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Q2C Festival – A Brilliant Combo of Mind Challenging Conversation and Fun!


Bessie Schenk

As the Quantum to Cosmos Festival has just wrapped up, it seems the optimum time to chat a little bit about why it was so successful…and so unique. I was thrilled when a new run of tickets opened up on October 19th so I was able to sneak in and attend with the masses. The event I was fortunate to participate in was the live showing of The Agenda with Steve Paikin. The topic: Whose DNA is it?

Sitting under hot bright lights wearing my pageboy cap (I forgot it was being filmed live) I was privy to a conversation that spanned everything from the ethics of mapping the human genome to learning about those who are putting a dollar value on the actual act of finding out what exactly we do and do not carry – genetically, that is. No “heated” discussions per say, but a lot of challenges to statements made and a lot of food for thought afterward.

So there I was, sitting right in the middle of the audience, taking notes and listening to this pouring out of information and all right in my backyard. Yet another classic example of why Waterloo Region has truly stepped it up a notch on the national and international level. With the Q2C Festival being the brain child of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Region was exposed to a massive collection of world-renown scientists, panel discussions, lectures, exhibits, a film festival and the list goes on. 11 days worth of some of the most mind boggling and challenging ideas, discussions and presentations available. All of this was a result of some of our regions’ greatest minds collaborating to bring to the community and the world, an event unheard of in these parts. All lectures, panel discussions and the Agenda are available online at www.q2cfestival.com where you can watch it on demand.

I never cease to be amazed and proud of what this region offers. An event like this reminds me of the other fantastic “thinkers” we have here: The Quantum Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo, and Centre for International Governance (CIGI), among others. Two examples of groups of people who are demonstrating how being innovative, diverse and collaborate can lead to ideas that change the world.

As I walked back to the car that night I thought as much about what was discussed (and whether or not I actually want to know if my children will be 6’5” tall and the next Michael Jordan) as I did about the reality that all of this was presented right here at home. Thank you for providing this opportunity to our community, and well done.


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