New site, new route, extra day on deck for Vancouver Pride events in 2023

Click to play video: 'New location & extra day for Vancouver Pride 2023'
New location & extra day for Vancouver Pride 2023
The Vancouver Pride Parade and festival is one of the biggest events of the summer and this year, it's taking on a new life. It's going to be even bigger with a new site, route and an extra day. Jennifer Palma has more on what's behind the changes – May 4, 2023

The Vancouver Pride Society is expanding the Vancouver Pride Festival this year, adding an extra day to the event, as well as more activities and entertainment.

The society has also revealed its new parade route beginning at Davie and Denman Streets, proceeding down Beach Avenue and Pacific Street, and ending at the new festival site at Concord Community Park. The changes bring the parade from 2.7 kilometres in length to 3.1 kilometres.

“The new route addresses some challenges regarding accessibility and space,” Vancouver Pride Society co-executive director Madison Holding said at a Thursday press conference.

“The wider sidewalks, proximity to the SkyTrain station and flat terrain will provide a more inclusive experience for both parade entries and spectators.”

The Vancouver Pride Society revealed the new route of its parade and site of its annual festival on Thurs. May 4, 2023. Vancouver Pride Society

Vancouver Pride Festival programming will last all weekend on Aug. 5 and 6, with the parade taking place on the Sunday.

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Heather McCain of Live, Educate, Transform Society — formerly Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods — welcomed the changes to the route and festival.

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“The new festival location is a much-needed change,” she said. “We are excited that there is flat access without fills, concrete, less grass, and no sand in passive travel … and plenty of room for harm reduction and low-sensory areas.”

McCain said many 2SLGBTQIA+ members feel “excluded from or discouraged” due to the inaccessibility of many Pride events.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Pride Parade returns after two-year hiatus'
Vancouver Pride Parade returns after two-year hiatus

Vancouver Coun. Rebecca Bligh said the City of Vancouver will ensure the route is well-planned with all the property safety measures in place.

As per a policy developed in 2018, Vancouver police will not march in the Pride Parade, but will be present along the route to ensure public safety.

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This year, the Vancouver Pride Society is also reducing the number of floats and trailers allowed in the parade. On its website, it says this change is to lower the number of heavy vehicles involved with a goal of making Pride emissions-free for Canada Pride in 2024.

The parade will see part of Denman Street, Davie Street and Beach Avenue closed from Denman to Jervis Street, and Pacific Avenue from Jervis Street to Carrall Street.

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