The Burnaby Festival of Learning is now Connect Fest!

Our email subscribers will have heard a few times now about our name change. But just in case you haven’t heard: to honour our deep interconnections with each other and the planet, the Burnaby Festival of Learning is now Connect Fest.

We’ve updated our website, and one of the pages we’re really happy about is the festival story. It tells a brief story of the festival’s origins. And now, after 9 years (!), it also shows how we’ve been impacted by each festival experience and the experiences of our city and community.

Every year we learn more about what “by community, for community” means, or should mean. And this year, we’re listening more closely to the way community engagement has become a powerful knowledge making and knowledge sharing practice at universities. SFU, one of our presenting partners, is known globally for its practice of community engagement. And we’re learning that strong, impactful knowledge rests on relationships characterized by mutual respect and reciprocity.

We learn more and more each year about how to do that well (and not well)—there is always so much more to learn. Which is fitting: we were inspired by a festival of learning, became a festival of learning, and remain a festival about what it is to learn together.

Which brings me to our logo: we are sooooo grateful to have such a skilled designer on our team. We needed a logo that represented interconnection to each other and to nature, one that kind of wove these ideas through what it means to learn. We were pretty sure that trees and roots might be part of it. But when Janet showed us the first drafts, everyone’s eyes popped.

Connect Fest Logo

With our logo, we have echoes of a tree of knowledge, but one built from how we come together. (Did you notice that the trunk and branches are people?) Knowledge, in the form of leaves, remains diverse and expands outward from the interconnection of people and nature, opening up to the wind and the unknown in invitation. Arms are raised for embrace, not only welcoming the learning that comes back through this relation, but emulating what it is to embody a sense of wonder and celebration. We are not hunched over, “studying”. We are keenly opening to receive and give. Reciprocity. Respect. Wonder. Celebration.

And colour! (We love the colours.)

But don’t call it a turkey. (Like, for real.)

(Do you see it? The turkey?)

Gobble, gobble, gobble.

Stay tuned as we share more about how Connect Fest 2024 comes together. Please subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss anything. And mark your calendars for April 26–30. All events are free. Registration will open in the first week of April.

We hope to see you there!

Tara Flynn
Festival Director