September 20, 2021
The pandemic certainly hasn’t slowed down the Vancouver Society, who presented seven virtual lectures during the 2020-2021 season. Led by Society President Joost Blom, a Society Trustee on the AIA Governing Board and Professor Emeritus in the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, the Society has expanded its connections and grown its collaborative network throughout the last two years. In the 2021-2022 season, they’ll be partnering with the Vancouver Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) to present two lectures. Last year, they started sharing their lectures with the Eugene Society, an opportunity which came about because of the new virtual format. Another benefit of the virtual format is that the Society was finally able to reach its members outside of the Vancouver metropolitan area.
Joost gives a full update on the Society below:
“Like many other AIA Societies, the Vancouver Society was forced to venture into new territory when the pandemic made our in-person lectures impossible. Thanks to the efforts of our board, most notably Kevin Fisher, our hard-working and resourceful Program Coordinator, we were able to present a full seven-lecture program in 2020-2021, all of it online.
The virtual format has allowed us to present programming jointly with new partner organizations. One was Simon Fraser University’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies, thanks to whom we had a special International Archaeology Day lecture with Dimitri Nakassis, “Back Through the System . . . Again: Taking Apart the Aegean Bronze Age.” Two of our lectures this year, 2021-2022, are being offered jointly with the Vancouver Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt. We have also presented two lectures by University of British Columbia postdoctoral researchers, Mark Locicero and Steve Renette.
As some other Societies have found, online programming has given us a bigger and more far-flung audience. A number of our own Society’s members (there are 75 or so members in all) live well outside Vancouver. We’re the only Canadian AIA Society west of the Rockies. Some members live as far away as Vancouver Island, a three-hour car-plus-ferry trip away. They and others have now been able to join lectures that would otherwise have required a long two-way journey. We’ve also been able to share lectures with the AIA Eugene Society in Oregon, a partnership that we hope will continue.”
We’re glad to hear how well the Vancouver Society is doing and are grateful to Society Officers like Joost and Kevin for their commitment to fulfilling the mission of the AIA!