It started in 2003, with three University of Alberta professors thinking about how to make the university more accessible to the community. Since Edmonton is renowned as a festival city and university is all about ideas—voilà!—the Festival of Ideas was born. Five years later, the festival became a reality as part of the U of A’s centenary celebrations in 2008. Built on a tradition of forging links between science and art, and between the university and the broader community, and under the leadership of director Miki Andrejevic, the festival has brought an international array of artists, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and public intellectuals to Edmonton to share insights, exchange ideas and create new communities of knowledge that have enriched the cultural life of the university and the city.
Now, as Canada approaches its own sesquicentennial milestone in 2017, the time has come to reimagine the Festival of Ideas. As the U of A considers the exciting possibilities this opportunity offers, we remain deeply grateful to the members of the festival advisory board for the passion and commitment they have shown, and we look forward to their ongoing involvement in shaping the Festival of Ideas into a vital part of a nationwide celebration.