Celebration of Life

Celebration of Life
Best Special Event

Date(s) Thursday, May 12
Time 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Fees1 $150 - Member
$200 - Non-Member

Submission Summary Document

Celebration of Life

Best Special Event

University of Calgary

On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, as most students were celebrating the last day of classes, tragedy struck in the northwest Calgary community of Brentwood. Five university students tragically lost their lives in a senseless act of violence. Three of these young people were University of Calgary (UCalgary) students, one a Mount Royal University (MRU) student and the other a student of the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD).

The post-secondary community in Calgary was devastated. As the city was in a state of shock and despair, the UCalgary community came together.

As a pillar in the city of Calgary, UCalgary has a clear strategic vision to engage with the “community it both serves and leads”. When the tragedy hit so close to home, instead of freezing in a state of shock, the university recognized the importance of moving forward to help.

Learn how the University Relations team at the University of Calgary planned and executed the Celebration of Life to honour the five victims of this tragedy; consulting with the families, the post-secondary community and members of the broader community throughout the process. UCalgary will lead us through their response to an urgent community need and the lessons that can apply to any institution that survives a crisis.

Susan Mide Kiss

Director, Community Engagement, Government and Community Engagement, University of Calgary

Susan Mide Kiss has worked at UCalgary since 2007. Since joining the broader University Relations team in 2011, Susan and a small team of community engagement professionals have led a number of award-winning community programs and special events.

The unique and devastating circumstances of the Celebration of Life required guidance and support from senior university leaders and the collective efforts of the entire University Relations team. More than 40 members of the university community volunteered their time and services to ensure the Celebration of Life honoured the unique lives of the five victims.