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Vancouver Pride attracts big sponsors

TD Bank now co-presenting Pride

Major sponsors have stepped up to fund Pride 2010, allaying fears expressed last year that a lack of money could cut into this summer’s Pride celebrations.

Late last month, TD Bank came on as co-presenting sponsor. It now shares top billing with the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS).

Caryl Dolinko, head of sponsorship and communications for the VPS, says she is excited about how things are going this year.

“We are thrilled to have [TD] on board. They sponsor a lot of Pride events across Canada as part of their LGBT community initiative.”

Matthew Cram, spokesperson for TD, says the decision to sponsor Pride was a no-brainer for the big bank.

“It’s quite simple. We sponsor a number of Pride events across Canada. We sponsor it because it’s a visible way to show our support for the LGBT community.”

TD, which retains exclusive sponsorship in the financial services category, made a one-year deal with Vancouver Pride, with a right to renew next year.

“The only reason for this is that it’s a new relationship for us with the Vancouver Pride Society,” Cram says.

Telecommunications giant Telus has also jumped on board as a VPS event partner. 

“It’s a wonderful partnership,” says Dolinko. “They are going to be hosting the Davie St Pride party on the Friday night.”

Dolinko says all but one of the sponsors who had pulled out before Pride 2009, in the wake of the economic downturn, have come back on board.

“Only Vancity did not come back.”

Now Dolinko is calling on Davie Village bars and restaurants to join in as community business partners. This year the VPS created a new category for sponsors so community businesses could get involved.

So far, zero have come forward, she says.

“We need our community to step up and start sponsoring Pride,” Dolinko says. “We set up this category specifically so that not only is it affordable, but also within easy reach, specifically for community businesses.”

Ken Coolen, president of the VPS, says he is also thrilled with the sponsors for 2010.

“For TD Bank to come on and fund us, as well as all the other sponsors that are coming on, that’s huge. That allows us to put on bigger and better events for the city.”