Fireworks over Algonquin College's parking lot could be seen from the surrounding neighbourhood on Sept. 8. Photo credit: Baylee Clark

While the start of the fall term of Sept. 8 definitely wasn’t the same as previous years, the Students’ Association still celebrated with a bang.

At a time when students couldn’t physically be together, the SA hosted a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. over the Woodroffe campus so students and community members could still have a feeling of togetherness.

Patrick Newell, senior manager of student life for the SA and his team searched for an activity to celebrate the start of the fall term that could be seen from a distance and streamed while adding community value. One of their main goals is to help all students create lasting memories of their college years. “As we fill our obligation to student life we wanted to ensure that our students this year still felt like they came into the school year with a celebration,” said Newell.

The Students’ Association is funded from student fees which covers events like this one under the campus life section.

“Under normal circumstances this fee would be $18.35,” said Newell, about the amount a full-time Algonquin student pays per term. However, with the COVID restrictions in place, we dropped the fee to $9.96 for the fall 2020 semester.”

Fireworks were low cost in comparison to the musical performances done in past years.

Newell says they let people know about the fireworks in a few ways. “We sent out over 1,000 postcards to surrounding areas notifying them that we would be having fireworks displayed Tuesday evening and to watch from their balconies or backyard,” said Newell. There was also information about the fireworks on the Algonquin Students’ Association website, social media and other Algonquin College communication platforms.

A few people drove their cars to see the show and were properly distanced by security the college had provided. Due to COVID circumstances, this event was live-streamed for the whole AC community to safely enjoy from their homes.

Hosting more firework shows is something the SA would do again, considering the positive feedback received. For future shows, the team suggested having them earlier in the evening so more people to enjoy.

“At the end of the fireworks you could hear everyone cheering from their balconies, car horns honking, claps from all around the college campus,” said Newell. “This was an amazing feeling and we hope everyone felt a sense of togetherness.”