Explore UBC through the Beaty’s Campus Walk Series!

While many of us spend a lot of time walking around campus on our way to class, work or otherwise, how many of us truly stop and appreciate the rich natural history which populates our campus?

On Saturday November 15th, I took part in the UBC Arboretum Walk, hosted by the Beaty Bidoversity Museum as part of their “Campus Walk” series. Through this unique event, I gained an incredible amount of knowledge about UBC’s history, biodiversity and the fun stories behind some of UBC’s most striking trees!



Held on a sunny Saturday morning, the walk was led by Shona Ellis, the Associate Head of Biology at UBC and a Professor of Botany at the university. With decades of experience living and working on UBC campus, Ellis was a fantastic tour guide, who kept our intimate group engaged (and laughing!) throughout the morning.

Exploring on a route that extended from the Beaty Museum and ended at the historic “Old Arboretum” on UBC’s campus, our group was able to learn an immense amount about how biodiversity has been maintained on campus throughout the last century, as well as get a snap-shot of how the campus has grown and changed over the years. In addition, we had the opportunity to take a step back and really look and learn about at the amazing trees found on our campus, which I know I easily must have walked by a hundred times during my time studying at UBC.



While I learned many, many facts about UBC’s living history on the Walk, here are some fun facts for you to keep an eye out for next time you are walking around campus. For example, I learned that many of the trees on campus have informational plate attached to them which denotes their species, name and historical information. Some trees even have “QR” codes attached to them so that community members can learn more information about them via their phones! As well, you’ll find that most trees on campus have been planted by species, so that certain areas on campus have a distinct biodiversity!

Overall, I found my “Campus Walk” experience to be incredibly refreshing, informative and very, very fun! Held every third Saturday of each month (with the next one coming up in January), I would recommend these events to anyone wanting to learn a bit more about our community’s rich history. As well, anyone with a valid UBC card can attend free of charge!


For more information about upcoming events at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, you can visit the museum’s website and follow UBCevents. For those interested, there will be a Geology-themed Campus Walk on January 17th. Plant and animal-themed walks will continue in February. Additionally, be sure to check out next month’s “Ask an Expert” table on December 7th to get answers to all of your burning questions about fossils!


-Written and prepared by Ian Schultz, UBCevents Communications Assistant

What’s Happening at UBC?- November

With work, school and life ramping up as we get closer to the holidays, it’s important to take some time for to enjoy yourself. UBC is offering numerous fun and informative events this month that you should definitely check out!

Saturday November 1st: Family Math and Science Day

10:00 AM-12:30 PM.

The UBC Faculty of Education is hosting this free, all-ages event for anybody who is looking to learn more about science and mathematics through fun, hands-on activities. A hit every year, this event is a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning with your friends & family!

Monday November 3rd to Friday November 7th: Thrive

“Try something new” during the 5th Annual UBC Thrive! Thrive is both a mindset and a week-long series of events focused on building positive mental health for UBC students, faculty, and staff. With events ranging from yoga sessions, craft workshops, lectures and UBC’s largest Zumba Class, there is something for everyone as we work towards building positive mental health in ourselves and in our community!


Photo Credit: UBC Thrive

Tuesday November 11th: Annual Remembrance Day Ceremony at UBC

10:45 AM-12:00 PM

While the University will be closed for Remembrance Day, it is highly encouraged for all members of the UBC community to attend the Annual Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11th, now celebrating its 63rd year. This special ceremony is an opportunity for faculty, staff, students and members of the on and off-campus community to honour and remember all those who served in times of war, military conflict and peace. Held at the War Memorial Gym, the ceremony will commence at 10:45 a.m., and will include short readings, remarks and music. Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony and all are welcome to stay.

Thursday November 13th: Pure Beauty: Science and Your Inner Artist

12:00 PM-1:00 PM

Can art help the public to better understand science? How concerned should scientists be about public outreach? How can scientists nurture their inner artist? Or should they, at all? These questions and more will be explored during this lunch-time lecture presented by the UBC Faculty of Science. Admission to the event is free, but interested attendees will need to RSVP!

Thursday November 13th- Sunday November 16th: UBC Opera Ensemble- Smetana: The Bartered Bride

Love, marriage, bargaining and more are to be found in this comic opera presented by UBC’s Opera Ensemble. Directed by Nancy Hermiston and  set against the backdrop of a Bohemian village, this performance promises to deliver laughs, joy and beautiful voices. UBC Students can enjoy the performance for just $15.00 and tickets are on sale online, by telephone or in-person at the Old Auditorium Box Office.

Photo Credit: UBC Opera

Photo Credit: UBC Opera

Wednesday November 19th: Alumni UBC Achievement Awards

6:00-9:00 PM

Join Alumni UBC as they honour seven inspiring members of the UBC community, who have done prominent work in connecting the university to communities near and far to create positive change! The gala evening will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and will feature a reception and a dinner. Tickets can still be purchased, starting at $175.00.


Photo Credit: alumniUBC

Wednesday November 26th: FIREtalk: The Digital Universe

4:00-6:00 PM

Run by graduate students, for graduate students, this interdisciplinary discussion will focus on the impact the digital sphere has had on research, academic work and knowledge preservation. The discussion will be held in Koerner Library, RM. 216 and will feature presenters chosen from a variety of disciplines. Come out to hear the engaging discussion or apply to be present and share your research and ideas!


Photo Credit: Koerner Library Research Commons

These are only a few of the many exciting events which are being hosted in the UBC community this month! For a full list of events, keep your eye on www.events.ubc.ca and the always entertaining This Week @ UBC video series!

Have a great month!

-Written and prepared by Ian Schultz, UBCevents Communications Assistant



Your Next Event at UBC: 4 Spaces to Book

At UBC there are many free resources for students to rent space for events. Feel free to tweet us at @UBCevents with any more suggestions!

Buildings and Classrooms

  • Space available: IKBLC, Buchanan, Henry Angus, etc.
  • Booking requirements: AMS-constituted club activities and faculty-sponsored student group activities can rent non-restricted classrooms at UBC for no charge through Scheduling Services.
  • Contact: 604-822-9292
IKBLC Room 182. Source: www.ikebarberlearningcentre.ubc.ca

IKBLC Room 182. Source: www.ikebarberlearningcentre.ubc.ca

Student Union Building (SUB)

  • Space available: ballroom, party room, 207/209, 214/216, etc. More info here.
  • Booking requirements: AMS Clubs are entitled to free bookings at the SUB for club-related activities. Each club may book four major rooms and eight minor rooms per term. Visit the AMS website on club bookings here.
  • Contact: 604-822-3966

SUB. Source: ubyssey.ca

International House (IHouse)

  • Space available: upper lounge, lower lounge, conference room
  • Booking requirements: UBC affiliated groups and faculties will not be charged for room use. Request a booking here.
  • Contact: international.house@ubc.ca
International House. Source: forestry.ubc.ca

International House. Source: forestry.ubc.ca

Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge and Resource Centre (GLRC)

  • Space available: media centre, resource centre, entire GLRC (including kitchen complete with a fridge, microwave and dishwasher)
  • Booking requirements: Space rental is free for Global Lounge Network members. Student groups or organizations with a global focus can apply to be members here. For existing members, booking can be done easily online here.
  • Contact: global.lounge@ubc.ca
GLRC Media Centre. Source: students.ubc.ca

GLRC Media Centre. Source: students.ubc.ca

Booth option: Residences

  • If you are looking to host a booth for promotional purposes you can try the SUB, IKBLC and various UBC residences
  • Space available: Marine Drive, Place Vanier, Totem Park, etc.
  • Booking requirements: Email the Residence Life Manager of the residence area you’re interested in hosting a booth in.
  • Contact: Visit this site for Residence contacts and mailing addresses.
Totem Park. Source: utown.ubc.ca

Place Vanier. Source: utown.ubc.ca

Theatre UBC presents “Twelfth Night”

Photo Credit:  Nancii Bernard

Photo Credit: Nancii Bernard

Mistaken identity? Romance? Misbehaviour? All that and more can be found in Theatre UBC’s production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, which sets the classic play during a New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration and is currently delighting audiences at the Frederic Wood Theatre.

