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Bluegrass and hamster runs: 40th anniversary celebrations continue in Chilliwack

On September 12, the Canada Education Park campus in Chilliwack was the site of a 40th anniversary part for UFV. The event was bluegrass-themed and featured four live bands, which were primarily folk- and acoustic-oriented: Greenwood, Headwater, Viper Central, and the Paperboys. The first band that played, Greenwood, featured UFV’s geography professor Jonathan Hughes on mandolin.

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By Vanessa Broadbent (The Cascade/Photo) – Email

Print Edition: September 17, 2014

Bluegrass bands played well-received sets.

Bluegrass bands played well-received sets.

On September 12, the Canada Education Park campus in Chilliwack was the site of a 40th anniversary part for UFV. The event was bluegrass-themed and featured four live bands, which were primarily folk- and acoustic-oriented: Greenwood, Headwater, Viper Central, and the Paperboys. The first band that played, Greenwood, featured UFV’s geography professor Jonathan Hughes on mandolin.

UFV’s special events manager Betsy Terpsma explained how the idea for the event began.

“We had a committee made up of faculty and staff at UFV that we put together and were doing some work around what we wanted to do for the 40th anniversary. We decided that we wanted to have a couple of community parties and that we would do a community party in each [town with a UFV campus]: Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission, and Hope.”

Each party has its own theme inspired by the host community. Terpsma explained the reasoning behind the bluegrass theme of Friday’s event.

“In Chilliwack, we thought because of agriculture that we would go with a bluegrass kind of feel for music, and try to show off our new Agriculture Centre,” she said.

The Agriculture Centre is UFV’s newest facility and was open during the celebration for tours. 

“It’s opening this fall for students, and because we’re at the Chilliwack campus space, we wanted to show it off.”

A hamster run! A bouncy castle! UFV has reached maturity at 40.

A hamster run! A bouncy castle! UFV has reached maturity at 40.

UFV president Mark Evered welcomed event-goers and gave an opening speech, thanking the community for supporting UFV through its 40 years. He explained that UFV is something the community has asked and fought for throughout the years.

There was also a pirate-themed kid zone with a bouncy castle that was run by one of the kinesiology classes, as well as a hamster-wheel run for children operated by the Student Union Society (SUS). A dunk-tank where people could pay $5 for three chances to dunk their professor of choice saw proceeds going to university advancement to support student emergency funds.

Food trucks served everything from poutine to pasta to bannock. Various university organizations like Cascade Athletics and SUS had booths, as well as community organizations like the Chilliwack Chiefs.

The event was attended not only by UFV faculty and students, but also by the people of the Chilliwack community.

The celebrations will continue with a similar event on the Abbotsford campus September 17.

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