In May 2019, Melanie Joly, the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced that numerous Pride events, such as those hosted in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, would be the subject of a substantial $1 million funding scheme over the next two years. In seeking to enhance the financial capabilities of such Pride events, organisers are hoping to ensure that the festivals reach new heights in regards to enjoyment levels, whilst also cementing Vancouver’s position as a leading LGBTQ2+ travel destination. With various Pride events, including Vancouver’s, receiving further funding, Western Canada’s largest LGBTQ2+ community aims to continue being a popular destination for those within the community who are looking to travel. The city itself strives to be an inclusive place where people can be themselves.
Over recent years, the Canadian government has long considered diversity and inclusion as key priorities, with LGBTQ2+ equality and rights being central to that focus. In 2017, the Canadian government set aside a budget of $3.6 million over three years for the LGBTQ2+ Secretariat within the Privy Council Office. Along with the current and additional funding that is on offer, the LGBTQ2+ Secretariat works with the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on contemporary issues in their progressive policy of inclusion which seeks to increase tourism rates within the industry.
When considering both development and evolution, the contemporary Pride community has grown substantially from a business standpoint which has, in turn, expanded the customer base. With multinational corporations such as Adidas, H&M, McDonald’s and Nike all embracing the community and its various events through differing methods of brand awareness and tailored marketing, the LGBTQ2+ Pride month has become somewhat of a corporate-sponsored holiday. Through attracting vast numbers of businesses to their events, Pride has evolved into a movement that has an obvious commercial aspect – which has grown, and will continue to grow, their customer base over the coming years.
Although Pride events have seen immense growth in the modern day, many possibilities remain for how its continued development can be assured. One realistic possibility targets growth through focusing on the spending power of the LGBTQ2+ community, which is often referred to as ‘pink money’. In the UK, the pink money’s purchasing power is estimated to be worth £6 billion per year, which is a substantial asset to the economy. Whilst companies have looked to take advantage of this new wave of consumers, there remains a large gap in the market for LGBTQ2+ specific advertising due to a lack of fair and equal representation in the media, which could offer a clear avenue for the events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver to explore.
One business sector that Pride could look to in their efforts to expand their customer base is the online casino market. The online gaming sector seeks to broaden their consumer range through incentive-based opportunities such as deposit matches, free bets and free spins with one of the biggest brands in Canada, Canada Casino reviewing their efforts, which include adopting the approach with the sole intention of attracting new players through a specifically tailored marketing strategy. With such huge funding now being provided for upcoming events, Pride organisers would be wise to market their products to consumers with additional incentivised opportunities as the LGBTQ2+ community’s spending capabilities have proved immensely prominent in modern society.
Ultimately, Pride events in Canada continue to grow as a result of their progressive policy of inclusion which has seen tourism rates rise throughout the last few years. However, through clever marketing, the customer base could undeniably continue to flourish in the future if organisers were to focus their attentions on taking advantage of the ever-apparent gaps and plentiful opportunities in the market.