International Days celebrates 20 years of food, music and dance

Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

TRU will be celebrating 20 years of International Days starting Feb. 4. The annual event brings together the many cultures students and faculty represent on campus.

The dozens of interesting interconnected international events are the work of Krista Bergmann, International Days event co-ordinator, and a committee from TRU World.

“It’s our time to celebrate all the different cultures and countries and regions that are represented by students and faculty and staff,” Bergmann said.

Event types are almost as varied as nationalities represented, with foreign films, a tea expo, field school presentations, guest scholars, concerts, an art gallery show and food aspects. There will even be a flag parade.

“This semester we have people representing over 72 different countries,” Bergmann said. “It’s really important for us to take this week to celebrate the diversity that we have on campus.”

One of the bigger events will be the opening keynote speaker — adventurer and filmmaker Colin Angus. Angus, from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, was the first person to circumnavigate the world using only human power. He’s also participated in a variety of other expeditions including a rafting trip on the Amazon River for source to sea. He will be speaking Monday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Grand Hall in the Campus Activity Centre. The university’s tourism department has come on board to help host the event.

“He’s going to speak to us about his anecdotes of these travels that he faced,” Bergmann said. “Different cultural experiences, the elements that he faced, stuff like that.”

For the 20th anniversary a new aspect will be brought in with internationals films shown in the Alumni Theatre in the Clocktower Building.

“That’s just a great opportunity to have a relaxing afternoon and catch a flick,” Bergmann said.

The TRU Art Gallery will be hosting a show related to International Days as well.

“The art gallery exhibit is actually really neat this year. It’s an interactive display curated by our local artist Tricia Sellmer,” Bergmann said. “Her and eight or nine other local artists have put together this exhibit called ‘The Games People Play.’”

The show will bring board games from around the world onto the campus. People will be able to come and see the games and actually get to play some of them.

Another big event will be Delhi2Dublin’s show in the Culinary Arts Training Centre. The Vancouver-based group will be playing only its second show ever in Kamloops, coming up specifically for International Days, bringing a sound fusing traditional Celtic and Indian music with electronica.

“It’s exciting to come back for sure,” Tarun Nayar said. Nayar, the group’s DJ and tabla (a traditional Indian drum), describes the music as global party music.

“I think it’s very much a West Coast vibe,” he said.

International Days isn’t just a chance for people to represent their cultural heritage; it’s a chance for TRU to connect with the community of Kamloops. Bergmann is hoping a larger off-campus marketing strategy will bring TRU’s neighbours onto the campus.

“We’ve done a lot in expanding our marketing out to the Kamloops community more, as well as the TRU community because it is a week full of events that really are for everyone,” Bergmann said. “There’s a good variety of events.”

International Days runs from Feb. 4 to 8 with events starting as early as 9 a.m. and ending as late as midnight (or when Heroes closes). It will end with the five-hour International Showcase in the TRU Gymnasium on Friday starting at 3 p.m. and Celebrating World Cultures (a 19+ event) starting in Heroes at 8:30 p.m.

Check out photos from International Days 2012.

Updated Jan. 27, 2013 at 3:59 p.m. by copy/web editor.