Information for family and friends


Graduands can invite as many guests as they wish to attend their convocation ceremony. The university does not issue tickets, nor does it require guests to RSVP.

When to arrive:

Guests may enter the Jack Simpson Gym one hour before the ceremony start time.

Convocation location:

All convocation ceremonies are held in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium in the Kinesiology Complex (labeled KNB on the map). The main entry for convocation ceremonies is the north entrance to KNB by the Olympic Oval. For an overview see Google maps.

Reminder: your graduating student will have to pick up their robe, hood and cap at the Bookstore before proceeding they proceed to the their graduand meeting point.


There are several pay parking lots available on campus. The closest parking lots to the Jack Simpson Gym are #10 and #11. If you prefer, covered parking is available in the Arts Parkade. See the campus map for additional information.


There are several nearby options for family and friends to stay if they require accommodation.

A number of hotel options are located near 16th Ave NW, close to the University of Calgary, near the Banff Trail train station. University of Calgary Accommodations and Events also has single standard rooms and one bedroom suites available in International House.

Guests with special needs

Guests with special needs may be dropped off at the Olympic Oval Complex. Seating for guests with special needs is reserved on the track level of the gymnasium, which is accessible by elevator.

Letters of invitation for international guests

International guests, who require a visa, may be asked to provide a letter of invitation to obtain their visa. This letter is written by the graduand. Please refer to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website for guidance on what to include in your invitation letter.

The university is unable to provide letters of invitation for guests of graduands. However, the Convocation Office can provide a letter confirming the date and time of a specific ceremony. Please email your request to

Convocation dates

Ceremony date information

Help your graduand prepare for the ceremony.

Meeting, picking up gowns and robing information

Selfie and family photo locations:

Are you wondering where to take photos before or after the Convocation ceremony? Here are some suggestions.

  1. University of Calgary sign next to the arch. What better way to showcase “you did it!” than to get a photo in your convocation gown next to the official entrance to campus.
  2. Green spaces around the Olympic Oval and TFDL Quad. Looking for a shady spot under a tree for a family photo? There is a lot of green space around the Oval and in the TFDL Quad (bordered by Kinesiology, MacEwan Student Centre and Taylor Family Digital Library).
  3. Kinesiology’s dinosaur. Take a moment to snap a fun photo with our dinosaur outside the entrance to Kinesiology. Rex would want you to do it!
  4. Olympic Arch. Just outside Kinesiology, it provides the perfect frame for a group shot.
  5. The Spire. Many families have taken photos outside of the Olympic Oval under this public art from the 1988 Calgary Olympics.