The Burnaby Festival of Learning

The Burnaby Festival of Learning is hosted by the community, for the community. A week-long series of free events, the Burnaby Festival of Learning features performances, lectures, discussions, tours, and more, all designed to inform, engage, and spark creative conversations among Burnaby’s vibrant and diverse audiences.

Co-presented by SFU and the City of Burnaby, in participation with many local Burnaby organizations, events and activities take place across the city, inviting the community to enjoy Burnaby’s rich variety of civic spaces, including its libraries, museums, galleries, parks, community centres and more.

Since 2016, the festival has continued to grow, involving an increasing number of organizations inside and outside Burnaby. Each year, new partnerships and collaborations emerge that diversify the program, allowing its partners to reach more and more of the Burnaby community.

Why this might be important to you.

The Burnaby Festival of Learning provides the opportunity for all forms of learning. If you're a student, come check out what Burnaby organizations are doing in the community – maybe you'll find a future employer? Whoever you are or however you identify with SFU (or even if you don't), perhaps you have an event to contribute to the Festival? 

Unconventional, lifelong learning, by the community, for the community. 

2018 – Celebrating milestones

Many milestones were celebrated in 2018. More organizations joined the planning committee, creating the potential for new partnerships and collaborations through innovative programming. A Community Ambassadors Program was implemented which supported individuals with barriers to employment by providing meaningful work experience during the Festival period. A standalone opening event – PechaKucha Night at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts – was the first PechaKucha ever held in Burnaby.

2017 – Learning from the past to inform the future

Celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary and the City of Burnaby’s 125th anniversary, the theme for 2017 was “Learn from the Past to Inform the Future.” Reflecting on tumultuous historical events, like Vancouver’s riots, through to the modernization and development of the modern day electric railway line, the 2017 Festival events provided glimpses of how our community’s past still remains with us, today.

2016 – The beginning

Inspired by the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival, initiated by SFU and the City of Burnaby, the inaugural weeklong Burnaby Festival of Learning offered a strong program, celebrating learning and community engagement in Burnaby. Capping SFU’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the Festival showcased performances, lectures, discussions and debates, blending the University’s strong history of research and dialogue with the City’s diverse community programming.


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