Celebrating culture and diversity

Access to the arts, exposure to new cultures and appreciation of diversity are the cornerstones of a rich and vibrant community. Creativity and diversity stimulate innovation.

Students, faculty and staff at the University of Waterloo have much to contribute to culture and diversity in our region. We welcome individuals from across the globe to Waterloo, and we are proud of the role we play in developing a sense of shared community vision.

“By participating on the Region of Waterloo Immigration Partnership Council, the University of Waterloo is able to work alongside Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College to leverage the benefits and celebrate the diversity that international students, faculty and staff bring to our community. This partnership with government, business and service providers ensures that all newcomers to our community access the services and supports they need for success.”

TARA BEDARD, Manager, Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership

Facts and figures

  • For 20+ years students, faculty and staff have participated in the annual Toronto Pride celebration supporting diversity and inclusion.
  • 10,500 visitors attend our Theatre of the Arts each year to take in 30+ performances.
  • Art and science unite through music. Quantum: Music at the Frontier of Science, a collaboration between the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, premiered in February 2012. It continues to please concert-goers in communities across North America.
  • Waterloo alumni are ambassadors of our school and community around the globe. 138,405 live in Canada; 8,480 live in the United States; and 7,725 live internationally, including the following top five countries: China, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Singapore.
  • 35% of graduate students, 13% of undergraduate students, and 322 faculty members are international.
  • The University of Waterloo family includes four Affiliated and Federated Institutions: St. Paul’s University College, Renison University College, Conrad Grebel University College, and St. Jerome’s University. Each is deeply connected to our community and contributes to culture and diversity.
  • Special events - like St. Paul’s annual Pow Wow, Renison’s East Asian Festival, St. Jerome’s public lectures and Conrad Grebel’s musical performances - reflect the rich spiritual and cultural foundations of our community.
  • The University of Waterloo Art Gallery hosts 10 exhibits annually, attracting nearly 5,000 visitors.

Did you know?

The University of Waterloo is the only Canadian university — and one of ten across the globe — to participate in the UN Women's HeForShe Impact 10x10x10 framework. 

As part of this framework, the University of Waterloo made three key commitments at the HeForShe launch: boost the participation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); increase the number of female faculty; and move more women into academic and administrative leadership roles.

The goal is comprehensive, long-term and sustainable gender equity through innovative programming.

Quantum symphony performance

Audiences love hearing music and science collide in our creative quantum symphony performance. 

Female performer on stage at Cultural Caravan

Student clubs perform an array of international dances at the Ferderation of Student's 2015 Cultural Caravan. 


Community members inside a teepee during the annual Pow Wow

Community members come together to celebrate Aboriginal traditions at the annual Traditional Pow Wow in 2014. 

Conrad Grebel music students singing

Conrad Grebel music students perform free live concerts for members of our community year-round.  


From the #UWCommunity blog

Students marching in Toronto Pride Parade

UWaterloo glows at the 2015 Toronto Pride Parade

Over 60 University of Waterloo students, faculty and staff marched in the rain to show their support during the 2015 Toronto Pride Parade. Held on June 28, the event featured a line of spectacular displays and lively music in the downtown core.

The Feds Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity organized the UWaterloo contingent, which has had a presence in the parade for the past few years.