In response to the rapidly evolving wildfire situation in northern Alberta, Athabasca University’s convocation ceremonies, June 7-8, will be relocated from the Athabasca Multiplex to Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alta.
The new location will be the Westerner Park Exhibition Hall at 4847A 19th Street in Red Deer.
This was not an easy decision to make, but the safety of our team members, students, and guests is our highest priority. With the uncertainty surrounding the evacuation orders and alerts throughout the northern part of the province, we felt we could not guarantee the safety of our guests in Athabasca.
We are activating our contingency plan now to ensure we can provide our graduands with the experience they deserve for all their years of hard work. Due to the many people and logistics involved with moving our convocation events, we can’t wait any longer to make this decision.
The Athabasca Multiplex has the potential to serve as a hub for wildfire evacuees should the situation deteriorate, and we want to ensure that the community can welcome and accommodate those who may be affected by wildfires.
We will support our AU team, graduands, their guests, and the community through this transition.
Students will be contacted with additional information.
Team members who are supporting convocation—including volunteers, meet & greet displays, those arranging group photos for faculties, and registered academics—will all be contacted separately.
“It was not an easy decision to activate our contingency plan and move our Convocation events to Red Deer this year, but I know it was the right one. We face an unusual and unpredictable scenario. As a northern university, our minds and hearts are with the many communities who have been evacuated or are on high alert and concerned that they may be forced from their homes. With the rapidly evolving and unpredictable wildfire situation in northern Alberta, we did not want to risk bringing thousands of additional people into a region that may be called upon to support an emergency response. At the same time, we want to create the best Convocation experience that we can for our learners. While not ideal, our decision enables us to celebrate the many accomplishments of our graduates and stand ready to support our northern neighbors. We look forward to returning to the community of Athabasca for next year’s convocation as part of our 50th Anniversary Celebration.”– Athabasca University President, Dr. Neil Fassina
WHAT: Athabasca University’s Convocation events are being relocated to Red Deer.
WHERE: Westerner Park Exhibition Hall, 4847A 19th Street, Red Deer.
WHEN: The convocation event dates and schedules will remain unchanged, including the time buses depart from Edmonton.
WHY: The events have been moved as a precaution given the rapidly evolving wildfire situation in northern Alberta.
WHO: This change will affect all graduands and team members supporting convocation.
Students traveling to convocation should amend their travel plans and book hotels in Red Deer. The Red Deer Tourism website has a list of hotels in the city.
A block of hotel rooms is available at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel
Individual guests can make reservations by:
1. Calling 1-800-662-7197 or 403-346-2091
2. By email to firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting the Athabasca University group rate.
3. Using this online booking link.