A festival by the community,
for the community.

Where folks in our community come forward to share their knowledge, voices, traditions, and truths, honouring the land we’re on as our “classroom”, honouring the places we’re from for the wisdom they’ve given us.

Well, that was fun!

This year’s Festival felt different (in a good way). Yes, we had a name change, but there was also something that just landed better this year. When it comes to great experiences, sometimes you don’t want to mess with them by trying to understand them better (e.g. does it really matter why that cookie was the best cookie you’ve ever tasted?). But sometimes, reflecting on magical experiences is an important way to learn how to respect them and, if appropriate, sustain them.

We want Connect Fest to be special every time it happens, so: here are my top three guesses about why this year’s Connect Fest was special:

  1. It was the first year we were fully back to all (but one) in-person events. And some of these events were huge, involving hundreds of people. People loved these—many of our visitors and event partners have now told us that we should focus on more large-scale, multi-vendor events. I think this is a great direction, what about you?
  2. After nine years, we have a solid and consistent team of community-engaged advisors, event producers, and academics who are personally and professionally engaged in making the world a better place. These folks (some of whom are pictured below) deserve all the props (and more)!A few of the incredible people who made Connect Fest a success in 2024.
  3. And my personal favourite: we featured way more food and culture this year. Burnaby is super diverse—it is such a gift to learn about our neighbourhoods by going to them and being welcomed by those who live there. I hope our festival can root even more deeply in the Burnaby community next year!

Speaking of next year, I am already collecting feedback and reflections in anticipation. Please add your voice to the upcoming plan by sharing your experiences with us. Tell us what you want more of or less of, or what you would love to see, by emailing me directly: tara_flynn@sfu.ca

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Tara Flynn, Festival Director

Connect Fest program 2024

Download the 2024 program guide to see all events and participating partners.

Event gallery

Photo credits: Sarah Race Photography & Janet Yan

Event highlights