagement in Our Community, Our Province

A solutions-focused panel discussion with the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Janet Austin, OBC.

Date: March 5
Time: 6 p.m. doors open | 6:30 p.m. discussion begins | Public reception with refreshments to follow
Place: The Laurel Packinghouse, 1304 Ellis Street, Kelowna
Cost: Free, but registration is required as seating is limited

As the inaugural event of the Okanagan campus’ Festival of Ideas, this panel will begin a year-long lineup of events that will inspire ideas and catalyze conversation as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of this campus.

What can individuals, institutions and organizations do to advance reconciliation, democracy, and equity and inclusion?



History and Sociology Speaker Series

Historical connection of Punjabi explored through theatre, art and literary production

Date: March 10
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Place: Okanagan Regional Library, 1380 Ellis Street, Kelowna
Cost: Free, registration required

The histories of Canada and South Asia are deeply intertwined. They are connected through the history of the British Empire and anti-imperial resistance, global histories of migration and cultural exchange, and the continuous unfolding of South Asian Canadian pasts.

Anne Murphy, associate professor in Asian Studies at UBC Vancouver, will explore different aspects of these connections using theatre, visual art and literary production. She will focus on the Punjabi language as a Canadian and South Asian language, and how creative work like poetry and art express this dynamic relationship.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Final 2020

Date: March 10
Time: 5–8 p.m.
Place: Kelowna Innovation Centre, 460 Doyle Ave, Kelowna
Cost: Free, registration required – SOLD OUT

The clock is ticking — graduate students have just 180 seconds and one slide to tell you about their research. With $6,000 in prize money on the line, it’s bound to be an exciting night. You’re invited to see it all live!

Hosted by Doris Bregolisse of Global Okanagan, 3MT is a showcase of graduate student research at UBC Okanagan. Learn about innovative research, vote for your favourite presentation for the alumni UBC People’s Choice Award, and mingle with presenters and fellow attendees at the reception to follow.

Everyone is welcome, but seating is limited.

Lessons from 20th Century Atrocities: How Can Historians Help?

The talk explores the lessons of past atrocities

Date: March 11
Time: 1:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Place: UBC Okanagan Campus – UNC 200
Cost: Free, registration required

People say history has a way of repeating itself.

Though meant harmlessly in most contexts, it’s a frightening thought when considering the atrocities of the 20thcentury.

The Irving K. Barber of School of Arts and Sciences will host a panel discussion featuring three distinguished guest speakers to explore why a methodical approach to understanding the past will better equip us to improve the future.

This talk is part of the Reichwald Visiting Speaker Series.

image a human body exercising

Endurance Exercise and Your Heart: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Date: March 11
Time: 5–7 p.m.
Place: Sandhill Winery, 1125 Richter St, Kelowna BC
Cost: Free, registration required – SOLD OUT

Join Dr. André la Gerche, cardiologist and senior research fellow at St. Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne, Australia, to learn how endurance exercise impacts the human heart.

senior citizen playing with children

Embrace Aging Month

*The majority of events have been cancelled*


Date: March 1–31
Time: Various
Place: Locations across the Okanagan
Cost: Free

The seventh annual Embrace Aging Month is held to raise awareness of available community resources and to connect seniors and their families with these resources. During this month, the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention and its co-sponsors — Interior Savings Credit Union and Interior Health — partner with other organizations to host free events, workshops, information sessions, and activities targeted at seniors and their family caregivers in the Okanagan region.


students at podiums on a stage at the Roger Watts debate

Cancelled – Roger Watts Debate

Date: March 25
Time: 5:30–7:30pm
Place: Mary Irwin Theatre, 421 Cawston Avenue, Kelowna
Cost: Free, registration required

Top UBC Okanagan student debaters will argue their case before a panel of community judges who will decide the winners. Prizes of $1,000 for the first place finishers and $500 for the runners up will be awarded, and a reception will follow.


Cancelled – Okanagan Symphony Orchestra Open Rehearsal

with Guest Conductor Ivars Taurins 

Date: March 31
Time: 7:00–9:30pm
Place: UBC Okanagan UNC 200
Cost: Free

Renowned baroque specialist Ivars Taurins (of Tafelmusik fame) leads the OSO in rehearsal as it prepares for its eclectic program that celebrates the music of this historic era. You will hear music from Bach’s own fascinating library of scores — his own works as well as those by his contemporaries that he would have performed.

No registration is required for this event – just show up!

Spring graphic for festival of arts

All events Cancelled or Postponed – Spring! Festival of the Arts

Date: March 1–May 1
Time: Various
Various locations at UBC Okanagan and throughout Kelowna
Cost: Mainly free

A festival within a festival, FCCS’s Spring! Festival of the Arts brings a myriad of events to the UBCO campus and to the City of Kelowna. Many events are free and all are open to the public.

The Spring! Festival of the Arts covers the spectrum of artistic adventures by students, faculty and guest artists through performances, film screenings, spoken word events, guest lectures, and art exhibitions in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography.