Pride is about to get a whole lot better. Several Canadian pride festivals have received $1 million worth of funding to make it the best ones yet. This money has been provided through a new federal funding program. 

Three cities have received federal funding for their pride festivals recently – Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal. Today on May 22, 2019, the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) announced in a news release that they were the proud recipients of $1 million worth of federal funding.

This funding was provided through a new Canadian Experiences Fund aimed at growing the Canadian tourism sector. This money will be used over a two-year period by the society aimed at growing the already huge annual pride festival. 

To start, funding has enabled the creation of two new staffing positions in 2019. These positions will help ensure oversight of the increased federal funding as well as increase the VPS’s capacity. 

So how will the money be spent by the Vancouver Pride Society? Year one funding will include hiring a headliner for the Sunset Beach main stage. Money will also be used to create a brand new, three-day Davie Village Promenade event with a Pride Patio! 

This event will take place during Pride Weekend that runs from August 2 to 4 this year. This space will foster a positive community gathering environment where attendees can take advantage of Vancouver’s warm and sunny weather.

According to the Vancouver Pride Society, the event will allow people to enjoy dining on temporary patio extensions throughout many restaurants in Davie Village in downtown Vancouver.

Along with drinks and food, pop-up art installations will also be available to watch. Events will run all day and will include both family-friendly events and more party orientated get-togethers. 

During year two of funding, VPS will activate new areas across Vancouver with six Pop-Up Pride events that will feature film screenings and mural paintings. These pop-ups will take place throughout the year and aim to incorporate more of the city and not just downtown Vancouver.

VPS has also stated that in year one of funding, there will be a full accessibility audit of events. VPS hopes that this will allow for the enhancing of accessibility that includes training for staff and volunteers. 

These funds would also be used to create safer spaces for people who may not feel included. This will include designing a QTBIPOC-centered event during pride.  

VPS also sees this as an investment opportunity. Large cities like Vancouver often receive more recognition and resources. Because of this, VPS is turning some of the funding into a low-barrier bursary fund to help provide to smaller pride festivals that take place throughout the province. 

For more information on the Vancouver Pride Festival, you can visit their website.

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