Few things at TRU, formerly University College of the Cariboo and before that, Cariboo College, have been around long enough to hit a 40th anniversary, but the Live at TRU! concert series has done it.
“It’s an extraordinary gift that the university puts out there. It’s an hour, it doesn’t ask much of your time, it costs no money, you don’t even need to walk very far,” said Susie Safford, chair of the committee for the Live at TRU! concert series.
Safford has sat on the committee for 35 years, and been chair for eight years. The committee is tasked with picking and booking musicians and bands to play the annual concerts.
The Live at TRU! series brings incredibly talented musicians to share their music with students and staff. The concerts are held in the TRU Clock Tower Theatre and are free of charge.
The concert series is celebrating its 40th year and opened with the mesmerizing sounds of Alpha Yaya Diallo. The upcoming line-up will showcase a diverse variety of musicians.
The Live at TRU! committee belongs to the British Columbia Touring Council, a non-profit arts organization that supports and promotes small-scale presenters. In order to choose the artists, the committee members attend Pacific Contact, a four-day event where performers can audition in showcases. Delegates from the Live at TRU! concert series committee take in multiple performances and make contact with artists and their managers, then report back with talent booking options.
Following the Pacific Contact event, the committee decides as a group which artists to contact. Safford is then tasked with getting in touch with agents and booking the talent.
Live at TRU! concerts are made possible by donated money from the TRU Faculty Association and a base grant from TRU.
“The sense when people come back to me, and tell me about what seeing a given performance meant to them, absolutely is the most rewarding thing,” Safford said.