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Vancouver's Santa Claus parade given green light

Telus becomes parade’s presenting sponsor, helps fill $150,000 shortfall
This year’s Santa Clause parade happens at noon on Dec. 3
This year’s Santa Clause parade happens at noon on Dec. 3. Photo Jason Lang

Saint Nick is back in the black, and this year’s Santa Claus parade is a go.

Parade organizers announced Tuesday that Telus is now the event’s presenting sponsor. As recently as late last week the parade was exceedingly close to being cancelled for the first time in 14 years due to a $150,000 funding shortfall.

Not anymore.

“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 uninterrupted for a 14th straight year,” Vancouver Santa Claus Parade Society president Jessica Walker said in a news release.

Rogers had been the marquee sponsor for the past 13 years and told parade organizers more than a year ago that that sponsorship would be discontinued.

“We decided to redirect our charitable support to organizations that directly support youth. We wish the organizers the best of luck in their efforts,” Rogers spokesperson Lisa Rossington told the Courier last week.

The parade has supported the Greater Vancouver Food Bank since its inception, raising $157,000 and 77,000 pounds of food over the last 13 years. Between now and parade day on Dec. 3, Telus will donate $1 — up to $20,000 — for every food item donated to the food bank.

The parade draws roughly 300,000 spectators annually, along with 2,700 participants and more than 300 volunteers.

This year’s holiday hootenanny starts at noon on Dec. 3, beginning in the West End. The route then winds around West Georgia Street, then turns down Howe Street at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Two hours of family entertainment will also be presented at Christmas Square prior to the parade.

Even with Telus’s help, sponsors are still needed. Some of this year’s backers include Purdy’s Chocolates, the Vancouver Courier, Toys R Us and Island Farms among others.
Interested sponsors are asked to call 604-646-3591 or email vansantaparade@pacegroup.com.

jkurucz@vancourier.com

@JohnKurucz