A Taste of Classics at the University of Alberta (2015)

The University of Alberta’s annual Open House, where the general public, prospective students and their families visit our campus and get information about the various departments, schools, and majors, attracts approx. 7500 visitors every year (http://www.admissions.ualberta.ca/recruitment-events/Open-House.aspx#!prettyPhoto.

Every year, our Department has a booth in the Butterdome, the large athletic complex, where visitors can stop, pick up some promotional brochures, and move on. It’s a great way to attract a large segment of the population, but it can be difficult to compete for attention with all the other departments. Therefore, last year (2014), we decide to do something extra in a quieter venue to enhance the profile of Classics. We held a “Taste of Classics” outside our museum (WG Hardy Classics Museum) where we offered samples of ancient Greek and Roman delicacies (courtesy of our faculty members). Our event was well received, and inspired us to do something even better this year and attract even more visitors and potential students.

Thanks to CAMWS’s BIG grant, we were able to create two large eye-catching banners to anchor our event and offer an immediate visual answer to two of the most popular questions “What is Classics?” and “What do you study in Classics?” We had approximately 50 guests, who sampled the delicacies (the placenta was a big hit!), toured the Museum, chatted with our volunteers about Classics and course offerings, and left with promotional cards featuring an ancient recipe along with a list of our first-year classes. Having our extra event outside of the main venue made it possible to actually discuss Classics at length with our guests, in a normal conversational voice and a relaxed atmosphere.

Plans are already underway for an even bigger and better and more interactive activity for next year, where the promotional banners will again shine.



Placenta Perfecta (recipe via Pass the Garum: http://pass-thegarum.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/placenta-perfecta.html)



Roman Bread (modelled on loaves found at Pompeii)



Getting Ready



First Visitors



Visitors to the Museum, talking to one of our Graduate Student volunteers