The Great Arts Send-Off (TGAS) is the Arts Undergraduate Society’s annual farewell night for the faculty’s graduating students. This year for the first time, however, it aims to bring in students beyond those who are graduating.
Although TGAS is now in its fourth official year -- with different iterations of the event existing before that -- it has now been officially opened to all students. AUS President Jenna Omassi hopes that this year’s event will be a celebration for all students whether they have weeks or years standing between them and their much-anticipated handshake with Dean Gage Averill.
“In the past it’s been geared towards graduating Arts students plus others,” said Omassi. “We decided this year that it should be a celebration of the end of the year, not only for graduating students, but for students in general.”
“We wanted to make it more inclusive and get everyone involved, which I think is a good goal for the AUS,” said TGAS coordinator Louis Retief.
TGAS’s rebranding as an open event fits into the AUS’s mandate of making their events appeal to a broader audience. In a faculty of over 13,000 students, this is a constant challenge.
“What we’ve really tried to do is make sure that we take into account the diversity of students in this faculty, make sure that we are being inclusive in everything that we do, and also enhance our programming," said Omassi. "This event has done all three, and that’s thanks to the team, but also thanks to how the AUS has changed this year."
TGAS will be held this year on April 30 at the Pinnacle Vancouver Harbourfront Hotel. The event will feature appetizers, a photo booth, live music and -- perhaps most appealing of all -- an open bar. The AUS has also collaborated with 200BPM Entertainment, a Vancouver-based events and promotions company, to host an official after-party at Celebrities Nightclub. Organizers are expecting 450 total attendees, making this event the largest TGAS to date.
In addition to celebrating the end of the school year, Omassi hopes that students will take advantage of the night to meet new people -- something that can feel daunting after the initial flurry of activity that comes at the start of term.
“It’s a chance to network and make more connections. Often, especially close to April and May, that seems to stop,” she said.
“Opening this event to all students means that those connections can be made even if you’re ending off your year, which I think is really important, and [is something] we often forget.”
The event link for TGAS can be found here and tickets can be purchased online.