On 10 March 2017, SAC held Marc Garneau’s first Clubs Fair of the year, which took place in the galleria during lunch. The fair gave clubs an opportunity to advertise themselves to potential members and encouraged students to be more involved within the school. The day was also an unhealthy food day, one of the few days of the year when clubs are allowed to sell unhealthy foods. Clubs used the unhealthy food day to attract students to their club, selling a wide range of foods, from brownies to pizza to samosas, many of which were homemade.

Rafiq Habib, the SAC Clubs Convenor, said he believes that the event was fairly well-organized, though a lot of freedom was given to clubs. He also said that he asked all the executives to produce something that advertised their club, such as posters, brochures, or even setting up a booth. Approximately thirty five clubs participated in the fair, according to Rafiq Habib, though this is not an exact number—many clubs had a few members walk around and sell food, rather than actually setting up a booth. Some of the clubs that set up booths included Bridge Club, DECA, Orphan Sponsorship Club, International Show, Humane Society, EcoTeam, Stock Market Club, Math Club, and World Politics Club. Clubs were all briefed with the details of the event at a club executives meeting, but it was their decision whether they would participate or not. “We were hoping as many clubs as possible would attend.” Said Rafiq, “Hopefully, we can reward the clubs that did in our next budget.”

The Clubs Fair was held in conjunction with unhealthy food sales. Photo: Julien Lin

Rafiq said that while the fair was an overall success, there were some challenges. “The main challenge was creating an event where clubs had the freedom to market themselves as they wanted without putting too much of a burden on smaller clubs to put together large displays.” Rafiq plans to gauge the success of the Clubs Fair in the next few months, by observing if club attendance increases at the next club check-ins. He elaborated on the goal of the conference, saying, “The Clubs Fair was intended to increase participation and awareness between the clubs and the student body.”

Vivian Ly, a Grade 12 student, said she highly enjoyed the event. However, she did have some criticism, and said she didn’t learn much about what each club does: “They can offer more about what they do, maybe a summary or something.”

Mahdieh Rezaie, the Vice President of Save the Syrian Children Club, stated that the event was fairly well-organized. Her table, which was selling pizza, samosas, and coke, raised money for orphans. She said “The Clubs Fair is an awesome idea—clubs can advertise their name and show who they are. For us, we can also raise money for important causes.” She also said she liked the idea of combining unhealthy food day with a Clubs Fair: “It’s an amazing idea. Like, when there’s a unhealthy food day, people are going to buy things (unhealthy food) anyway. Combining it with Clubs Fair lets clubs also advertise themselves and raise money for their cause.”