Written by: Agnetha de Sa, Peak Associate
SFU held its first annual Streetfest, a collaboration between the university and UniverCity, at the Burnaby campus on September 14. “It was a true success,” commented Streetfest co-chair Mark McLaughlin following the event.
McLaughlin noted that he had received positive feedback from event attendees. ”The community had a great time [ . . . ] we had a plan B, but didn’t have to pull out the plan B because the weather held off,” he said.
McLaughlin noted that the organizing team for the Streetfest wasn’t sure what to expect from the event or for the number of attendees the event might gather, as it was the first time such an event had been held on the mountain. “It was a real surprise for folks because it was the first time we tried this event, you know, bringing the whole community on top of the mountain in one place,” he said.
McLaughlin estimated that approximately 5,000 members of the community attended the event, including students from SFU and Fraser International College (FIC) as well as SFU Childcare, children from Highland Elementary school, and families from the mountain.
“We had great entertainment [ . . . ] lots of SFU talent,” said McLaughlin, noting the SFU cheer team and a juggler who performed with fire and knives. The event also featured a climbing wall.
Over 50 exhibitors, vendors, and booths were present at the event, leading to the entire street being blocked off on campus.
“The beverage garden was busy,” McLaughlin added.
The BC Lions, as well as the Vancouver Whitecaps attended the Streetfest. The event was also visited by Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and NDP party leader Jagmeet Singh.
The event was organized by a committee consisting of groups from SFU such as Athletics and Recreation, Student Services, and Dining Services, as well as people from the UniverCity Community Association, UniverCity businesses, Highland Elementary School, and the SFU Childcare centre.
“Everybody participated on the organizing committee so it was a real event put on by the community for the community. We kinda took back the street for the day.” – Mark McLaughlin, SFU Streetfest co-chair
Student volunteers from SFU were also involved in organizing and executing the event.
McLaughlin stated that the committee was currently conducting a “debrief” of the event to determine whether the SFU Streetfest would become an annual event.
He noted that this year the event was “up against the SFSS kickoff concert over at MBC and picked our date much earlier.” He hopes that in potential subsequent years, the event may involve the student society. “Maybe this could be the kickoff streetfest and kickoff concert all at the same time,” he said.