The University of British Columbia

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Robson Square

UBC Connects at Robson Square
program application form

Get $5,000, plus promotional and logistical support to
bring your event to life at UBC Robson Square.

Program update – new applications paused

Thank you for your interest in hosting your next event at UBC Robson Square through the UBC Connects program. We are delighted to see such enthusiasm to engage in innovative, public engagement programming at our vibrant venue in downtown Vancouver.  

Due to the overwhelming response and popularity of this program, all available funds have been allocated to support various events and activities scheduled until March 2024. 

Therefore, as of August 2, 2023, we are pausing our new application intake. 

If you have already submitted an application

We will carefully review and process it according to the established guidelines and funding criteria. Applicants who have been approved for funding will be notified separately. 

If you are looking for other funding

If you have a great idea for a public event there are other opportunities and funding sources to consider:

If you would like to host your event at UBC Robson Square

Funding is currently closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t still program your public engagement event downtown at UBC Robson Square! With flexible space, customized catering, A/V equipment and full-service support to meet your needs, the team of event professionals at UBC Robson Square is available to help you with your event planning and booking. Discounts available for charitable organizations and UBC units. 

About the program

UBC Connects at Robson Square is a two-year pilot program that provides funding and staffing support for equitable knowledge exchange between UBC and the public in downtown Vancouver.

Who can apply

This initiative is open to UBC students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as community partners who are working in collaboration with UBC.


New applications are now paused.
(Last updated: August 2, 2023)

Criteria and review process 

All events supported by this program are required to be free and open to the public to support equitable access to knowledge and maximize public engagement.  

A review committee consisting of students, faculty, staff and community members will evaluate each application based on the key criteria listed below.

  • Engagement: Programming should have a balance of participants that are both from the general public and part of the UBC community. All events that will be funded and supported by this program should be of interest to and designed for both public and UBC audiences.
  • Relevance: Programming should increase public exposure to faculty-based knowledge and research and show UBC’s value as a thought leader on pressing societal issues. Program should be accessible and relevant to members of the general public who may not have specialized academic knowledge.
  • Program Feasibility: The goals and intended impact of your event should be clearly outlined. We will also be assessing the logistical feasibility of your application in regard to your budget, scheduling dates, suitability of the venue, etc.

In addition to the above, a minimum of three events per application cycle that align with one or more of UBC’s presidential priorities in 2022 will be accepted. These three priorities are: a) Indigenous engagement and Reconciliation b) antiracism and equity, diversity and inclusion and c) climate change, climate justice, and sustainability. While we are prioritizing events that meet UBC’s presidential priorities, we are open to events of all themes and topics.

You can preview the application questions here (PDF).


Costs for the rental of space at UBC Robson Square, including in-house A/V equipment and staffing of up to $2,000, will be covered. In addition, successful applications will be provided with up to $5,000 to cover additional event organizing costs. Some examples include:

  • External speaker fees
  • Honoraria, stipends, and community compensation
  • Marketing and promotions 
  • Equipment/supplies
  • Furniture rentals
  • Transportation or delivery costs
  • Publications and printing materials
  • Catering

Expenses and activities that we do not cover include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Hiring UBC students
  • Payment of UBC salaries or wages
  • Fees for UBC faculty, students, or staff to attend events, conferences, etc.
  • Core operational costs for community organizations
  • Projects outside of Canada

Find details about Robson Square’s facilities (including photos) and services here.

Event Support

Additionally, our Public Engagement Specialist can assist event organizers with: 

  • Event planning  
  • Designing program content
  • Event registration
  • Finding event partners
  • Liaising with Robson Square staff to book venue space, A/V and catering 
  • Marketing, including designing promotional materials and amplification on UBC channels  
  • On-the-day support to ensure the event runs smoothly

New applications paused as of August 2023

Connect with us

Questions? Contact Crystal Lau, Public Engagement Specialist at

Sign up for the Connects at Robson Square newsletter

January 27, 2024

Imagining Multisensory Art: Learning from Objects; Literacy and Inclusion

Join Vancouver Art Gallery and UBC's Vision Research Cluster in exploring multisensory art and inclusion through collaborative and tactile experiences, ensuring full accessibility for a diverse audience.

