Tyndale’s Fall Festival a Breakthrough
On Saturday September 28th, Tyndale celebrated its 2013 Fall Festival. The Fall Festival has been taking place informally over the past 6 years and has typically included 50-75 University College students coming out for a barbeque and ‘festival-type’ games. This year was different. In many ways it was a breakthrough year. For the first time in the event’s history, the crowd included people beyond the student community. According to Matt Murray, Student Activities Coordinator in Student Life, there “has never been anything of this scale where the whole Tyndale institution and others from outside the community were part of the event.” Approximately 350 people were in attendance, including 125 Tyndale alumni and their families.
The reason this year’s festival had such a large scope was because of a coordinated planning effort by Tyndale’s student councils, the Student Life department, and the Alumni office. Not only were there students who came this year, but there were also alumni, faculty, staff and community residents, including a 9-year old boy, Albert, and his dad who found out about the event from a Tyndale advertisement.
On the same day as the festival, the Alumni office hosted a class reunion for 1985-1995 Tyndale graduates, giving them an opportunity to connect with fellow alumni and the unique experience of interacting with current students. “We had alumni coming and saying that it was wonderful to be able to connect with students whom they could one day be hiring,” says Matt. On top of integrating with Fall Festival activities, the alumni reunion included a chapel service as well as a tour of the Bayview campus.
The reviews have been exciting. “Alumni are raving on Facebook about how amazing it was and are already looking forward to next year,” says Matt. “Tyndale’s President, Dr. Gary Nelson, thinks it’s fantastic and wants to have it on the front lawn at Bayview next year.”
The hope is to continue to grow the Fall Festival into a tradition – a kind of ‘homecoming’ for the Tyndale community.
The opportunities are endless. Future Fall Festivals could include sporting events and 10km runs/walks, coupled with festival activities (including the possibility of drive-in movies), a barbeque and alumni reunions. The hope is to integrate the entire community.
“That’s part of the excitement of the Bayview campus. There are more possibilities to utilize the green space and to bolster Tyndale’s profile as it becomes more visible on Bayview,” says Matt.
The plan is to start a Fall Festival planning committee for future years to make sure the entire institution is represented in the planning process
“It was an integration of an entire community. This year has set a precedent and done the groundwork that has shown us that it is possible to get us all together and have a great time. I think that’s encouraging for everyone,” says Matt.
The purpose behind the event is to build the Tyndale community from within as well as to integrate people into Tyndale’s community from the local neighborhood. “Our intent is to serve the community and make the Fall Festival available to the local community. Any profits made are given back to the community through local and city-wide outreach events.
Look for the Fall Festival next year towards the end of September.