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GCA doubles up on Pride

Association secures 125 walking places at London and Manchester parades

 

As part of its ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, the GCA is proud to announce that it has secured places at two Pride marches for 2024.

Following on from the industry association’s first outing at Pride In London last July Mark Callaby, md of Ohh Deer and head of the GCA D&I subcommittee, was delighted to share the good news: “We’ve got 75 walking places for London Pride and 50 for Manchester this year!”

Above & top: All set for Pride, the GCA group get ready to march last July
Above & top: All set for Pride, the GCA group get ready to march last July

With the event in the capital taking place on 29 June, and Manchester’s Buzzin’ To Be Queer-themed parade on 24 August, Mark said he’s unlikely to have “any more details until April but would encourage people to save the dates”.

It was glitter and flags to the fore as the GCA’s 50 marchers joined the 30,000 participants dancing through the streets of London for the 2023 event, handing out an incredible 10,000 donated greeting cards before they’d even got a quarter of the way along the mile-long route – the video can be seen below.


Publishers, retailers and trade suppliers all signed up and were proudly sporting the special GCA Send A Card With Pride t-shirts and banners on the march.

Mark, who runs Ohh Deer with his partner Jamie Mitchell, added: “Our entire group were laughing and soaking it all in. It was a joy. And seeing people receive our cards with delighted faces made it even more special.”

Above: The GCA will take pride in cards in Manchester and London this year
Above: The GCA will take pride in cards in Manchester and London this year

Generous sponsorship from UK Greetings, Hallmark, Belly Button Designs, Cath Tate Cards, Graphite Creative, Spring & Autumn Fair, The Imaging Centre, Ohh Deer, Lucy Maggie Designs, Windles, and Ricicle Cards covered all the costs of taking part in the 2023 event meaning participants only had to pay for their travel and accommodation.

Once more details for 2024 are available, there will be a call for industry folk to sign up for one of the official walking places, with priority being given to LGBTQ+ members, and a sponsorship call will be made for this year’s two Pride events with banners, placards and accessories to kit out the marchers – and hopefully even more family-friendly cards donated for handing out along the route to spread the joy of the greetings industry.

Above: Dean Morris (left), Mark Callaby and Adriana Lovesy flying the flag for the greetings industry
Above: Dean Morris (left), Mark Callaby and Adriana Lovesy flying the flag for the greetings industry

For publisher Dean Morris, who worked on organising the event with Mark and Ricicle’s David Rice-Nicholls as well as the GCA’s Adriana Lovesy, the “amazing” 2023 march was “one of the best days” of his 20-plus years in the industry.

“Beforehand I cynically thought the crowd would be apathetic to us giving our cards out,” he explained, “but it was quite the opposite. I know we all love a freebie but everyone was so excited and grateful to be receiving some free pride-themed cards that we could have easily given out three times as many!”

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