April 3, 2024

Annual UCalgaryStrong Festival returns April 9

Event offers inflatables, ice cream, live music — all in a safe environment
Inflatables at UCalgaryStrong Festival at University of Calgary
Adrian Shellard

What began as an artisan market and a few activities has evolved into an annual festival featuring inflatables, games, live music, delicious snacks and a plethora of activities. A tradition has since formed for celebrating the end of the semester at the University of Calgary safely and responsibly.

This year, the UCalgaryStrong Festival is back on April 9 from 1 to 6 p.m. across Main Campus. Activities will be hosted at the Jack Simpson Gym, Red Gym, Gold Gym, Life Design Hub and Campus Food Hub. From a silent disco to Indigenous hand games, the festival provides students and community members with a place to meet, have fun and unwind, all while creating memorable moments. 

UCalgaryStrong offers students a way to celebrate the last day of classes respectfully and inclusively. It promotes well-being and adopts a harm-reduction approach that focuses on minimizing the potential harms of alcohol and substance use.

“The festival has been a tradition for our campus community for the past nine years, bringing together students, faculty and staff to celebrate the last day of classes, but, most importantly, a year of hard work and collective achievements,” says Verity Turpin, vice-provost (student experience).

This year will see more than 100 volunteers, the largest cohort to date, lending their time and effort to ensure the success of this year’s celebrations.

“As our festival continues to grow, it's inspiring to witness the community coming together in such a meaningful way,” says Turpin. “The collective effort of volunteers working together to support our annual celebration highlights the strength of our community and the bonds that tie us together as neighbours, peers, colleagues and friends.”

This year’s festival activities include:

  • Music stage supported by Prophets of Music and CJSW
  • Silent disco
  • Inflatables and games including an obstacle course, joust and bungee
  • Indigenous hand games
  • Virtual reality
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Bath bomb-making
  • Balloon animals
  • Photo booth
  • Caricature
  • Origami
  • Spikeball, dodgeball and volleyball
  • Free student barbecue
  • Roaming harm-reduction trivia

One goal of UCalgaryStrong is to let participants have a blast without the influence of substances. From lively music to thrilling inflatable games, there's something for everyone to enjoy in a safe and supportive environment. 

Available supports

If you or someone you know needs assistance on the last day of classes due to substance use, UCalgary will also be offering:

  • Student Medical Response (SMR) Coverage from noon to 11 p.m. Teams will be stationed at Wellness Services (MSC 370), the PASS room and on-site during the festival.
  • Post-Alcohol Support Space (PASS), which will be in operation at Aurora Hall from 2 p.m. on April 9 through 6 a.m. on April 10. PASS is only accessible through Campus Security or SMR.

For more information about the events at this year’s UCalgaryStrong, visit its website.

UCalgary’s Post-Alcohol Support Space (PASS) is a medically supervised, judgment-free space on campus at Aurora Hall, where members of the university community can sleep off the effects of alcohol and/or cannabis. PASS can help lower the risk of alcohol- and cannabis-related injury by monitoring intoxicated individuals — keeping them safe and regularly assessing the need for medical treatment.

 Access additional information on the Harm Reduction site.