Connect U coming to campus May 22–23

Connect U, the university’s all-staff conference, is back with an all-new location and format for 2019. Registration for the May 22-23 event is free and open to all UVic employees.

“We encourage staff who have never been to Connect U to come and see what it’s all about this year,” says conference co-chair Sarah Hood. “It’s a great way to meet your colleagues while learning more about the university. People are welcome to come when they can—whether that’s for a meal, a visit to the info fair or to take in a session or a tour that piques their interest.” This year’s program showcases how departments and units are embedding the priorities of the university’s Strategic Framework in their day-to-day work.

A full day of conference sessions takes place on day one (May 22) from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Kick the day off with a hot breakfast and join UVic Vice-President Finance and Operations Gayle Gorrill for a keynote presentation in the Michèle Pujol Room, including the Staff Sustainability Champion Awards. Don’t forget to drop off your postcard entry form at the registration table for a chance to win fantastic prizes, including gift certificates, swag and group tours.

Then head off to the wide range of sessions in the Clearihue Building, or an experiential tour at a variety of campus locations. Try out a dance lesson, explore Finnerty Gardens, learn about the Witness Blanket project, remove invasive ivy from Mystic Vale or pick up a paintbrush for the community mural art project in the Campus Bike Centre. Sit and listen or get your hands dirty—it’s your choice! Enjoy lunch with President Jamie Cassels, as he shares how UVic is working to implement the Strategic Framework priorities.

On day two (May 23), bring your walking shoes and coffee mug to enjoy a progressive outdoor breakfast with the UVic leadership team. Then choose from a range of experiential and walking tours, including getting behind the scenes at Printing Services, Ocean Networks Canada, the Campus Community Garden and the new music digitization studio, among other unique UVic locations.

From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Michèle Pujol Room (day 2 only), you’re welcome to drop in to the info fair, featuring displays from units across campus (no registration required).

The event wraps up with a lunch-time barbeque and the ever-popular scavenger hunt in the quad. Now an official part of Connect U, the game starts at 12:15 p.m. and will end in time for the barbeque. Players will compete as teams to accomplish a variety of weird and wacky tasks. Talk to your colleagues now about forming a team: to register, contact gamemaster .

A team of staff volunteers will again be helping the event run smoothly. Two-hour volunteer shifts for tour assistants, room hosts and other roles are still available at Please sign up by April 12.

“This is my first Connect U experience. I’m excited to attend some of the cultural events and to meet co-workers I wouldn’t normally meet from across campus,” says Sarah Grindlay (continuing studies). “I’m especially looking forward to taking part in the community mural art project, and going on a Coast Salish art walking tour.”

Employees are invited to register for a single session or a full slate of activities. Register early as space is limited, and popular sessions fill up quickly. Full info and registration at

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Keywords: administrative

Publication: The Ring

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