Innovation '97 organizers invite campus to light up

by Sean Kelly
Staff writer

A lantern procession and ceremony to mark the beginning of the festive season on campus will be part of a special reception for graduates attending the 5 p.m. Fall Congregation ceremonies Nov. 20.

Following Congregation around 6 p.m., graduates emerging from the Chan Centre will be greeted with songs from the University Singers. Instead of the usual reception on the nearby Flagpole Plaza, graduates and their friends and family will move to the Main Library plaza. The University Singers will lead the way, holding lanterns handmade by UBC, Vancouver elementary and high school students.

Lights on two trees in front of the Main Library will be switched on. President Martha Piper, Chancellor William Sauder, and Alma Mater Society President Ryan Davies will attend. Volunteers will collect donations of non-perishable food items for the Food Bank during the ceremony. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to come.

The ceremony kicks off the Lights Festival, which runs until Jan. 9, 1998 and is part of Innovation '97-- a year of events intended to foster a sense of community and spirit on campus.

Innovation '97 organizers Nestor Korchinsky and Sue Demaine of Intramural Sports and Recreation are encouraging all departments to join in the festival by decorating trees and office windows.

"We'd like to see people do whatever they can to contribute to the festive season and bring some light to campus during what tends to be a gray and dull time of year," says Demaine.

The festival also includes a contest open to elementary and high school students for the best handmade lanterns. Eighteen high schools and 91 elementary schools have been invited to participate. Volunteers will acccept entries in the foyer of the War Memorial Gym Nov. 18 to 19 from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. First, second and third place winners will win half-day field trips to UBC.