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Date: January 27, 2000

Millennium Festival Showcases Outstanding Achievement

UVic will celebrate the new millennium April 1 to 7 with a week-long festival of events focusing on the outstanding achievements of individuals from all walks of life and featuring young members of the community who hold the promise of the future. The highlight of the festival will be a special convocation ceremony for honorary graduates whose significant contributions to society in the 20th century will continue to shape the new century. Another major event will be the staging of Gustav Mahler's "Symphony of a Thousand," the first time the ambitious choral symphony has been performed in Victoria.

"The Millennium Festival is an opportunity for UVic to celebrate the talents and achievements of its students, faculty, alumni and honorary graduates and we invite the community to come to campus to celebrate with us," says UVic president Dr. David Strong. "Since we're also looking towards the future, it's very fitting that several events involve area children."

The Millennium Convocation will be held on April 7 and will honour individuals whose achievements in law, the arts, science, business, community development and activism brought them national and international acclaim. The honorary graduands include former broadcast journalist and now Governor General Adrienne Clarkson; recently-appointed Supreme Court of Canada judge Louise Arbour; and Hudson's Bay Company CEO and 1994 Commonwealth Games Society president George Heller.

The "Symphony of a Thousand" will be performed on April 1 at 8 p.m. and April 2 at 2:30 p.m. in the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium. The ambitious choral symphony, written nearly 100 years ago, requires two adult choirs and two children's choirs along with eight soloists and an orchestra for a full presentation. The auditorium stage will be extended for the performances that feature both the University of Victoria Chorus and Orchestra and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra.

During the festival, on and off campus events will also showcase the artistic talents of UVic students and alumni. The university's Dunsmuir Lodge educational conference and training centre will host a dinner theatre production of Norm Foster's "Wrong for Each Other." The two-person play, set in a restaurant, is directed by UVic theatre student Peter McGuire as his MFA thesis. The Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery will mount a special retrospective exhibition of the work of Kwakwakawa'kw artist Francis Dick, and her family will present "Nax'wida gyax xux" (Let There be Light), a special cultural performance. There will be a special evening at the Royal B.C. Museum for alumni and on April 6, a new exhibit will open at the Maltwood showcasing works by past honorary graduates, including Prince Philip.

Students of Richmond Elementary School, in partnership with the faculty of education, will open their time capsule exhibition on April 1 in the A. Wilfrid Johns gallery in the MacLaurin Building to kick off the festival.

The complete schedule of events is still being finalized but will be available next month on UVic's website at www.uvic.ca and on 721-UVIC, the 24-hour campus events line.

Media contacts:
Martin Segger (Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery) at (250) 721-8298.

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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