Apply to host an event at CONNECT FEST

Connect Fest is a festival by the community, for the community.

Every year, the many incredible people in our Burnaby community come forth to offer their knowledge, wisdom, and experience in a unique event they shape, themselves.

Incredible people like you. 

This year’s Connect Fest is no longer accepting event proposals. If you’d like to be notified about the next time we open for proposals, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.

Whether you’ve hosted dozens (or hundreds) of public events, or you’re just considering your very first one, we always love hearing about the ideas you’re excited to share.

If your idea is a good fit, we may support you with up to $1,500 to bring it to life!

How do I get started?

A great way to start is to ask yourself, “What would I like to explore in my area of interest or expertise but haven’t had the capacity to do so?” or “What am I doing in the community that I’m excited to share?”

From this starting point, the Connect Fest Program Committee, a team of diverse representation within the City of Burnaby, will look at the ways we can facilitate your spark of an idea and shape it into a Festival event by providing seed funds, program development and an audience. If your idea already has an audience or capacity, we would like to connect you to other organizations that need your work, or researchers at SFU who can add another layer to your project.

What kind of event should I do?

We are keen to incorporate all forms of learning design and presentation formats, including but not limited to: workshops; dance recitals/lessons/performances; musical instruction/performance; visual art representations, such as sculpture, painting; networking events; galas; panels; poetry readings; films; theatre performances; displays; roundtables; tours; keynote speakers; interactive arts; crafting; town halls; virtual performances; AR/VR; nature walks; feasts; etc.

April 26–30, 2024, The Connect Fest will explore the theme of Story.

Story means different things to different people, and we are interested in stories of all shapes, sizes, and forms. We are keen to experience stories from different cultures, genres, and communities, expressed in a variety of ways. Perhaps you have a story to sing or dance? Or perhaps your story must be expressed through the culinary arts, gardening, a game, or a walk through a forest? Is your story traditional (whatever traditional looks and sounds like to you), or is your story one best presented with the latest technologies? Maybe you have an incredible story about how you influenced a community for the better? Or maybe you have one about how a community influenced you

Whatever your story is, we want to hear all about it! What does Story look like to you?

Have a different idea that you think fits? Awesome – please feel free to get creative!

How do I submit an event idea?

  1. First, read all the information on this page.
  2. Then fill out the application form and submit it. Submissions are evaluated as we receive them.
  3. If we think your idea is a great fit for the 2024 festival, we will contact you directly by email.

About the funding

We are able to provide a small amount of funding toward each idea we select. Up to $20,000 is available to support event presenters for 2024. The maximum award we are able to give to any one project is $1,500. The money will support your work by covering costs associated with your presentation at the Festival of Learning, and any additional support you require. If your project will cost more than $1,500, please provide the program details and we can do our best to support.


Applications must be submitted by December 15, 2023.

Application Tips!

We see a lot of event grant applications each year, but we can’t fund every pitch we get. Download our application tips sheet, below. It’s short (just one page), and it has four things to consider to make your application the best it can be.

Guidelines & Eligibility

Your proposed event must:

  • Encourage and promote an open, positive and inclusive community engagement component
  • Have a learning component and align with the goals and values of the Festival
  • Be activated in the City of Burnaby (unless it is online)

Your proposal is strengthened by:

  • Meeting a community need
  • Thoughtful and informed inclusion of Indigenous perspectives
  • Consideration and knowledge generation that is sourced by or directly benefits underserved communities
  • The involvement of other partners, or at least, the names of other organizations you would like to work with
  • The use of creative and interactive elements within your pitch
  • Including an opportunity for university engagement

Your proposed budget

A very simple, proposed budget for your event is required. This can be a few lines containing the major items you will need to make the event ‘go’. This part of your application will likely include furtner discussion between Festival staff and yourself. There is no need to “get it right” in the first round!

Suggested items to include are: your time, any materials necessary for the event, transport of elders, gear rentals (microphones, PA systems).

We do not include money for: snacks for attendees (unless it is specific to the learning event), marketing materials, items that will be used for other festivals or events (like banners), or venue rentals unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Please note, the City of Burnaby provides community space for event producers, and the City also markets this event.


For any questions about the submission process please contact Tara Flynn, Program Committee Lead at:

Applications closed, December 15, 2023.

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