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.

Thank you

2020 marked the 15th anniversary of the beginning of UBC’s Okanagan campus — and a unique and unprecedented set of global circumstances.

Although our opportunities to come together safely in person were limited, the importance of building community and connection was significant. Throughout the Festival of Ideas, we hosted events that connected our community — virtually and safely.

Thank you to everyone who both presented and participated, we truly value your contributions and support.

Lesley Cormack,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal

Ananya Mukherjee Reed

Ananya Mukherjee Reed,
Provost and Vice-President Academic


The following events have recordings available to watch.

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

Held: March 5, 2020
Format: Panel discussion, followed by public reception

The inaugural event that launched Okanagan campus’ Festival of Ideas, a celebration of the 15th anniversary of this campus. The panel discussed what individuals, institutions and organizations can do to advance reconciliation, democracy, and equity and inclusion.


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

Held: September 17, 2020
Format: Webinar, followed by a discussion and Q&A moderated by Minelle Mahtani, Senior Advisor to the Provost on Racialized Faculty, UBC Vancouver

This presentation explored how the image of the university campus is a contradictory space for students, faculty, and staff of colour— 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

The Potential for Black Studies Programs in Canada

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

Held: October 23, 2020
Format: Webinar, followed by a discussion and Q&A moderated

The first official speaker event in the Provost’s Speaker Series on Systemic Racism, this presentation featured two segments:

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

Watch the recording

Science and Systemic Racism

A talk with Alejandro Adem, President, NSERC, Magdalena Skipper, Editor in Chief, Nature and Assistant Professor Ian Foulds, UBC Okanagan

Held: November 26, 2020
Format: Webinar, followed by a moderated Q&A.

The first presentation in a three-part series, discussing systemic racism in the world of science from institutional perspectives.

Watch the recording


Thank you to those who participated in the following events.

History and Sociology Speaker Series

Held: March 10, 2020

This presentation, hosted by Anne Murphy, associate professor in Asian Studies at UBC Vancouver, explored different aspects of Punjabi connections using theatre, visual art and literary production. She focused on the Punjabi language as a Canadian and South Asian language, and how creative work like poetry and art is expressed in this dynamic relationship.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Final 2020

Held: March 10, 2020

The 3MT event, hosted by Doris Bregolisse of Global Okanagan, showcased graduate student research at UBC Okanagan. The pressure clock was ticking as graduate students had just 180 seconds and one slide to detail their research. With $6,000 in prize money on the line, the audience chose their favourite presentation for the alumni UBC People’s Choice Award.

image a human body exercising

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

Held: March 11, 2020

This presentation, hosted by Dr. André la Gerche, cardiologist and senior research fellow at St. Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne, Australia, explored how endurance exercise impacts the human heart.

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

Held: March 11, 2020

People say history has a way of repeating itself. This presentation, hosted by The Irving K. Barber of School of Arts and Sciences, was part of the Reichwald Visiting Speaker Series and featured three distinguished guest speakers. The talk explored the lessons of past atrocities and why a methodical approach to understanding the past will better equip us to improve the future.

Beneath the Surface: Root Determinants of Indigenous Health Inequities

Held: March 11, 2020
Format: Webinar, followed by a discussion and moderated Q&A.

This presentation, hosted by Dr. Charlotte Loppie, touched on her goal is to empower communities, build research capacity and tackle the health disparities faced by Indigenous peoples.

Aerial view of the UBC Okanagan campus

Being creative for health and wellbeing

Held: October 22, 2020

This partnership in research webinar focused on projects developed by members of the UBC-funded “Culture, Creativity, Health and Well-Being” Research Cluster.

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