10 Events not to miss at Congress 2019

From soundscapes and visual art to literary readings and musical performances, there are plenty of free performances and exhibitions to attend during Congress 2019 – Canada’s largest interdisciplinary gathering taking place at UBC June 1-7.

Here are 10 performances, exhibitions and talks not to miss at this year’s Congress.

The Big Thinking Lecture Series

This year’s Big Thinking series features the arts as a platform to engage with scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

Speakers include Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan; Director/CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts, Simon Brault; science and environmental communicators David Suzuki and Ian Mauro, who will show the film Beyond Climate; Indigenous Theatre practitioners Sylvia Cloutier, Margo Kane, Lindsay Lachance and Corey Payette; and visual artist Stan Douglas.  

When: June 2 – 6
Where: Frederic Wood Theatre


Hosanna by Michael Tremblay

Written in 1973, Hosanna is a play that traces the fateful Halloween night of a storied drag queen who dresses up as her idol, Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, while everyone at the party has conspired to dress the same – and have all done it better. Warning: Mature content and nudity. Scent Warning.

When: May 30-June 8, 20:00 – 22:00
Where: Dorothy Somerset Studios – DSOM 101 THEATRE


The Galatea Project

In collaboration with Bard on the Beach, John Lyly’s Galatea (1588) features two girls who fall in love amidst climate change and human interaction with the environmental forces that both threaten and are threatened by human activity.

When: June 2, 16:00 – 17:00 and June 4, 14:00 – 15:00
Where: Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre – IRSHDC AMPHITHEATRE


Unload: Theatre with Veterans

This moving and surprising play brings to life research on veterans transitioning home and the lived experience of civilians carrying trauma.

When: June 2 – 4, 15:00 – 16:30
Where: AMS Nest – NEST 2601


Our Land Beautiful: An Evening with Nettie Wild

Our Land Beautiful, a multi-stage event, engages with the work of acclaimed BC filmmaker Nettie Wild. The main event of the evening will be a screening of Konelīne: Our Land Beautiful (2016) with an introduction by the filmmakers and followed by a Q&A. 

When: June 3, 17:00 – 12:30
Where: Frederic Wood Theatre – FRWO 102 THEATRE



A Queer Century, 1869-1969: A Rare Books Exhibition

Bringing together rare books, art, manuscripts and ephemera, this public exhibition — curated by Dr. Kyle Frackman (Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies) and Dr. Gregory Mackie (Department of English Language and Literatures) — tells the story of this pivotal century in queer cultural history.

When: June 1 – July 30
Where: Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – IBLC Rare Books and Special Collections



Credit: Richard Harlow

Picture ‘Perfect’: Blind Ambitions

Bringing together noted artists with visual impairments and internationally renowned disability scholars, the exhibit asks audiences, “Can you see what I see?”

When: June 1 – 6, 10:00 – 21:30
Where: AMS Nest – NEST 2126 Hatch Gallery


Research with Impact: Meet the Editors of The Conversation

Do you have an important story to share about your research? Can you tell that story in a concise and compelling way? This event allows researchers to drop in and meet the editors of The Conversation Canada to discuss what makes for a good pitch and get tips on writing clear, concise and timely research-driven analysis.  

When: June 2, 10:00 – 14:00 and June 4, 10:00 – 14:00
Where: AMS Nest – NEST 2515


Climate Impacts: Our Changing Arctic Roundtable

Moderated by UBC Political Scientist Michael Byers, this panel will examine the effects of climate change in the Arctic from the overlapping perspectives of Indigenous peoples, the social sciences and the humanities.

When: June 4, 10:30 – 12:00
Where: AMS Nest – NEST 2601



Cultivating Knowledge for Citizenship and Rule in Democracy

A dialogue between academics and practitioners will draw on the experience of UBC’s Summer Institute for Future Legislators to explore how to foster evidence-based policymaking, consensus-building, and ethical partisanship. This session will include a lively panel discussion with Carole Taylor, Preston Manning, Adriane Carr and Max Cameron.

When: June 5, 13:30 – 17:00
Where: AMS Nest – NEST 2601



There are almost 300 events that are open to the public at Congress 2019. Browse the full program.