City launches new Civic designation and support for Vancouver’s world-class large parades

May 29, 2013 | Arts and Culture

City Council voted today to launch a new civic designation for Vancouver’s largest and best-known annual parades and celebrations, providing substantial new funding support to the Vancouver Pride Parade, Vaisakhi celebrations, and the Chinatown Spring Festival Parade. The new designation establishes clear criteria for City support and involvement in large parades, and seeks to leverage significantly higher economic impact from these world-class annual events.

“Events such as Vancouver Pride, Vaisakhi, and the Chinatown Spring Festival Parade have become internationally celebrated Vancouver staples that contribute immensely to our economy and our City’s vibrant cultural character,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “These events attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world, and the new civic designation for large parades ensures that the City of Vancouver is investing even more strongly in their continued growth and world-class success.”

The new designation also establishes a stronger framework to broadly improve the financial stability of these large parade events, with streamlined and professional event planning, and consistent funding criteria. Criteria for support includes evaluation of the event’s economic impact, its reflection of Vancouver’s diversity, its recent average attendance, and whether or not it is a component of a larger city-wide event or celebration.

Annual funding support will be increased by an estimated 345% for Vancouver Pride, 272% for Vaisakhi celebrations, and 155% for the Chinatown Spring Festival Parade, with Pride funding taking effect in time for this year’s event. Funding for the 2014 Grey Cup Parade will also be grandfathered into the new designation.

Council is also establishing a fund with the aim of making all such parades “zero waste”. Up to $10,000 is available to each parade over a three-year period for the development and implementation of a green parade initiative to reduce waste and environmental impact.

Attendance at the Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival (the largest of these events) is now estimated to have soared above 650,000 people. An economic impact study of the 2001 Vancouver Pride Parade estimated its economic impact at over $21 million, at a time when the event’s attendance was estimated to be 140,000.

For more information and to read the full staff report, please click here: