It has been a city staple for more than a decade but Vancouver’s annual Santa Claus Parade may not be happening in 2017.
More than 300,000 people usually line the streets to watch the parade downtown. It features 60 entries and floats and 2,700 participants.
But this year, Rogers, the event’s title sponsor, has decided to part ways with the event, taking with it about $150,000 in funding.
The non-profit society that runs the parade is now scrambling to make up that money but it is running out of time. They have to come up with the money in two weeks.
“It’s quite possible that the parade will be cancelled this year,” said Jessica Walker, the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade Society president. “Unless we find some corporate support.”
The total cost of staging the event is $400,000.
The parade also plays an important role for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Over the years, the event has helped bring in $157,000 and 77,000 pounds of food.
“It is going to hurt us because people know and learn about the Greater Vancouver Food Bank at the parade,” said Aart Schuuman, CEO of the food bank. “They see us there and we show what we are doing and not having the ability to be a part of the parade is going to cost us absolutely.”
At this time, the parade is still scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 3.
— With files from Grace Ke