Harjit Sajjan joins Langara College to celebrate 49 years on West 49th Avenue in Vancouver

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins Langara President Dr. Lane Trotter to cut birthday cake. Photo: Langara College
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins Langara President Dr. Lane Trotter to cut birthday cake.
Photo: Langara College

LANGARA College marked 49 years on West 49th Avenue with Community Day presented by RBC, a major celebration attended by thousands of students, alumni, faculty, and Vancouverites. The college also marks a second anniversary, 25 years of being an independent institution.

“What a tremendous day for the College community. It was a celebration fitting of an institution that has provided quality education to Vancouver for 49 years,” said Lane Trotter, President and CEO, Langara College. “It was my privilege to welcome back to campus so many alumni, community members, and the many sponsors and supporters who helped make this happen. We are thankful for your continued support.”

Several dignitaries attended the event and gave impassioned speeches about the quality of education and how Langara has served as Vancouver’s pathway college. Special guests included Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and MP for Vancouver South; Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, and MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant; Michael Lee, MLA for Vancouver-Langara; and Vancouver Councillor Rebecca Bligh. Later on in the day, Sajjan cut the college’s 49th birthday cake and helped serve hundreds of members of the public.

The Coastal Wolf Pack, a traditional Salish song and dance group, provided a welcome to open the day, along with a blessing from Alec Dan representing the Musqueam. Langara sits on the unceded and traditional territory of the Musqueam. Supported by a cultural grant provided by the Cit of Vancouver, the day was full of Indigenous programming including a performance by the Git Hayetsk Dancers, an internationally renowned Northwest Coast First Nations mask-dancing group. Local artist Aaron “Splash” Nelson-Moody provided a demonstration of Indigenous wood carving throughout the day.

Headlining band and Canadian rock legends 54-40 wrapped up the day’s free concert with a crowd-demanded encore, performing their top hits. Other local and emerging artists to perform included Desirée Dawson, Zulu Panda, The Wonders, The Big Coast, and Lyndsay Wills. They were joined by intercultural performance and storytelling including bhangra, mariachi, and family-friendly Rockin Robin, a Langara alum.

A day long Speaker Series included five sessions that offered a chance for faculty and alumni to share expertise, applied research, and discuss current events. Langara faculty shared their research into gene sequencing of local hops, a partnership with Parallel 49 and Harvesters of Organic Hops. Local journalists came to hear a panel of Langara Journalism alumni talk about the danger misinformation poses to democracy hosted by Langaran Simi Sara.

Many college staff and faculty offered activities around Langara’s educational offerings of sustainability, health and wellness. The Then, Now, and Beyond zone was an interactive exhibit of Langara’s history and a preview of what lies ahead for the institution. Photo booths, food trucks, and the Langara Falcons’ Kids Zone ensured there was plenty to do throughout the day.

This fall, Langara College will recognize 49 inspirational Langarans: founders, change makers, and visionaries, former students, alumini, past or present employees, and community partners who have had the greatest impact on Langara, their profession, or out in the community. This special anniversary celebration will see the selected 49 Langarans be recognized, alongside Langara Emeriti and Outstanding Alumni Award recipients at a reception on November 6.