By Nicole Siena
Last Friday marked the 50th anniversary of Ryerson’s Parade and Picnic, but the school still isn’t attracting big name artists like other universities.
Although the event usually gathers a large crowd, a large portion of the student population was still unaware that the was parade happening.
Daniel Jachra, a third-year criminal justice student said he didn’t even know it was happening.
“I honestly don’t even know what it is,” he said.
This year, the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) announced the artists playing at the picnic only a few days before the event.
“I had to ask people who was playing,” said Nicole Kim, a fourth-year photography student. “It wasn’t out in the open.”
Kim said she wasn’t upset about the artist choice this year, but compared to other years, it’s been “dwindling down.”
Brock University, in St. Catherines, Ont., managed to have the largest turnout ever after Avicci, a popular DJ, played at their frosh.
Chris Green, the Manager of Marketing and Communication for the Brock University Students Union (BUSU), said they started promotions for the event at the end of July, and carried on until the day of the event.
“It’s the artist that drives the event,” he said. “We ask students what they want to hear.”
Green said they have polls online giving students options for potential types of music they would want to hear.
“Instead of telling students, or assuming what students want, we ask,” he said.
Brock University, which Green classifies as a large commuter school due to the lack of on-campus housing options, still seems to hold all of their events on campus.
Kim said, “It’s not only about booking artists, it’s about getting students to go. It has to be accessible to everyone.”
Ryerson, which is mainly a commuter school, holds the event on Toronto Island.
“The island is out of the way,” said Kim. “It’s a nice venue, but it’s hard to coordinate,” she said.
Alyssa Williams, the VP of Student Life and Events for the RSU wasn’t available for comment by press time.