VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Santa Claus is checking his budget twice, and while he will be able to deliver presents, he might not be able to afford his annual Vancouver parade.
Parade organizers say they’re around $150,000 short this year and without more support from current and new sponsors, the Dec. 3 event may not happen.
“It’s a shame to not invite Santa down this year,” parade society president Jessica Walker said. “We’re feeling the heat.”
The parade, which is in its 14th year, costs roughly $400,000 to pull off, including City of Vancouver fees, policing, float construction and on-site staff.
While there are several long-standing sponsors, including Toys R Us, Vancouver International Airport, Port of Vancouver, Starbucks and the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, Walker says they are still having trouble attracting new ones.
“We know we bring a huge economic lift to the downtown core on parade day. It’s a win-win for our businesses downtown and for our community,” she said. “And it’s still difficult to find businesses (and) corporations that see the value in spending their money on community engagement.”
The parade is also a key fundraiser for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and kicks off their annual holiday push for donations.
“It really gets people into the mindset of giving,” Walker said
Roughly 300,000 people attend the parade each year, making it the second largest parade of its kind in Canada and the third largest in North America.