Directed by Stephen Heatley, a faculty member with UBC’s Theatre department, and showcasing the talents of UBC BFA students (both on stage and behind-the-scenes), Theatre UBC’s adaptation of Twelfth Night is entertaining from beginning to end and offers something for all audience members. Whether you go to see some of UBC’s finest thespians give outstanding performances, or to marvel at the play’s breath-taking set and jazzy original music, your trip to the Frederic Wood Theatre will not be one you’ll soon regret.

Photo Credit:  Nancii Bernard

Photo Credit: Nancii Bernard

The play intersects the stories of a variety of lovers and schemers at court, as they explore ideas of identity, gender and class. Following a separation from her twin brother, our heroine Viola masquerades as “Cesario,” a man-servant at the service of Duke Orsino, who pines for the beautiful Olivia, who in turn is infatuated by the sensitive “Cesario,” who is really Viola! Also at play are the escapades of Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, Maria and Fabienne, a quartet of courtiers who scheme to pull one over on the haughty Malvolia, Olivia’s steward. Full of instances of mistaken identity, unrequited love and outrageous pranks, Twelfth Night will have you laughing from beginning to end, as each character is performed to perfection by the cast.

Photo Credit:  Nancii Bernard

Photo Credit: Nancii Bernard

Set during the middle of a wild New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration, rather than in 16th century Illyria, the production puts a modern twist on Shakespeare’s classic tale. Complete with vibrantly coloured costumes, a jazzy soundtrack and a plethora of Mardi Gras beads (some of which were given out by cast-members to the audience at intermission), theatre-goers will feel like they’ve been transported down to Louisiana for the evening. These thematic elements are complemented by the pitch-perfect delivery of Shakespeare’s classic language, which the cast has mastered in their performances (undoubtedly no easy feat.) All in all, this unique setting for the play is smart, creative and very, very fun and audiences will enjoy this fresh take on the Bard.

Photo Credit:  Nancii Bernard

Photo Credit: Nancii Bernard

The talent and passion of the performers on stage is what makes this production so remarkable to watch. Aside from their mastery of Shakespearean language, each member of the cast also has an incredible gift for timing and physical comedy, which helps makes the content relatable for everyone, no matter what their previous experience is with the play. Additionally, as another modern twist, many of the players adapt roles which were originally written for the opposite gender and expertly embody this transition as they deliver their performances. Overall, the BFA students who bring Twelfth Night to life are powerful and professional in their performances and it is obvious they have a bright future on the stage ahead of them.

Photo Credit:  Nancii Bernard

Photo Credit: Nancii Bernard

If you are interested in taking in a fun, polished and professional production at UBC this month, then look no further than Theatre UBC’s Twelfth Night. The reasonable ticket prices offer a great opportunity for a night out with friends or family (or maybe even a date night!) Additionally, you can also see the performance for free if you volunteer to usher. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Frederic Wood Theatre box-office and the show runs from September 25th-October 11th. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to witness some of UBC’s finest performers in action!

For more information about Twelfth Night and other upcoming productions by Theatre UBC, please visit the UBC Theatre and Film Website and follow @TheatreUBC on Twitter!

-Written by Ian Schultz, UBCevents Communications Assistant













#RippleEffectUBC Lab: Eat Bugs

Among the many Ripple Effect UBC events, the Eat Bugs one was the most eye opening to me. Entomophagy is the consumption of insects by humans and I learned this term through the September 26 Ripple Lab hosted by Dr Yasmin Akhtar. Dr Akhtar began by exclaiming that bugs are sustainable, nutritious and delicious!


