By Sean Wetselaar
After a brief revival in 2010, the Ryerson Blue and Gold Ball will make a comeback Thursday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) at Ryerson.
The event, considered the social event of the year in the 1950s and ’60s, is themed around the history of Maple Leaf Gardens. It will feature everything from student performances of music from the time between the last ball in 1962 and the present day, to throwbacks to the building’s sports history with representatives from the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“This is another important event, I think for the students to feel that the Mattamy Athletic Centre is all of theirs, regardless if you’re a varsity athlete or do recreation or use the fitness room,” said Ryerson President Sheldon Levy. “I didn’t build it for varsity athletes alone, we built it for the whole community, and for us to spend this money to be able to get more and more students out to it and use it, it’s good stuff.”
The gala’s move from the Kerr Hall Gym in previous years to the MAC has come with a sizable increase in funding from the school.
Though organizer Tracy Leparulo would not disclose the exact cost of the event, Levy said sales of $10 tickets for the expected turnout of 2,000 students would not cover half the cost of the ball. Funding has come from all branches of the school, including faculties and administrations, and Leparulo stressed the budget is relatively small given the scope of the event.
“It’s amazing to have the support, absolutely, from the university,” Leparulo said. “Ryerson really lacked [school spirit] and the fact that we’re a commuter school too, we lack it even more… I’ve talked to so many students who said they’ve never gone to anything at Ryerson but they’re coming to the ball, and those are the students who make me the most happy.”
The ball was organized by a committee of 20 students from various faculties, including co-coordinators Marijana Miric and Karina Nicole starting in October 2012. It will be staffed by over 40 student volunteers.
The ball will take place Thursday at the MAC beginning at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are available for $10.