British Columbia

Occupy Vancouver forces Santa Claus parade detour

The annual Santa parade in downtown Vancouver, which raises money for food banks, has been forced to change its route this year because of the continuing Occupy protest outside the city art gallery.
The lawn in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery won't be the location of a Christmas Square following this year's Santa Claus parade, thanks to Occupy Vancouver. (CBC)

The Occupy Vancouver protest has gotten in the way of Santa Claus.

The annual Santa parade in downtown Vancouver, which raises money for food banks, has been forced to change its route this year because of the continuing Occupy protest outside the city art gallery.

The parade usually passes right by the gallery, where the grounds are used for a Christmas Square, offering family entertainment and a drop-off spot for food bank donations.

Parade officials say the route for the Dec. 4 event is being changed to avoid the art gallery altogether, and the Christmas Square will be moved to another location.

The parade and Christmas Square, sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc. and Coast Capital Savings, are one of the largest food and fundraising events for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, collecting $96,000 and more than 28,000 kilograms of food since 2004.

Vancouver city council debated a motion to remove the Occupy camp Tuesday night, but decided to leave the protest in place for now.