Ethnic events squeezing into athletics schedule

Allison Declercq-Matthas, Contributor Ω

Participants of TRUSU India Club's Rang De Basanti event April 6 ended up more colourful than usual. A central part of Rang De Basanti is the throwing of coloured pwder at friends and family, known as colour play. - PHOTO BY BRENDAN KERGIN

Participants of TRUSU India Club’s Rang De Basanti event April 6 ended up more colourful than usual. A central part of Rang De Basanti is the throwing of coloured pwder at friends and family, known as colour play. – PHOTO BY BRENDAN KERGIN

The TRUSU India Club’s Facebook page was vibrant with neon-coloured photos last week as talk of the colour play, music and food planned for the Indian Rand De Basanti (RDB) event spread. On April 3, 196 of 633 people invited on Facebook stated they were going to be at the event.

When it started at TRU, RDB was hosted in the Grand Hall, but it quickly outgrew the banquet-style capacity of 380 people.

Last year RDB was held in the TRU Gymnasium. This year the gym was booked around the holiday.

Since the festival is about throwing colourful powdered dust at friends and family, organizer Amit Goel said holding it outside will be easier to clean. An international student advisor at TRU World and staff representative of the TRUSU India Club, Goel has helped organize RDB and the Diwali Bash since their introduction to TRU.

“The cleaning in the gym cost around $2,900,” said Goel. “The cleaning staff and I were there for hours.” But he hopes to be in the gym next year for both events.

Despite finding no room at the TRU Gymnasium, Goel said they will not move the event off campus.

“If it was off campus it would not be a student event anymore, but a public event,” he said.

The International Days Showcase, also hosted in the TRU Gymnasium, is starting to see a space issue as well.

“It was packed,” said Adrian Conradi, an organizer of the event, estimating an attendance of 2,500 people throughout the eight-hour International Days Showcase.

“I don’t think we maxed it out though.”

The TRU Gymnasium has the official capacity of 1,100 people according to fire code. The event also used to be hosted in the Grand Hall, but once it outgrew the hall it had to move.

“At the moment the gym is a great fit,” Conradi said. It allows people to come and go and the event can have food booths. The space is small enough that the sound quality is acceptable, but large enough for the stage and the bleachers provide additional seating.

Also, it is dark enough inside that proper lighting can be operated for performances, unlike the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) gymnasium, which would be the event’s next choice when it outgrows the TRU Gymnasium.

However, scheduling the space is difficult because the TRU Gym is being utilized for athletic purposes.

“We do disrupt the athletics department,” Conradi said. The event displaces recreation events, P.E. classes and clubs.

If the showcase hopes to move to the TCC it will be contending with space used for an even more congested athletics schedule.

“Until the request comes forward it is basically speculation,” said Clint Andersen, a staff member of the Kamloops Parks and Recreation department. If the organizers of the International Showcase wanted to hold it around Feb. 8, the designated date for the showcase, the TCC would find it hard to accommodate the request.

“That’s right in the busy season,” Anderson said.

There are other venues in Kamloops but any hall off campus would be unsatisfactory said Conradi.

“The goal of the showcase is to show cultures on campus,” Conradi said.

“It would also be difficult to get performers and the audience to another place.”

The event has become a staple of TRU and caters to students¬—particularly international students. Conradi said he has witnessed international students performing for friends and family in the showcase say it was the highlight of their trip.

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