First Night starts year with free fun for all

UBC's 84th year will officially begin Sept. 7 at 7p.m on the Walter C. Koerner Library plaza with First Night, an evening of free entertainment for the public.

"The idea of the opening ceremony is to provide a focal point to kick off the year," says Human Kinetics Asst. Prof. Nestor Korchinsky, co-chair of the Live @ UBC Vision 98/99 committee organizing the event. "We want people to be excited about being here, excited about what they'll be learning."

"Vancouver's brainiest band," The Fray, which features UBC Law Prof. Joel Bakan, SFU English Prof. Paul Budra, poet Kristin Fredrickson and journalist Mick Gzowski will open the festivities. VTV news anchor Paul Mennier will be the evening's master of ceremonies.

First Night's main act will be Uzume Taiko. Canada's first professional Japanese taiko drum group will present a unique performance of music, movement and theatre using a diverse collection of percussive, melodic instruments and taiko drums.

Festivities will end with an outdoor screening under the full moon of Grease, the 1970s rock and roll musical hit starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. If it rains, First Night festivities will move to the Museum of Anthropology.

Parking for First Night is available in the Rose Garden Parkade. Enter off Northwest Marine Drive.

First Night is part of the Welcome Festival, which offers a variety of events on campus throughout the month of September. There will be five more festivals throughout the school year.

Live @ UBC Vision 98/99 is a campus-wide initiative to raise the awareness of the diversity of social, cultural and academic activities taking place at the university.

"We hope to give students lifelong memories of their academic and social experiences so that when they graduate they will become the best ambassadors UBC has ever produced," says Korchinsky.

For more information check the Web site at