Guest blog by the University of Regina communications team
From May 26 to June 1, thousands of guests made their way to the University of Regina campus for the 87th Congress of The Humanities and Social Sciences. By all accounts, the event was a tremendous success and further proof that when it comes to hosting major events, nobody does it quite like Regina.
For Academic Convenor André Magnan, the success of Congress was a direct result of community support and the many volunteers who worked tirelessly both leading up to and during the event. “People put a lot of hours into making this event a success. We heard a lot of positive feedback about our campus and the friendliness of all of our volunteers. It was a great reflection of our campus and our community.”
The week-long event, the largest of its kind in Canada, brought together academics, researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners, for a series of lively discussions and debates. A wide range of topics were discussed, including the many social, cultural and political issues currently affecting Canada.
According to Magnan, this year’s discussions were especially relevant in the area of environmentalism. “I think this is a strength of the humanities and social sciences. We’re researchers and students who are looking at some of the biggest challenges facing our society,” said Magnan. “We’re all looking for answers to the challenges of climate change and the resulting environmental impacts. It’s not an easy solution to find.”
In addition to in-depth environmental discussions, Congress 2018 also shone a spotlight on the area of reconciliation. A variety forums were held in this area, including a keynote address by Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. “People are becoming more educated about the past, but also starting to understand the importance of building stronger relationships with Indigenous peoples moving forward,” said Magnan.
Beyond the extensive lineup of keynote addresses and workshops, Congress also provided a platform to showcase plenty of Canadian talent. From Buffy Sainte-Marie to Jeffery Straker, Congress offered plenty of free entertainment for event attendees and the general public. This combined with an impressive offering of local food and drink, made Congress 2018 a great success.