No Parade Fees in '99 For Small Non-Profits

The Pride Committee is pleased to announce that it is abolishing Parade contingent fees next year for small non-profits.

The 1999 Parade Application forms are being mailed today and the abolition of fees for many small and struggling organizations will come as a tonic to start the new year. Organizations who participated last year and whose annual budget is below $50,000 will be entitled to a 100% waiver of Parade entry fees in the 1999 Parade provided they get their application in before April 1. In addition to the abolition of fees for smaller non-profits, larger ones will also receive discounts. The new fee structure also provides for a reduced rate for queer businesses. Not only that, but the mailing of the application form at the start of the year gives everyone plenty of time to get their completed applications in prior to the April 1 deadline.

Pride Executive Director, Teddy Witherington, explains: "It's all part of a realignment of priorities. The financial success of the 1998 event and the retirement of our debt is having a direct impact upon those community groups who need a break. This is our Parade and our community should be able to participate within it at either no cost or minimal cost. This is a start and the long term plan is to eventually abolish contingent fees for all non-profits." Enabling participation doesn't stop with the changes made to next year's fees either. It extends to a float building workshop too. The Pride Committee has set aside cash in the budget to rent a warehouse pier space large enough for 8 floats to be constructed during the months of April, May and June. This space is offered free of charge to those organizations who need time and space to put together an impressive float. Space is limited and so those interested should apply early. There are no set criteria for selection but those who will be working on Parade entries which reflect the '99 theme Proud Heritage, Powerful Future are encouraged.

It is expected that with these changes that the Parade will be even more fabulous than last year's record breaker.

Commenting, Pride President, Calvin Gipson, added: "The Pride Committee is committed to doing whatever we can to encourage those marching in the Parade in the expression of their Pride and their demands for our freedom, marriage and civil rights protection under the constitution. Eliminating and reducing the contingent fees for our community lightens the burden as we march, celebrate and protest." Although Grand Marshall selection does not take place until later, The Pride Committee is also appealing for nominations from both organizations and individuals. Nominations must be made in writing (via email, fax or letter) accompanied by a brief explanation. Nominations should also reflect the theme Proud Heritage, Powerful Future. Everyone's suggestions are welcome.


For further information please contact Teddy Witherington at (415) 864 3733