Victoria Pride Society

Victoria Pride Parade
Over 100 colourful groups and floats join the Victoria Pride festival Photo: PBJ Photography

A legacy for Victoria Pride

The Victoria Pride Society has focused on supporting accessibility, inclusiveness and diversity in Victoria for over 20 years. Signature events, such as the Pride Festival, have grown substantially, and the 2017 parade was the largest to date with over 10,000 people gathered at Victoria’s McDonald Park for the afternoon festivities.

Pride events are by planned entirely by a small group of dedicated volunteers. That group have also been carefully managing the Society’s finances. Motivated by a vision to create something lasting to support someone in the community, they have put money aside for the past ten years to create a fund for students. This year they will see their vision come to fruition when the Victoria Pride Society Bursary is given to a student in need.

Dedicated to past and future volunteers 

Endowing the fund with the University of Victoria Foundation means it will exist in perpetuity, with only the interest being used to fund the bursary each year. David Tillson, president of the society for the past thirteen years, says the award is dedicated to all past and future society volunteers. 

“It’s meant to create a legacy for Victoria Pride Society,” he says. “To honour all those who have been doing work, and all those who are going to do the work.”

Small societies operate on very tight budgets, which makes it even more impressive that Victoria Pride has been able to establish this fund. The award will go to a student from any department who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer, questioning, asexual, intersex or gender non-binary.

Aside from the legacy piece, David says he believes creating the award is simply a “good thing to do”. Bursaries are often the difference between a student starting, or continuing, their education, or dropping out. So, it’s certainly a good fit for a society that promotes accessibility. The legacy of the society will be maintained through the future students it supports.