Celebrating Learning in the Community: Bringing Higher Education Down from the Tower

The Conference Board of Canada, April 25, 2017
Recorded Webinar
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Institutions of higher education and municipalities sometimes face challenges in connecting with one another. Complex socio-political and geographic divisions can make this disjunction difficult to overcome, but communities and post-secondary institutions are realizing the value of bridging this divide.

The Burnaby Festival of Learning launched in May 2016 with the intention of strengthening connections between the local community and a major post-secondary institution. Jointly led by Simon Fraser University and the City of Burnaby, the week-long festival offered free educational events across the city, engaging Burnaby residents of all backgrounds in the celebration of lifelong learning. At the same time, the Festival created new networks between municipal leadership, university leadership, municipal and university departments, the local public library system, and the local school district.

This is the first webinar of a 3 part series called The City-Campus Connection: Higher Education for Community and Regional Development Contact us to register for all 3!

Webinar Highlights

Join us for a 60-minute coffee-talk webinar with the organizers of Burnaby’s first Festival of Learning. In this interactive webinar, we will explore:

  • Lessons learned from the inaugural Burnaby Festival of Learning.
  • The challenges and benefits for campuses and municipalities in seeking out collaborations.
  • The festival and celebration model as an approach to enhancing campus-community connections.

About Elaine

Photo of Elaine FaireyElaine Fairey, Associate University Librarian, Learning and Research Services, Simon Fraser University .

Beginning her career with the Toronto Reference Library and Vancouver Public Library, Elaine Fairey joined the Simon Fraser University Library in 1992 and became an associate university librarian in 2003. She is responsible for the Library's learning and research services, and played a key role in developing the Student Learning Commons, the university's writing, learning and EAL student support service, and the Research Commons, an active hub of research support for graduate students and faculty. Her current project is the development of library "makerspace" programs and services. She believes strongly in the value of collaborative initiatives and was very pleased to 'walk the talk' as co-chair of the 2016 Burnaby Festival of Learning planning committee.

About Deb

Photo of Deb ThomasDeb Thomas, Deputy Chief Librarian, Burnaby Public Library

Deb Thomas has been working in libraries for over 40 years. Her first paid library job was as a circulation clerk at Binghamton University. She went on to work in academic libraries for over a decade before moving to public library administration. She is currently Deputy Chief Librarian for Burnaby Public Library. Throughout her career, she has helped to facilitate productive partnerships with local agencies, educational institutions, and vendors. After several years of searching for the perfect partnership with Simon Fraser University, she was delighted to be asked to co-chair the Burnaby Festival of Learning planning committee and to be part of this very successful collaboration.

About Liz

Photo of Elizabeth MartinLiz Martin, Research Associate, The Conference Board of Canada

Liz Martin conducts research into skills and post-secondary education in Canada. She has published reports and articles on internationalization, linkages between PSE and secondary education, private PSE and training, lifelong learning, and PSE-community collaborations. She is a graduate of Carleton University (MA) and the University of Alberta (BA).

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