it’s had an on-again, off-again existence over the years, but since 2013
McGill’s outdoor skating rink is open again during the winter months on
the lower campus. Managed in part by the Engineering Undergraduate
Society, it is dubbed the Iron Rink in reference to the iron ring given to
recently graduated engineers (the iron ring is itself a notable Canadian
tradition begun in 1922). The rink is available for pick-up hockey games, a
vital link to an illustrious part of McGill’s history: the rink is a short walk
from the spot where the first organized hockey game in history took place,
involving primarily McGill students, on March 3, 1875. The world’s first official hockey team, the McGill Hockey Club, made its debut two years later.
HOCKEY ON THE IRON RINK
at McGill University
it’s hard to miss in the first week of September the tens of thousands
of students from more than 60 Canadian universities and colleges who
raise funds on and off campus as part of Shinerama. The traditional fundraising activity is a community car wash, hence the name of the event.
Shinerama, organized by students, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014
(it began in 1961 at Waterloo Lutheran University, now Wilfrid Laurier
University, before going national three years later). It raises upwards of
$1 million annually in support of cystic fibrosis research and care.
Serenading the Principal, in which first-year students at Bishop’s University
sing a toast to the university principal during orientation week, and then
sing a final toast again to him or her when they graduate. The Grad Bell
Ringing at the Augustana campus of University of Alberta, when graduating students have their photo taken in cap and gown as they ring a
bell to celebrate. The Barley Ring, similar to the X-Ring, handed out to
graduating students at the agriculture campus of Dalhousie University.
arguably the most celebrated tradition at a
Canadian university is the investiture ceremony –
it takes place each year on Dec. 3, the Feast Day
of St. Francis Xavier – for the coveted X-Rings at
StFX. Roughly 1,000 students receive their rings
annually, handed out in their senior year. The
X-Ring ceremony is considered a highlight of
students’ academic careers at StFX, and while
students aren’t obliged to purchase a ring, more
than 95 percent choose to do so. The first ring
investiture took place in 1958 and the modern
ceremony as it exists today began in the 1980s.
at St. Francis Xavier