January 26, 2024

Stories of Change: Documentary Screening + Climate Atlas

An exclusive documentary screening that takes you through a journey of the lives of resilient communities in Bangladesh, facing the brunt of climate change.

January 20, 2024

Wellbeing Festival: Celebrating Local Mind-Body Health

MIHCan is hosting an event centred around BIWOC (Black, Indigenous, Women of Colour) themes, with activities focusing on wellbeing including meditation, reflection, and creativity.

a hand holding a cellphone

November 29, 2023

Let’s Talk About Your Data: A Discussion of Public Health Data

Engage in a discussion of sharing public health data and technological advances that assure security with health professionals, researchers, and patient representatives presenting their community health research endeavours.

November 12, 2023

Postcards: Trans Narratives on Stage

A panel of trans theatre artists and UBC graduate students explore arts-based research to consider the affordances of theatre to centre trans voices, drawing on strategies from theatre-as-research approaches.

October 27, 2023

The Age of Disruption in Public Policy: DRIPA and Social Media

Dive into the latest trends and strategies in public policy, with a special focus on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) and the influential role of social media.

October 22, 2023

The Floating Man: Canadian Film Premiere

This Canadian premiere of The Floating Man by Michael V. Smith is an intimate memoir that unpacks Smith's journey as a radical drag performer and genderqueer.

October 10, 2023

Besa: The Promise – Albania’s Untold Story of Sanctuary for Jewish Refugees in WWII

To commemorate the Muslim Albanians who hosted Jewish people during World War II, this event will showcase a screening of the film, Besa: The Promise, along with expert speakers from UBC and beyond. 

September 28, 2023

Folil Trafün (Joining Roots) Festival – Main Showcase

Connects at Robson Square is proud to host Folil Trafün (Joining Roots) Festival's main showcase, screening Indigenous and Afro-diaspora films from Latin America, followed by dialogues to deepen understanding of the films and their relationship with local realities.

September 16, 2023

Word Vancouver 2023

Join Word Vancouver for their main festival day on September 16th at UBC Robson Square! This festival will feature a special session with UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections and look at how its archival materials were used in the work of poets Rina Garcia Chua and Carolyn Nakagawa.

August 19, 2023

To Speak in Community: A Gathering of Philippine Languages and Cultures

To Speak in Community is an informational, interactive half-day gathering about Philippine heritage languages and cultural sharing featuring presentations and programming from community experts and facilitators.

July 29, 2023

The Right to Repair

UBC's Bike Kitchen presents "The Right to Repair", a sustainability forum targeting industry issues surrounding the sale of “built-to-fail” products and consumers’ right to repair their own products across various industries.

July 27, 2023

Tackling Climate Change and the Just Transition to Renewable Energy

This discussion and panel session are part of a series of French-Ameri-Can Climate Panels (FACTS) on climate change.

June 17, 2023

STEAMing Ahead: A Science Community Day

A day of science for all ages and a chance to meet world-class researchers and innovators, participate in hands-on experiments, and see amazing scientific demonstrations at UBC's Downtown Campus.

June 5, 2023

Big Fight in Little Chinatown: Film Screening and Discussion

Big Fight in Little Chinatown will be available for a free screening on June 5th at UBC Robson Square, followed by a panel discussion featuring filmmaker Karen Cho and other UBC and community experts.

May 24, 2023

Water4Seasons: Using Research-Based Theatre to Explore the Status of Water Health Equity

Water4Seasons draws on Research-based Theatre to explore the status of water health equity for Indigenous and rural communities in Canada, featuring a live theatre performance and talk from Dr. Stephani Woodson.

May 17, 2023

The Empress of Vancouver: Film Screening and Q&A

Join us for a celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia at a free, public screening of the TELUS original film The Empress of Vancouver.

May 13, 2023

Passage to Freedom: Film Screening and Discussion

Passage to Freedom is a documentary film following the oral histories of Southeast Asian refugees coming to Canada from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The screening will be followed by a discussion from UBC faculty and alumni.

May 13, 2023

Hearts of Freedom: Stories of Southeast Asian Refugees

The Hearts of Freedom exhibition featuring stories of Southeast Asian refugees in Canada will be hosted at UBC Robson Square for free public viewing from May 13 to May 31.

April 21, 2023

2023 International Comic Arts Forum: Artist Talk Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Haida graphic artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas presents a keynote as part of the 2023 International Comic Arts Forum.

