The bustling West Canadian Port City of Vancouver turns rainbow from every angle this weekend with their
annual pride festival expecting more than 650,000 spectators for the Pride Parade on Sunday.
The Pride Celebrations are actually just one of many big events for the city all coinciding this weekend
with the others being the annual Celebration of Light fireworks performance and a Taylor Swift Concert,
which has been put back to third billing on such a busy weekend.
The Pride Parade is renowned on the international stage as one of the largest and most successful LGBTQ
events in the world.
This year, the theme of Gender Superheroes was selected for the celebrations.
Gender Superheroes reflects the diversity of the community, and the need for people to have role models that reflect and inspire.
An economic impact study commissioned by the Vancouver Pride Society in 2001 estimated the event injects
$22.7 million into the city each year, with $6.9 million spent on food and drinks, $6.8 million on shopping,
$3.4 million on accommodation, $3.5 million on entertainment and $2.1 million elsewhere.
Angus Praught, LGBT tourism marketing liaison for Tourism Vancouver and president of Gayvan.com Travel
Marketing, described Vancouver Pride Week to The Province as “a bonanza” fuelled by U.S. visitors.
“They can come up here and have things for a fraction of the cost that it is at home, and have a great time
doing it,” he said.
Praught said LGBT travellers visit Vancouver for the same reasons their heterosexual counterparts do — the
ocean and mountains, for example — but also because of strong LGBT infrastructure including the restaurants, nightclubs and famous rainbow crosswalks of the Davie Village.
James Steck, chief organizer of Pride Week for Celebrities Nightclub, said increased online ticket sales for
the week’s events suggest a boost in international attendance.
“As soon as the U.S. went into their recession a few years ago, we saw a drop in American tourism during
Pride — and it was quite noticeable,” Steck said.
“But this year, we anticipate that that’s going to change with our dollar being so low, and I’ve already
seen some of that reflect on our online sales.”
The Parade begins at midday on Sunday (Vancouver time) and the party will begin from 3pm.
Last Updated on Aug 2, 2015