by Jessica Ballantine (text) and Andrew Bailey (photos)
At the beginning of this month, various members of the Leeds Centre for Canadian Studies travelled to London to be outreach ambassadors at this year’s Canada Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square. Undergraduate Andrew Bailey, PhD students Simone Lomartire and Jessica Ballantine, and Dr Martin Thornton hosted a stall in the Universities Tent, giving out information about the centre and discussing the work of Leeds CCS with members of the public – as well as entertaining visitors of all ages with our Leeds CCS quiz, photo competition and our very popular moose mascot.
We were able to meet a vast range of people from expat Canadians, locals and tourists to potential students at the Centre, all of whom had interesting stories to tell. Sharing information about our research activities at undergraduate, graduate and academic levels with members of the public was a real privilege, and many stimulating discussions were enjoyed over the day. One particularly crafty member of the public was so impressed with the work of the Leeds CCS that he ran off with our poster presentation booklet, which we hope is now gracing his coffee table. The biggest hit of the day, however, was our Leeds CCS pens. These were a great success – one lady even took home a handful for her grandchildren!
Of course, we also found time to sneak out of the tent to enjoy the live music, sports and Canadian cuisine, and we each came home proudly sporting a (temporary) Canadian flag tattoo. A great time was had by all!