The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival finally kicks off tonight, but not everyone's happy about it. The festival kicks off its first day on Thursday, Sept. 5, and a PETA TIFF protest will make its way to the event to show the animal rights organization's opposition to Canada Goose's status as TIFF's official sponsor. 

Throughout the festival, there will be a PETA mobile billboard that shows the face of a goose or a coyote next to the words "I Want You to Change. Don't Buy Down: Boycott Canada Goose" and "I Want You to Change. Don't Buy Fur: Boycott Canada Goose," respectively, according to a statement by PETA.

Protestors will hold posters "emblazoned with a spoof Canada Goose logo and images reflecting the company's cruelty to geese and coyotes."

Tricia Lebkuecher, PETA Senior Campaigner, stresses that as long as Canada Goose continues to use real fur and down, PETA will keep calling for TIFF to cut any future ties with the company.

"We were at TIFF last year. Dozens of activists gathered outside the red carpet at the Bell Lightbox and (there were) other additional demonstrations including a projection and people leafleting throughout the event," Lebkuecher tells Narcity.

According to Lebkuecher, after hearing from PETA, the Berlin International Film Festival confirmed that they had ended a sponsorship deal with Canada Goose. PETA is ultimately hoping TIFF takes the same route.

While PETA protestors argue against TIFF's association with Canada Goose, many others love the brand, which recently opened a new store in Edmonton. It's become closely associated with people all over the world, especially those on the east coast. Their warm winter jackets have become a staple for many.

In response, a Canada Goose representative told Narcity: "This is just another example of PETA using their scripted rhetoric in an attempt to mislead consumers. We remain committed to the responsible use and ethical sourcing of all materials in our products, as evidenced by our transparency standards."*

Meanwhile, Canadian native Pamela Anderson has also aligned herself with PETA after asking the event's artistic director to cut ties with Canada Goose.

"No film festival should welcome a sponsor whose name is synonymous with cruelty," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in their statement.

"PETA is urging the Toronto International Film Festival to cut ties with Canada Goose until the company agrees to stop supporting the torment and death of geese and coyotes for its coats."

The protest will take place outside the TIFF Bell Lightbox building at 350 King St. W. It will start at 5:30 p.m. today, Thursday.

*This article has been updated.


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