British Columbia

Vancouver Santa Claus parade saved from cancellation

Vancouver’s Santa Claus parade will be back for a 14th year, after Telus Communications signed on as the title sponsor for the Christmas season event.

Telus steps up as presenting sponsor of annual parade following budget shortfall

Santa Claus makes an appearance at his own parade in downtown Vancouver during the 2016 holiday season. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Vancouver's Santa Claus parade will be back for a 14th year, after Telus signed on as the presenting sponsor following a budget shortfall. 

"We're so thrilled that the parade will continue and we really want to thank Telus for stepping up to help us continue this great community event," said Jessica Walker, the president of the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade Society.

With the parade now officially taking place, Walker said they'll be getting in touch with all the organizations and sponsors that submit entries, and she encourages new entries to contact the non-profit society. 

Parade organizers appealed for help earlier this month after long-time sponsor Rogers dropped out, creating a budget shortfall of approximately $150,000 for 2017. 

"Because Vancouver is our home, we received overwhelming encouragement from our customers and our team members to help save the 2017 Santa Clause Parade," said Jill Schnarr, vice-president of community and media relations with Telus.

"We're pleased to be able to partner with the parade to help those in our community who need it the most."

Food bank thrilled to continue partnership

Since its inaugural year in 2004, the parade has supported the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society by encouraging spectators to donate money or food to the society. 

To date, the event has raised $157,000 and 77,000 pounds of food. 

"We're thrilled the annual Vancouver Santa Claus Parade will continue this year," said Aart Schuurman Hess, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. 

"We encourage the public to come out, celebrate the holiday season and bring a nutritious, non-perishable food item or a monetary donation in support of the 27,000 members that use our services each week."

To complement the food bank's efforts, Telus says, for every food item donated to the food bank from now until Dec. 3, the company will donate $1, up to a total of $20,000. 

A giant gingerbread man struts down the street during the 2016 parade. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

The approximate cost of staging the parade is $400,000, with the largest costs resulting from policing, City of Vancouver fees, float construction and parade production.

Each year, the parade features 60 floats, 2,700 participants, 300 volunteers and plays host to 300,000 spectators. 

The parade is scheduled for noon on Sunday, Dec. 3, starting at the corner of West Georgia Street and Broughton, travelling along West Georgia, before turning south on Howe and finishing on Davie Street.