Meet the company breathing new life into some of Vancouver’s most loved events

The Parade Agency is behind The Cup and Vancouver Craft Beer Week.


The Parade Agency is behind The Cup and Vancouver Craft Beer Week

The excitement in Dax Droski’s voice is obvious and, surprisingly, completely devoid of any signs of anxiety. In less than a month, Droski and his Parade Agency will have put on two of Vancouver’s signature events for the first time in years.

First, Droski (and Adam Bloch, who Droski partnered with to form Feaster) have taken over the Vancouver Craft Beer Festival from its previous owners and—after the fest was supposed to move to Olympic Village in 2020 before COVID ruined those plans—are bringing it back to the PNE. “I loved that I had nothing to do with it before, could just go down and have a great time. I guess I kind of ruined that for myself,” says Droski with a laugh.

“But when the opportunity came up, we doubled down. We have some really big plans for it. Vancouver’s a mecca for craft beer, it’s incredible what’s going on here. We put a lot of focus on upping the food game this year.”

That event goes July 9 and 10 and will feature performances from the likes of Bedouin Soundclash, Half Moon Run and Missy D.

Music is also playing a central role at another returning event in The Cup. Droski co-founded the Deighton Cup in 2008 (with Tyson Villeneuve and Jordan Kallman from the Social Concierge) and after a two-year hiatus everyone’s favourite horse-racing event is back, albeit with a different name. “Not to get too deep into that, but it was just the right thing to do,” says about the name change, which one can only assume is a move away from its former namesake of John Deighton (also known as Gassy Jack).

“We’re coming back bigger and better than ever before,” says Droski. “We heavily invested in the music program—it’s the first time ever we’re going to be doing a performance in the middle of the day.” Canadian music stalwarts K-OS and Felix Cartal are headlining. And like the Craft Beer Festival, food will also be emphasized.

“In the past, we’ve always have worked with one or two different food suppliers,” explains Droski. “This year, we saw an opportunity to support the local restaurant community and bring in a number of different partners.” On site will be names Vancouverites are familiar with like Nuba, Salty’s Lobster Shack and Pawn Shop, among others.

So far, sales are up 78 percent over last time around and the team anticipates a sell out of 10,000 people walking through the Hastings Racecourse turnstiles.

“We’ve all gone to some of the larger racing events around the world, and one thing we’ve picked up on is how to create an event within an event,” says Droski. “This event is something for everybody, and it’s really for the city—that’s how we look at it.”