March 30, 2023

Peer-Led Intervention Work to Promote Dignity

A UBC public dialogue event centered around the importance of peer-led work, with formerly incarcerated lived-experience speakers.

March 27, 2023

Connecting Online Safely

UBC experts explore the subject of how youths can cope with and develop healthier approaches to social media, cyberbullying, and more.

March 25, 2023

Screening & Exhibition of Leslie Cheung—Hong Kong Icon

We are proud to present the screening of Rouge, accompanied by a special exhibition “Leslie Cheung—Hong Kong Icon” to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the passing of the legendary Hong Kong actor, singer, and performer, Leslie Cheung.

March 15, 2023

Cinema Thinks the World: Fail to Appear (2017)

A free screening of Fail to Appear, a film from UBC professor Antoine Bourges, followed by a discussion featuring the filmmaker.

February 24, 2023

Sue Big Oil Launch Party

Join us for the launch of Sue Big Oil's campaign.

February 16, 2023

Cinema Thinks the World: Rewind & Play (2022)

A free screening of Rewind and Play, followed by a discussion and Q&A led by UBC scholars and local experts.

January 23, 2023

Cinema Thinks the World: The Goddess (1934)

A free screening of The Goddess (1934), followed by a discussion by Professor Christopher Rea.

December 17, 2022

Africans in BC Town Hall

An end-of-year townhall for Africans in the diaspora to come together to network, connect, and discuss how to give back to the development of the continent.

November 25, 2022

Cinema Thinks the World: Mariupolis (2016)

A free screening and discussion of Mariupolis, a documentary made in 2016 by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius about the contested Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

Hand placing an election ballot into a voting box.

October 18, 2022

BC Votes: What Happens Next?

Join a panel of UBC Political Science faculty and alumni as we break down the results of the province’s municipal elections and their consequences for future policy and the future of local government.

October 11, 2022

Cinema Thinks the World: Coming Out (1989)

A free screening and discussion of the 1989 film, Coming Out.

September 15, 2022

Cinema Thinks the World: Irma Vep (1996)

A free screening of Olivier Assayas’ meta-cinematic masterpiece, Irma Vep (France, 1996).

August 25, 2022

Summer Pop-Up Concert Series

Join us for our Summer Pop-Up Concerts at UBC Robson Square! We're bringing our most talented students to perform for you right in the heart of downtown every Thursday in July.

August 18, 2022

Summer Pop-Up Concert Series

Join us for our Summer Pop-Up Concerts at UBC Robson Square! We're bringing our most talented students to perform for you right in the heart of downtown every Thursday in July.

August 17, 2022

Students Underground: UBC Downtown Takeover

Calling all students! Join us for a hands-on, social night of building community and learning how to use your power to make local change.

July 28, 2022

Summer Pop-Up Concert Series

Join us for our Summer Pop-Up Concerts at UBC Robson Square! We're bringing our most talented students to perform for you right in the heart of downtown every Thursday in July.

July 21, 2022

Summer Pop-Up Concert Series

Join us for our Summer Pop-Up Concerts at UBC Robson Square! We're bringing our most talented students to perform for you right in the heart of downtown every Thursday in July.

July 14, 2022

Summer Pop-Up Concert Series

Join us for our Summer Pop-Up Concerts at UBC Robson Square! We're bringing our most talented students to perform for you right in the heart of downtown every Thursday in July.

July 7, 2022

Summer Pop-Up Concert Series

Join us for our Summer Pop-Up Concerts at UBC Robson Square! We're bringing our most talented students to perform for you right in the heart of downtown every Thursday in July.

June 14, 2022

All Our Father’s Relations: Film Screening and Dialogue on Settler Colonialism, Identity, and Migration

In a special partnership with the UBC AMS Indigenous Committee, The Ismaili Centre, Vancouver and UBC Connects at Robson Square will be hosting a FREE, exclusive screening of All Our Father’s Relations, followed by an in-person talkback with Elder Larry Grant and filmmakers, Alejandro Yoshizawa and Sarah Ling.

May 14, 2022

In Tune With Your Brain

A half-day symposium all about the intersection of music and the brain presented by UBC Faculty of Science, Faculty of Applied Science, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health, UBC Graduate Program in Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Thank you for supporting UBC Connects.