AMS Events gears up for new term with first-week events, collaborations and contests

The AMS is launching a new series of events to kick off Term 2.

According to AMS Programming and Events Manager, Anna Hillar, Frost Fest, a week of welcome-back festivities, has been a major project for the events office.

“We wanted to do Frost Fest because the past few Januaries it seems like nothing really happens on the first week, and we just wanted to change it up,” said Hillar.

The week-long event was initially anticipated to go hand in hand with the opening of the new SUB, but despite building delays, the AMS decided to pursue planning of the event.

Hillar said that the most important reason to host Frost Fest stemmed from the desire to make all students feel welcome upon starting the new year and term.

“There’s new students that come [to UBC] in January too. They didn’t get a first week in September,” she said, expressing hopes that this event will “speak to more of the demographic.”

As part of Frost Fest, the society is hosting comedy, wine tasting and trivia nights, special lunches and live musical acts, including popular Canadian band July Talk in concert at The Pit.

“People seem to be excited for [the concert],” said Hillar. “I don’t think we’ll be able to see [July Talk] in such a small venue again.”

For the rest of the month and term, the AMS is working on continuing to grow their support for various students’ interests, starting with a collaboration with Campus DJ, a US music competition. To participate, interested students can apply to be chosen to open for a bigger DJ who is set to play at the Pit at the end of the month.

“The winner gets a whole bunch of prizes, cash and the opportunity to go to the main competition,” said Hillar.

UBC will be the first Canadian university to get involved with Campus DJ.

In addition, the AMS will be bringing back the Last Band Standing competition, which calls on students to vote for a fellow student's band to win management meetings, prizes and a chance to play at Block Party.

According to Hillar, there are also two special talks planned for the month. The first is a co-presented talk with humanitarian and CNN Top Ten Hero of 2011, Derreck Kayongo, at the Student Leadership Conference.

At the end of the month, the AMS will also be hosting Canadian politician and cannabis activist Marc Emery, who will be speaking at the Frederic Wood theatre.

“It’ll be the first time he’s spoken anywhere close since he got out of prison. I think that will be a super interesting talk,” said Hillar.

Moving forward with the new term, Hillar cited collaboration with other campus organizations, including AMS clubs, The Calendar and Thunderbirds, as a main goal for expanding the reach of AMS events.

As the term goes on, Hillar encourages student groups to come chat with AMS Events about potential collaborations.

The office also hired a new events coordinator to help ensure the society can balance large- and small-scale events simultaneously.

“The AMS is here and we offer all these amazing services lots of people don’t even know about,” said Hillar, explaining the reasoning behind large promotional events. “It’s also just awesome to give someone a free coffee and they’re like ‘you made my day!’”