Saturday, February 28, 2009


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


It is with interest that current Pride President Ken Coolen seems to gloss over Pride finances and reduced sponsorship and even more troubling, he doesn't forsee any economic problems regarding this year's Pride season.

Mr Coolen needs to wake up. He surely must understand that PRIDE has become totally reliant on the Corporate sector. The economic recession means the first thing these Corporations do is curtail their discretionary spending. In fact, the Pride sponsorship contractor has said that Sponsorship is down this year by about 25-30 percent and she goes on to say that Pride is in a tough bind.

President Coolen goes on to say that business at clubs, restaurants and stores isn't any slower and than to find that silver lining, he draws our attention to WinterPride of which he is co-owner claiming Winterpride had a slight increase in revenues this year. WinterPride is a party and relies heavily on party-goers and the circuit crowd who max out their credit cards and everything else in order to party.
Comparing this Party to Pride is a dumb comparison.

PRIDE is a liberation movement which showcases our history & strengths and celebrates our communities. Sure there are parties happening during the Pride season but to suggest that PRIDE is like Winterpride is really odd. I for one seriously hope that Pride doesn't run into financial troubles but truthfully it has the potential to and the GLBT community needs to wake up to this possibility.

The economics of Pride being so tightly connected to the Corporate sector raises alarm bells. As many of us have been stating over the last number of years, Pride is relying far too much on the Corporate sector and this year especially if this bites us in the ass, this will force our community once and for all to seriously consider decreasing our ties to the corporate sector and get back to the true meaning, observations and celebrations of Pride.

Jamie Lee Hamilton