Innovation `97 pulls festivities together

Innovation '97 organizers and dozens of volunteers and supporters are working to increase community spirit on campus and get more people involved in campus events.

For the past months, they've been planning innovative ways of promoting familiar campus events, and they've introduced a few new events as well.

Nestor Korchinsky, Intramural Sports and Recreation co-ordinator and one of the organizers, says Innovation '97 is meant to promote the diversity of social, cultural and recreational opportunities which are part of the UBC experience.

"We want students to look back on their years at UBC as being one of the most exciting and enriching experiences of their lives. Innovation '97 will foster a sense of community, campus spirit and pride," he says.

Innovation '97 gathers together 36 different "hosts" -- campus clubs, societies and organizations -- all of which saw the advantage of promoting their events in a collective way.

More than 600 social events, cultural programs and competitive activities are now offered under the Innovation '97 banner, with more campus event organizers adding their events all the time.

Organizer Susan Demaine from Intramural Sports and Recreation says selling the idea of Innovation '97 to potential participants has been surprisingly easy.

"It's a brand new idea, but once people found out about it they were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about making their event part of Innovation '97."

Demaine put together the calendar of events and organized a Web site, which can be found at

The schedule features 12 separate festivals, including familiar ones like Apple Festival and Arts Fest, as well as new ones such as the Heritage Festival Sept. 12 to Oct. 4 and the Lights Festival in November.

The Lights Festival will see trees beside the Main Library entrance adorned with decorative lighting Nov. 20-Jan. 5.

Opening ceremonies took place Sept. 1 on Koerner Plaza with a light and sound show and a performance by the group SWARM.

Anyone on campus who would like to add their event to the Innovation '97 calendar should e-mail