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Calgary’s Class of 2020 can walk the stage in a drive-thru grad ceremony

Calgary 2020 grad classes can sign up to walk the stage thanks to a huge city-wide effort.

Drive Thru Grad 2020 is making sure every Grade 12 student gets to have the chance at a final graduation ceremony that they all dreamed of – with modifications.

Thanks to the current COVID-19 climate, a typical ceremony was initially out of the question. Many graduates thought they wouldn’t be able to have one at all.

“A graduate’s future is exciting and uncertain in regular times,” said Keri Miller of Drive Thru Grad 2020, and mom to graduate Aidan Laird.

“Imagine being a member of the Class of 2020.”

Thanks to this drive-thru model, graduates can officially have that special celebration they’ve worked so hard for.

How it works

Grads that sign up will be in groups of 30-50 in two-hour timed slots. There will be a photo station for those in their grad duds.

Names will be called to the stage, grads will get to walk it in front of the group. (There is a full FAQ at the site.)

According to the website, the CBE is not participating, but they aren’t preventing students from doing so. They did say that anything paid to schools for grad is not transferable.

“Every high school student wants to have a memorable graduation,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“But I’m not sure that having it happen in the middle of a global pandemic is quite what they had in mind.”

In what he calls “true Calgarian spirit,” multiple members and groups in the community banded together for this year’s graduates.

Calgary Stampede, Spruce Meadows, and event professionals led by e=mc2 events worked together to make it possible.

“We are excited to be able to offer our venue to honor the accomplishments of the 2020 Graduating Class with a unique drive-in graduation celebration,” said Linda Southern-Heathcott, Presdient/CEO of Spruce Meadows Ltd.

They have teamed up with Drive Thru Grad 2020 and ATCO to present the ceremony at a distance.

Requirements from Alberta Health Services, the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis, and Calgary Police services have all been met.

“There have been so many losses during this uncertain time, let’s give them a win,” said Miller.

All graduates from the class of 2020 are invited to participate, and can register online. The cost is $65 per grad, with $25 for a second vehicle.