The boats of the Canal Parade 2019 have been announced on Sunday February the 10th. During a festive, but tense event the lucky organizations were made public. The most iconic event of the Amsterdam Pride only has place for 80 boats. So every year a committee examines the applications and selects the most appealing concepts. The Canal Parade will take place on August 3rd this year.
Signs of Unity during the Parade
This year sees some notable boats in the line-up. It appears to be the year of unity in the Canal Parade. For the first time five of the main political parties in The Netherlands unite on one boat (VVD, CDA, D66, PvdA and SP). For one of the parties, the Christian Democrats, it is even the first time they will be participating during the Canal Parade. The Green Left party didn’t wish to join the other parties on the same boat. They lost out with their entry during the selection for the Parade.
The universities of Amsterdam joined forces to enter the Canal Parade for the first time. Amsterdam has two general universities and two universities for applied sciences. With such a large communities of researchers, teachers and support staff, it will be easy to fill a big boat with intelligent LGBTQI+ people. The LGBTQI+ student organization ASV GAY will also joint the Canal Parade this year.
Also 17 Dutch sports federations join forces and get on one boat. It is a show of support for LGBTQI+ rights in Dutch sports. It is an important statement, because the sports culture in The Netherlands is generally quite conservative. Unlike in many other countries it is very rare for a Dutch LGBTQI+ sports person to publicly come-out.
And maybe most notably is the sign of unity by the Drag Queens. Despite the fierce competition these fabulous ladies show in bars, clubs and on tv, they will unite on one boat during the Parade. Of course their entry is titled “Drag Queens United”.
Other notable entries
Notable international themed boats this year are: an Iranian boat, Pink Marrakech, Pride House Tokyo and Filipino LGBT Europe. You can also expect some classic LGBTQI+ entries such as MrB, cafe Montmartre, Upstream gay and lesbian swim club and two boats by the Dutch LGBTQI+ organization COC. Several big ticket companies are also participating, such as the three big account firms Deloitte, PWC and EY.
The last couple of years the organization of the Canal Parade was criticized for the large number of commercial entries at the Canal Parade. People wonder what the point of a Canal Parade is, when most entries of the Parade are from big companies and government organizations. The Amsterdam Pride argues that these higher paying entries are necessary to get the funds to organize the Canal Parade.
‘Remember the Past, create the Future’
The Amsterdam Pride will celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall riots. That is why they chose the theme ‘Remember the past, create the future’. Expect several boats during the Canal Parade make reference to this theme. The Amsterdam will take place from Saturday July 27th till Sunday August 4th.