Winnipeg Grade 12 graduates celebrate convocation via drive-thru amid COVID-19 pandemic

The graduation stage set up at Maple Collegiate in Winnipeg. Matt Purchase / Global News

Walking from their cars to the podium wasn’t the way Grade 12 students at Maples Collegiate in Winnipeg originally imagined their graduation day.

“We’ve had multiple back-up plans but this is what ended up happening,” said Isabella Pepito who has her eyes set on the kinesiology program at the University of Winnipeg next year.

Isabella Pepito and her family pose for a photo following the graduation ceremony at Maples Collegiate. Matt Purchase / Global News

What was once supposed to be a massive party celebrating graduation is turning into a mixed bag of ceremonies, ranging from Zoom calls to drive-thru convocations across Manitoba due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Read more: ‘Rough ending to a rough year’: Winnipeg Grade 12 students react to grad cancellations

“We had three stations where our families just stayed in the car and then I go up where (our principal) is, and after that we take pictures with our families,” said Petito after crossing the makeshift stage.

Parents taking photos of the drive-thru convocation ceremony held at Maples Collegiate on Friday. Matt Purchase / Global News

“I was expecting a big ceremony, a big dinner party, a lot of people, but I liked the small, quick ceremony,” said fellow Maples grad Nathanael Grossman.

It marked a ceremony filled with a line vehicles instead of traditional speeches.

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“It was kind of weird coming out of the car and getting in the car for the graduation and ceremony part,” said Trystan Dario.

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“I thought we would have had everyone here like how it usually is, but it’s different because COVID and I understand that.”

Numerous other Winnipeg schools held drive-thru convocations throughout the day Friday as the 2021 school year has officially come to an end.

Click to play video: 'Graduating during a pandemic' Graduating during a pandemic
Graduating during a pandemic – Jun 7, 2021

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