Vancouver Dyke March and Festival organizers say the event will live to see its eighth birthday because of the community’s reinvigorated commitment to make it happen.
“The community showed the interest that we were looking for, so we decided to go with the event,” board member Tamara Shoup told Xtra May 6.
At an April 27 town hall, organizers said at least six new board members were needed if the family-style Pride event was to continue.
Shoup says 10 people have now agreed to join, bringing the board’s tally to 16. Those persons have been contacted and asked to attend a May 12 board meeting.
A few dozen other community members have also committed to helping out in various ways, most wanting to assist with fundraising endeavours, Shoup says.
In the meantime, she says, the board plans to apply to the city for the $6,000 Celebration Grant they receive annually for the July 30 event.
The Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) has also rallied behind the Dyke March, offering support to save this year’s event. Shoup says the board plans to approach the VPS for assistance once the event budget has been drafted.
At the community’s request, Dyke March organizers say they will also form two committees led by board members to spearhead fundraising and volunteer coordination.
Yet another committee or member will be in charge of guaranteeing that diversity is honoured at every Dyke March by ensuring that all past, present and future women and allies are welcome.
“That was one thing that we heard loud and clear, that diversity is important to the dyke community,” Shoup notes. Reaching out to include the broader multicultural community and those who are disabled is also important as the board goes forward, she says.
“It was fantastic to have this energy in the room be what it was,” Shoup says of the town hall turnout. “We were feeling a little disheartened before the town hall,” she admits. “But it [community support] has renewed the current board’s energy to see how important the Dyke March is.”
Vancouver Dyke March and Festival board meeting
Thurs, May 12 at 7pm
304–877 E Hastings St