SAIT prepares for its centennial birthday bash

On Oct. 16, 1916, SAIT opened its doors to the first students. Nearly 100 years later, SAIT is now preparing for a memorable celebration for the SAIT community and all Calgarians.

Melissa McKay is the centennial event project manager, a part of a team of SAIT employees coordinating the celebration across SAIT’s campuses.

“I believe SAIT is a big part of Calgary’s history, so that is what excited me about the centennial,” said McKay, who has been in the role for six months.

This is not McKay’s first time planning a centennial event. She previously was the centennial manager for the Calgary Stampede.

The Weal sat down with McKay to learn what SAIT has planned and how students can get involved.

For more information about the centennial and volunteer opportunities, visit

The Weal: How can students get involved in the event?

Melissa McKay: We’re always looking for volunteers. You can imagine with a big birthday party like this, it is a great opportunity and experience for students to partake in an event. Let alone that we’re going to be celebrating as SAIT, we are also going to be opening our doors to Calgarians to partake with us.

TW: What lessons have you learned from planning the Stampede’s centennial celebration?

MM: The collaboration—it’s going to take all of us to make this year special. Everyone wants to be involved. A lot of people are looking into how to be involved. I think the excitement of all of us doing this together will make a huge difference. It was the same at the Stampede. It was a great team effort, and I see that happening here at SAIT also.

TW: What makes SAIT centennial special?

MM: SAIT’s centennial will be about telling the story of the people. The thing I love about SAIT’s centennial is it’s about the people.

TW: What are you most looking forward to?

MM: The memories that this centennial will provide for people going to school right now, people that have come back, our alumni and our retirees. It’s going to be a moment in time that people are going to be excited to be a part of.

TW: What advice do you have for party planners aspiring to become centennial party planners?

MM: Living in a province as young as Alberta helps. The best advice I can say on the events side is never say you can do it on your own. You need a team of people to pull it off.


Events to look forward to

Here are some of the celebrations planned for the upcoming year.

Photo mosaic

Photos will be collected until next spring and will create a photo mosaic, to be hung in the Irene Lewis atrium.

Celebration day

On Oct. 16, 2016, SAIT is hosting a variety of events for students, alumni, staff and faculty, and all Calgarians.

Free barbeque

SAIT is hosting a barbeque (free to the first 2,500 people) at noon on the celebration day.

100 Years of Wings and Wheels

School of Transportation will be showcasing transportation through the past century.

Time capsule

Opening the 1966 time capsule and creating a new one, to be opened in 2116.

Centennial cake

A special birthday cake will be made by the School of Hospitality and Tourism.

Celebrations for all ages

Events are planned for students and Calgarians of any age to enjoy.

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