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VPS seeks trademark input

The Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) has called for a community dialogue on the possible ramifications of securing a trademark on future Pride festivals.

Pride Toronto acquired a Canada-wide trademark on Pride festivals held anywhere in Canada as part of a legal battle against corporate profiteering that, it says, was crippling Pride Toronto’s ability to finance its own celebration.

Pride Toronto says the trademark will eventually be passed to a national association of Pride societies called Fierté Canada Pride that will empower local Pride organizations–including the VPS–to control who can and can’t call their events “Pride.” Earlier this year, the VPS demanded that anyone hosting a Pride event become a member of the VPS and pay a $20 fee.

But some members of the queer community feel that Pride belongs to everyone and that claiming ownership of it is an affront to the very values for which Pride stands.

The VPS has invited interested members of the community to share their views at a public Trademark Advisory Panel meeting scheduled for Dec 21 at 6:30 pm at the VPS offices at 1033 Davie St in Vancouver.