While a winter storm raged outside, the first ever Traill Winter Carnival was heating up.
On February 27 and 28, the senior common room in Scott House was filled with people enjoying cupcake decorating, hot chocolate, and homemade crepes. Board games, open-mic, and crafts were among some of the other indoor activities. Outside, dodgeball and ball hockey were in full swing. Ghost tours of the historic Traill houses and an “Amazing Traill” scavenger hunt unfolded throughout the campus.
The Traill Winter Carnival began as an idea from Trent professor Dr. Heather Nicol, chair of the undergraduate Canadian Studies program. The goal of the event was to bring students together to celebrate various elements of Canadian culture.
Students in Professor Mark Dickinson’s second year Indigenous Studies course, Canada: The Land II, organized the event, which featured cornerstones of Canadian culture: food & drink, entertainment, education, and sports.
Professor Dickinson said the event felt very Trent. “When you bring people together, break bread together, and play together, the room opens up,” he remarked.
“We wanted to make sure it a stress-free, welcoming environment,” said Leila Core, a member of the event’s steering committee. “We put a lot of thought into making sure the room was really warm and cozy and honoured Traill College.”
Inside, dozens of people gathered in the Scott House Junior Common Room to listen to a student presentation about the ongoing Wet'suwet'en conflict.
“I think it’s important to have a space just to present the facts because the facts speak for themselves,” said second-year Indigenous Studies student Valentine Teasdale. Given the event was part of a Canadian and Indigenous Studies class, Ms. Teasdale felt the carnival was an important and timely opportunity to discuss one of the most prominent issues happening between Indigenous communities and the federal government.
Cassidy Robertson, a second-year archaeology student, said she decided to come because she knew a few of the students who organized the event.
“I’m glad I checked it out. Events like these are great opportunities to de-stress from school and get to know people,” said Ms. Robertson.