The future of the North Shore Canada Day parade has been put in doubt after two of the event’s organizers resigned in frustration.
Binnie Nastasi and Riet Carter, two of the driving forces behind the popular annual display, have announced they are resigning after six years on the job, because they are exhausted by a consistent lack of support. If no one steps up to take their place, the parade could be a thing of the past.
“We’re just frustrated — frustrated and tired, so we are stepping down,” said Nastasi.
Putting on the parade is a staggering task, and every year they find themselves doing it with less help, she said.
“We get very, very little support from our local mayor’s office or our local government,” said Nastasi. “It’s not just funding; it’s not about the money. It’s about the support.”
It’s irritating, she said, as local politicians are usually happy to march in the parade. A lack of volunteers, or a lack of commitment from those who step forward, is also consistently a problem.
“Every year people are busier or less interested in putting into the community,” she said.
Asked if she could be persuaded to stay, Nastasi gave a flat “no,” but said she would be willing to help whoever might take over to make the transition. Ultimately, the parade should be organized under the umbrella of a corporate sponsor or municipal government, Nastasi said.
As with other cultural events, parade’s grant is dispensed through the North Vancouver Arts Council, which is funded by the city and the district of North Vancouver. City of North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto said he would support increasing the grant, but that the ultimate answer might be to hire a professional organizer.
“There’s no doubt that the volunteers are working truly above and beyond,” he said. “I’ve worked hard to try to get them as much staff time as I possibly can. Very clearly I think it’s come to the point now where they’re going to need someone paid to do that position.”