UMSU fest takes ‘Global Roots’

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) is adding some global flare to its orientation festivities this year.

UMSU’s annual roster of events, dubbed “UMSU Fest,” fall under the theme of “Global Roots: You are here!” and will take place from Sept. 8-16.

“[The theme] acknowledges that each of us come from very different backgrounds but that we share the common experience of being at the University of Manitoba,” UMSU president Camilla Tapp explained.

Tapp said she was confident that UMSU Fest 2011 would provide something for everyone with it’s line-up of diverse cultural performances and local entertainment acts, including Oh My Darling and Enjoy Your Pumas. Fred Penner will also be returning for a second round of UMSU Fest due to popular demand.

“It was one of our most popular events last year, so we are grateful to have Fred Penner return this year,” Tapp said.

“Last year it rained during his time slot and the event moved indoors, so hopefully this year the rain will stay away and he will be able to perform outside on the pedway.”

New to this year’s UMSU Fest is the addition of a rock, paper scissors tournament as well as a poutine-eating contest in the Degrees restaurant.

After unforeseen complications with its renovations caused the restaurant to be closed during 2010’s UMSU Fest, UMSU is making good use of the Degrees space during orientation week this year. In addition to the poutine-eating contest, events will include an open mic night, healthy living trivia, a live “Iron Chef” competition, an African famine relief fundraiser and a Harvesting Hope film screening.

Tapp said she felt UMSU Fest was important for students’ integration into university life because it “helps to introduce students to the campus before hitting the books.”

“They will have an opportunity to kick back, meet up with old friends and meet new ones, while taking in great food and live entertainment,” she said.

Many events during UMSU fest are run with the help of an army of volunteers.
Tapp noted that there are still plenty of opportunities for students who wish to help UMSU out during the week and encouraged those interested to drop by the UMSU office.

UMSU fest will end off with a concert featuring Winnipeg-favourites Royal Canoe and the Lytics.