Ideafest is coming, March 4-9

- Tom Deas

Do whales have culture? What would it feel like to be part of an orchestra? How does a rise in asylum seekers affect Canada? These are just a handful of the thought-provoking questions you can expect to be answered at Ideafest 2019.  

From March 4–9, UVic’s annual festival of research, art and innovation returns for its eighth action-packed year. With over 40 unique events on campus and beyond, showcasing the brightest minds and the latest inspiring ideas, you will struggle to find something that doesn’t pique your interest.  

Those that like to keep up-to-date on the latest technologies should head to Changemakers: Bright minds and big ideas, where you will hear from three of UVic’s Canada Research Chairs making big changes in the fields of cancer therapy and personalised medicine. Or learn more about machine learning and intelligent systems and the impact they are making on our everyday lives at “Alexa, please explain machine learning.”

If you favour the arts and performance-based events then Write on: A night out with new writers is not to be missed; the always-popular Ideafest fixture provides the chance to hear the latest work from five of UVic’s graduate authors. All Ideafest events are organised by faculty, staff and students and some plan to utilize performance to tell their stories in novel ways. Reimagining justice: Art, law and social change features an interpretive dance performance from UVic law students and aims to challenge audiences to explore the role art can play in legal education. Living in the margins of higher education seeks to showcase the often overlooked voices of those in higher education from poverty and working-class backgrounds through spoken word, video and discussion. One reason the organisers chose this approach is to allow a greater level of audience engagement. “Because we are living in the margins, expressing our ideas through performance will help the audience enter into the shared space of our lived experience, engaging with our stories from the heart as well as the mind,“ says Elaine Laberge, a member of the coordinating team from the Department of Sociology.

The festival offers a great chance for thousands of visitors to access the university campus. At Tremendous trees, the Centre for Forest Biology invites guests to discover carnivorous plants and the secrets held by pollen in a tour of its greenhouse.  

Visitors of all ages will be offered a warm Welcome to the 21st century library for a day of 3D printing, VR headsets and pop-up books.

All events are free and open to the public, though some require registration. See the program of 40+ events at


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Keywords: Ideafest, research, student life

Publication: The Ring

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