Lastman Bad Boy CEO offers $50K to keep Streetsville Santa Claus Parade afloat
'No Santa Claus parade should ever be cancelled,' Blayne Lastman says
The Streetsville Santa Claus Parade may go on after all, if Blayne Lastman has any say in the matter.
The CEO and chairman of Lastman's Bad Boy — and son of former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman — has offered $50,000 to bring back the parade.
"I really want to make this thing happen," Lastman told CBC Toronto. "Why let the businesses down in that area? Why let the kids and families down? We want to help in any way we can, and it's something I can afford."
Earlier this month, the Streetsville Business Improvement Area (BIA) announced the long-time tradition is cancelled. The BIA opted instead to host a two-day holiday festival.
"We really wanted something that put Streetsville on the map as a destination for the entire weekend," Jocelyne Fleming-Clancy, general manager of the Streetsville BIA, told CBC Toronto on Nov. 3.
"We feel that a festival model that offers something for all ages for a much longer period of time better fits not only our mandate as a business improvement organization but also the scope of the village we have here."
Lastman said he was told the parade would need funding of between $40,000 and $50,000. Donating that amount is a way of giving back to the community, he said.
"This country and this province has been so good to my company, and it's an absolute honour and privilege to give it back with open arms."
"No Santa Claus parade should ever be cancelled."
The office of Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie confirmed the idea to bring back the parade has been raised, and the office "welcomes further discussions."
Crombie's office also noted there are still ways for families to celebrate the holiday season in Mississauga. Light Up the Square takes place in Celebration Square on Nov. 25, and there will be a Santa Claus Parade in the Erin Mills neighbourhood Dec. 3.
Todd Ladner, chairperson of the BIA's board of management, also issued a statement about Lastman's offer. The BIA says it "would encourage a community group to organize, fund, and stage a Santa Claus Parade in the Village."
The BIA's Christmas in the Village festival takes place Nov. 25 and 26. There will be an artisan vendor market, photos with Santa Claus, horse and carriage rides and live entertainment.
Playing on the Lastman's Bay Boy catchphrase, Ladner also wrote: "Nooobody does Christmas like Streetsville!"