10 must-see free events at this year’s Burnaby Festival of Learning, May 7–13

April 20, 2017

Broaden your horizons this May 7–13 when SFU and the City of Burnaby host the second-ever Burnaby Festival of Learning. This week-long celebration is your chance to learn something new and unique, from hands-on workshops and thought-provoking talks to awe-inspiring tours and interactive displays.

Whether you’re a SFU student, faculty, staff or a member of the broader community, a young adult or a senior, there’s no limit to what you can learn—all you need is curiosity.

Registration is now open and there are limited seats available for most events so if you see an event you like, don’t wait—register now and guarantee your spot. SFU News has the scoop—the ten must-see events at this year’s Burnaby Festival of Learning.

For more free events and to learn more, visit the Burnaby Festival of Learning’s website:

Ride the SkyTrain and learn about Burnaby’s history

What: Travel the SkyTrain’s Expo Line for a bird's-eye view of Burnaby's history, while learning about the electric railway line that was built along the same route in 1891. Learn how the electric streetcars of the early 1900s compare to modern-day electric transportation, such as the SkyTrain.

When: Monday, May 8, 1 p.m.

Where: Patterson SkyTrain Station

Cost: $2.75 SkyTrain fare

Register Now  

Entrepreneurs: how to assess market opportunities

What: Understand the value of market research for competitive advantage and customer development. Learn how effective market segmentation leads to effective messaging, positioning and pricing. Translate market intelligence into a competitive matrix, social media initiatives and a market entry strategy that matches your company and market opportunity.

When: Thursday, May 11, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Where: Burnaby Public Library – Bob Prittie Metrotown Branch (6100 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby)

Cost: Free

Register Now

What does it take to grow food in an urban setting?

What: Curious about growing your own food in an urban setting but don’t know where to start? Join Embark at the SFU Learning Garden for a hands-on square foot gardening demonstration and seeding activity.

When: Thursday, May 11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Embark Learning Garden, located on the south side of TASC1 at SFU’s Burnaby campus

Cost: Free

Register Now

Rendezvous with science

What: Science Rendezvous is the largest science festival in Canada.  Step into a spacesuit and have your photo taken, learn new card magic tricks, watch a magic science show on gases, and answer science trivia questions in our Amazing Science Chase and Quiz show.

When: Saturday, May 13

Where:  SFU’s Burnaby campus

Cost: Free

No registration required, but register now for the 12 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. Wonder of Gases show

Find out the secret to greater happiness

What: What makes people happy? How does Canada rank in comparison to other countries? Come and learn what science has uncovered about the secrets of human happiness. SFU psychology professor Lara Aknin shares her insights.

When: Monday, May 8, 1:30 p.m.

Where: Burnaby Public Library – Tommy Douglas Branch (7311 Kingsway, Burnaby)

Cost: Free

Register Now

A tale of corruption and murder in local history

What: Join award-winning local author, Aaron Chapman, as he unveils a fascinating account of corruption and murder between Vancouver Police and the east-side gang in his latest book, The Last Gang in Town: The Epic Story of the Police vs The Clark Park Gang.

When: Monday, May 8, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday, May 11, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where:  Burnaby Public Library – McGill Branch (4595 Albert Street, Burnaby) on May 8 and Tommy Douglas Branch (7311 Kingsway, Burnaby) on May 11

Cost: Free

Register Now

Rhododendron Festival

What: This charming festival promotes the long-term sustainable, ecological health of our communities. It presents a unique venue for both horticulture and arts groups. Highlights include an interactive presentation on water from SFU earth sciences professor Eileen van der Flier-Keller, and a ceremonial maple tree planting in honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

When: Sunday, May 7

Where:  Deer Lake Park (6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby)

Cost: Free

No registration required 

150 years of Canadian women’s comedy

What: Delve into the evolution of Canadian women’s humour over the past 150 years. At this event SFU English professors Sean Zwagerman and Diana Solomon will investigate some of the issues involved in studying comedy as a whole and address some particular issues faced by female comic practitioners. Finally, we will look at two iconic Canadian examples, Anne of Green Gables and Mary Walsh.

When: Saturday, May 13, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Where: Burnaby Public Library – McGill Branch (4595 Albert Street, Burnaby)

Cost: Free

Register Now

Unpack the SFU Art Collection

What: What's in the SFU Art Collection? What's hidden in the storage vault? What's hanging on the walls in offices around campus? Each talk will focus on a single work from the SFU Art Collection and will "unpack" this work out of storage and "unpack" its significance.

When: Wednesday, May 10, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where:  SFU Gallery, AQ 3004 at the Burnaby campus

Cost: Free

No registration required but limited seats available  

Learn about Indigenous archaeology

What: Learn how First Nations people have made everyday objects out of wood, bone, stone and cedar for thousands of years. Eldon Yellowhorn, an SFU archaeology professor and member of the Blackfoot Confederacy, will answer your questions and demonstrate flint knapping—making tools out of obsidian and stone. 

When: Sunday, May 7, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, May 13, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Where:  Burnaby Village Museum (6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby) 

Cost: Free

No registration required.