Vancouver staff to look at designating Pride, Vaisakhi, Lunar New Year as civic events
Vancouver city staff will deliver a report by early next year looking at options for granting civic event status to the Pride Parade, Vaisakhi, and Lunar New Year.
City council passed a motion from Vision Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson on the three events today (September 19).
Stevenson’s motion states that large festivals and parades are major economic drivers for Vancouver. The councillor is hoping to see staff report back by January 2013 in order to have civic event status in place for the Lunar New Year.
“I think it’s important to move ahead with all three of these,” said Stevenson. “These are the major festivals.”
Stevenson said he doesn’t expect the city’s contribution to the three events to be “anywhere near” what it spends on the Celebration of Light, an amount he put at about $800,000.
“Obviously it still will be significant and it will have to come out of the budget,” he added.
“I think Vancouver’s come to the place where we feel we must do that…these are of such significance that we really need the city behind them.”
Several councillors stressed there should be a clear process for determining which festivals are eligible for civic status.
NPA councillor George Affleck indicated to the Straight that while he views the Pride Parade as the "gold standard" for civic events, he wants to see criteria established before council determines which events will be granted civic status.
“If we don’t have a specific criteria for all events to follow, it becomes very muddy,” he said in council chambers, noting councillors have been receiving e-mails from other organizations hoping to get civic status.
Council will debate the issue again in January when staff report back with estimated costs of the three festivals, and with criteria for civic status designation.
Aside from the Celebration of Light, the other events that currently have civic status are Remembrance Day and the Grey Cup Festival.