Mascots have an important role in entertaining fans at sports events. At the University of Toronto, the Varsity Blues mascot is a beaver named True Blue. True Blue is in demand around campus and is more than just a sports mascot. He can be seen at events like Convocation, birthday celebrations, the CIBC Run for the Cure rally, and campaign milestone events.
When off-campus, True Blue is seen as an ambassador for the University of Toronto. Around the city, True Blue is a staple in the annual Great Canadian Mascot Games and is seen during halftime events at Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies games. Competing against other GTA-based mascots, True Blue gets invited to corporate functions, notably the St. Joseph’s Toronto West Halloween Fest.
Dating back several decades, there have been different versions of True Blue, but the Blues’ mascot has always been a beaver. The mascot has a sister named Blaze, who is seen less frequently than True Blue.
Just like the students and frosh leaders, True Blue is involved during orientation week for incoming first-year students. During frosh, True Blue serves as the ambassador for the Varsity Blues program, visits the various U of T colleges, and attends functions like Clubs Day, career fairs and the huge frosh parade.
The mascot is part of the work-study program at U of T. Currently, three students have undertaken the position of the True Blue mascot for the 2014–2015 season. Typically, a couple of students are hired for the role. Aside from keeping minimum academic standards during the season, there are no set requirements to be selected as the mascot. However, students that possess energy as well as theatrical, acrobatic, and comic skills go on to become great mascots.
Students from all three of the U of T campuses are eligible to be the mascot.
Surprisingly, there is no set practice for the mascot. True Blue will be called out at times to practice with the cheerleaders. Novelty routines are incorporated alongside the cheerleading, pom, and dance teams.
A common place to catch True Blue is at home football, basketball, volleyball, and hockey games.