VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Last weekend, yet another Vancouver Santa Claus parade was rolled out, despite the fact only a few weeks before, the organizers were struggling to find new sponsors.
But another tradition in Vancouver won’t be so lucky. The Vancouver St. Patrick’s Day parade won’t be making a comeback for 2018.
Organizers were hoping to resurrect the parade for next year, after having to cancel it this year.
“It’s become too expensive,” says Harry Cussen, vice-president of Celtic Fest Vancouver.
He says organizers had sought to get special civic status, in order for the city to foot more of the costs, but he says that got too complicated.
Cadillac Fairview, the company that owns Pacific Centre, had been a major sponsor up until a few years ago. The search for another major sponsor has been unsuccessful.
“We have searched over the years, we tried. We had a professional company running the parade for us. They reached out to many sources,” says Cussen, but to no avail.
And grants have also dried up.
The city had provided some funding, but Cussen says that money didn’t go far in covering costs associated with policing, ambulance presence and traffic impact.
“The other grants that we were getting, like from the federal government, have really dropped – like by about 80 per cent, a huge drop.”
The parade had run for 13 years.
While the Irish won’t have a parade, Cussen points out the festival goes on with concerts, a ceili and other entertainment.