Dr Yasmin Akhtar on entomophagy

I was skeptical as I looked around at the food samples with silk worms and crickets sprinkled on top. She asked the audience who has not eaten bugs before and after a few of us raised our hands, she replied, “You’re lying!” Then she proceeded to give us astounding facts such as peanut butter contains on average 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams. Perhaps you don’t eat peanut butter, what about using ground pepper in cooking? Well that can contain on average 475 or more insect fragments per 50 grams. Certain amounts of insect fragments in food is approved by the FDA.

She argues that we are already eating bugs without knowing it so the most important part is our perception of bugs. They’re associated with filth and disease but the good benefits they bring are abundant protein and are sustainable to harvest compared to conventional livestock.  For example, insects use significantly less water than livestock.

Dr Akhtar demonstrated potato ball and samosa recipes incorporating cricket powder. It was definitely one of the most unique cooking demonstrations I’ve seen since it incorporated insect powder!

So how did the food taste? I tried the chocolate cricket bark and it tasted like chocolate with a hint of coconut oil and some crunchy caramel bits. If I didn’t know there were crickets inside, I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. I also tried a guacamole sprinkled with silk worms and the silk worms tasted like a crunchy nut. I was surprised that it tasted nutty!





If changing your diet to incorporate bugs to be sustainable is too hard to swallow, learn about more sustainability ideas at rippleeffect.sustain.ubc.ca.

For more information on edible insects visit www.fao.org/forestry/edibleinsects.

-Vivien Lee, UBCevents Communications Assistant

What’s Happening at UBC? – October

It’s half-way through Term 1 and mid-terms are rolling around but stay connected with UBC by attending some of the amazing events happening in the month of October.


September 30 to October 1: Career Days – 10:00am-3:00pm

Meet professionals and network with companies and organizations to explore your career options. Attend workshops such as “Panic to Power” and get a professional head shot taken for free to update your LinkedIn profile.

Ongoing until October 11: UBC Theatre presents: Twelfth Night – 7:30pm

This romantic comedy of epic proportions is often referred to as Shakespeare’s very finest comedy. Orsino loves Olivia. Olivia doesn’t love him. She loves Cesario who’s actually Viola in disguise. And then there’s Malvolia… where will her giddy infatuation lead her?

TICKETS: Reg. $24.50/Senior $16.50/Student $11.50/Youth $9/Groups $2 off ~ all charges included/Student Rush $7/UBC Alumni $10

October 7: UBC Farm Market – 4:30pm-6:30pm

New this year, come down to the UBC Farm on a Tuesday evening and pick up some local, organically grown ingredients for dinner.

October 8: Global Experience Fair – 11:00am-5:00pm

Drop by the Global Experience Fair in the main lobby at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre to explore your options for international learning and getting global experience. Students from universities around the globe and UBC students who’ve studied abroad will share stories and answer questions about the process and specifics about life on exchange.

October 9: UBC Symphony Orchestra - 8:00pm

UBC Symphony Orchestra performs Wagner, Haydn and Bartok. Jonathan Girard is the conductor.

Wagner – Die Meistersinger, WWV 96: Prelude
Haydn – Symphony No. 104 in D Major
Bartók – Concerto for Orchestra

This event is free. Get your tickets from the Chan Centre Ticket Office starting at noon on the day of the performance.

October 18-19: Apple Festival – 11:00am-4:00pm

A family event for all ages, the UBC Apple Festival celebrates one of British Columbia’s favourite fruits. From children learning about the diversity of apples to those who remember tasting heritage apples in their youth, the Apple Festival is a great opportunity to not only discover more about this delicious fruit, but have a whole lot of fun doing it!

Entry is $4, cash only. Children 12 years and under enter for free.

October 25 to November 1: Celebrate Learning Week – 9:00am-4:00pm

UBC will host a number of events across campus that celebrate teaching and learning. Events will feature open lectures, information sessions, student advising activities, poster sessions, workshops, and more.

October 27: Gairdner Foundation Symposium – 4:00pm-6:00pm

Two leading scientists and Canada Gairdner Award recipients, James P. Allison and Salim Yusuf will be hosting an inspiring session at UBC’s Life Sciences Centre. General admission is free.

October 31: Halloween Concert: Piano Students of Corey Hamm – 7:00pm

Attend a free music concert at the Barnett Hall this Halloween.

$10 Vegetarian Pasta Recipe: Main Mall Harvest Feast

Harvest Watermelon Blueberry Salad recipe

UBCevents at Imagine Day 2014

Woohoo, finally graduated! What a great way to end my time at UBC! | Guest Post by Lauren Riva

My graduation was a really special day that I was fortunate enough to share with my friends and family. After a morning jog through my neighbourhood, a haircut and last minute wardrobe changes, I found myself in front of a mirror adjusting my cap and gown. Actually, I found myself in front of a mirror having a minor panic attack, because I was late, had tripped down the stairs and was struggling to attach the hood to my gown. Luckily, two friendly grads — who I had never met before — came to my rescue, and after introducing themselves with their procession numbers, made sure that I looked presentable. (Thanks, guys!)

When I found my spot in the procession line-up, I was surprised with how many people I knew, who I hadn’t realized were graduating. Having delayed my graduation date with co-op and exchange, I hadn’t expected to see so many familiar, friendly faces. I had some good friends who had taken a similar prolonged undergraduate route, but it was really cool to see so many friends all in one place, celebrating the same achievement.


Lauren with friend Jessica

I also really underestimated how cool it would be to walk into the Chan Centre. I could hardly contain my smile as I walked past so many students and parents, and searched for my own. As graduate #57, I had prime seating in the second row and didn’t have to wait too long for my turn to cross the stage. But, hearing my name called, walking across the stage and shaking several hands are all somewhat of a blur! As I focused on not tripping on the stairs or on the stage, I was still able to appreciate the excitement in the moment.

After the ceremony, I took photos with my friends and family, and then went for dinner at a fancy French restaurant. I was really lucky to have my ceremony on a day where the weather cooperated, as it turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day. My brother, who is a dedicated student athlete and engineering student at UVic, came over from the island, skipping a workout and a lab to attend my ceremony. My parents, who both live in Vancouver, also took the day off work to be a part of the celebration. One of my best friends showed up after the ceremony with flowers; all of these things, in addition to the many phone calls and messages contributed to my graduation day feeling really special.


Riva family


Lauren with brother Thomas

With my dad as a UBC alumnus, I am continuing a family tradition, as the second generation of UBC graduates in our family. On my mom’s side, I am the first one in our family to graduate from any university, which is also pretty special. All of the love and support that I had on graduation day — not to mention throughout the course of completing my degree — made me feel really proud of my accomplishments. As somewhat of a perfectionist, occasionally I’ve been less than satisfied with certain grades during my time at UBC. But on graduation day, the grades, the time spent in the library, all of the little things that I like to stress over, don’t matter — I made it, I have a degree! Plus, in the course of completing my studies from an excellent university, I had so many incredible experiences along the way!


Lauren Riva

Recent Posts

Explore UBC through the Beaty’s Campus Walk Series!

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum’s Campus Walks are a fun, informative and refreshing way to spend your Saturday morning!

What’s Happening at UBC?- November

With opera performances, ceremonies, lectures and Thrive coming to UBC this November, you’ll have no shortage of things to do this month!

Your Next Event at UBC: 4 Spaces to Book

At UBC there are many free resources for students to rent space for events. In this blogpost we highlight four sources around campus and a bonus tip on renting booth space.

See more blog posts.

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