CKMS 102.7 FM Radio Waterloo | Community Connections | Monday 11am-Noon, Friday 3pm-4pm (sunflower logo on the left, black and purple lettering on a teal background to the right and below)

CKMS Community Connections for 13 November 2023: Fundraising Week, with guest Jack Bishop of the KW Santa Claus Parade

Show Notes
Jack Bishop (a man wearing headphones and a blue golf shirt with a Lions Club logo sits at a microphone in front of a CKMS 102.7 banner)
Jack Bishop

Bob Jonkman makes a fundraising request for a new audio board, and talks to Jack Bishop, the chair of the KW Santa Claus Parade about this Saturday’s parade and the preparations that go into it.

The interview starts at 5m17s.

Online: The Lions Club of Kitchener

Santa Needs You! | Santa needs you to help make the 2023 KW Santa Claus Parade happen! | Saturday November 18, 2023 | Volunteer Today! | Students can earn volunteer hours! Adults can also volunteer! (Santa Claus holding a poster a la Kilroy Was Here, with a Santa Claus logo in the top left corner)

Upcoming Events


Download: ckms-community-connections-2023-11-13-episode146-Fundraising-Week-with-guest-Jack-Bishop-chair-of-the-KW-Santa-Claus-Parade.mp3 (57.4 MB, 59m46s, episode 146)


Time Title Album Artist
0m00s Theme for CKMS Community Connections ccc CKMS Sunflower logo (yellow petals surrounding a black centre with white wavies all on a teal background)
CKMS Community Connections
Steve Todd
0m53s Believer Deceiver (torso view of two people exchanging a package, while one person surreptitiously reaches for the other's wallet)
Space Kitchen
5m17s Jack Bishop tells us when and where this year’s KW Santa Claus Parade takes place: Saturday, 18 November 2023; it begins at 10:00am at the corner of Frederick Street and Weber Street, and continues up Weber Street to Erb Street in Waterloo. Why so early? The Toronto Santa Claus parade is on Sunday, and the KW parade is always the day before. The route has changed from north-to-south along King Street to south-to-north along Weber Street, it’s because of the ION tracks and wires. Any wires on this route can be dealt with. It’s about an hour trip, with the head of the parade arriving at Erb just as the tail leaves Frederick.
8m15s The KW Santa Claus Parade is a community parade, for community groups to show their involvement to the public. There’s no limits to the groups that want to enter. There are fees, because it costs about $25,000 to put on the parade: policing costs, paying the marching bands, and other costs. The community groups pay a fee of $300, commercial entries pay $500. There are other thoughtful community people that sponsor some bands. Jack may still be able to squeeze in one or two last-minute entries if you contact him right away! There are about 80 entries, including community groups, marching bands, clowns. Jack is still looking for volunteers to help out, there are lots of costumes available. It’s a good role for young people; it’s a good experience. To enter, click on the 2023 Parade Registration Here button on the Lions Club’s Santa Claus Parade website.
13m44s Jack tells us what happens when people sign up for the parade. There’s a meeting for volunteers on Friday night, where they get outfitted with a costume. Then people come back at 8:00am on Saturday and get slotted into the parade. Jack makes it sound easy, but he’s been doing to for a while. There are about ten core people who manage the event, but it grows just before the event. Planning starts in the summer, and it takes four of five months. Working with the City, there’s an all-services meeting: fire, police, ambulance, transit… The same people are involved in the Oktoberfest Parade, good practice for the Santa Claus Parade. Jack organizes the order of the entries; it’s mostly random. But Santa goes at the end, the main sponsor goes at the start, the bands need to spaced out. Jack has had 15 years of experience. The parade was going for 25 years before the Lions took over, so it’s probably existed for 40 years.
20m10s I’m Here I'm Here | Josh Taerk (man sitting on a park bench facing away from the camera. There is a dead-looking tree in front of him)
Josh Taerk
24m13s IG fall funding drive 2023 Some of the buttons and lights on the sound board don’t work, so Bob makes a pitch for a new audio board. You can help by making a donation at
26m11s Jack explains how the parade logistics are organized. The floats line up at Frederick and Weber all the way back to Edna Street. Just before the parade starts there’s a Santa Claus Run, hundreds of runners all dressed in Santa Claus suits. A Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer inflatable float leads the way. When it (and the other inflatable floats) get to the rail overpass and other overhead obstructions the float is pulled down out of the way. The inflatable snowman is 20ft tall, others are only(!) 15 feet. The obstructions are pretty consistent over the years, so people get to know the route. Jack makes the organization sound easy, but reminds parade participants to arrive early to get on the float well before it leaves. At the destination there are buses to take people back, the floats need to arrange their own transportation back. The bands have their own buses, assembling at The Aud then picking up the band members at the end.
35m15s Jack says that booking marching bands has been a big problem. All the drum and bugle corps are gone! Some companies that sponsored bands are gone, and the organizers are gone. It takes a lot of dedication, a lot of money, and a lot of experience to manage a marching band, and people have gone on to other things. Covid has been a big factor too. Small bands, rock bands, just don’t participate much in parades. The Regional Police have a marching band, but only participate in the Oktoberfest Parade, not the Santa Claus Parade. Band members are getting older, and it takes a lot of stamina to march for an hour carrying an instrument and huffing and puffing into a trumpet or clarinet. Jack is always an organizer, but has never marched in a parade. He knows lots of people, which helps getting sponsorships. There are not many people who like to ask people for money. Bob is asking for donations today too, but with inflation people are not donating as much as they used to. Jack finds that getting permits from two City municipalities and one Regional municpality is easier year after year, there are lots of volunteers, no paid staff, to do that.
42m44s Hobo Waltz (single) Chris Temple
45m12s Jack has been up since 3:00 in the morning, working on parade stuff. The line-up keeps changing! Jack finds there can’t be too many people working on one job, better to have one person do it. And that’s Jack.
46m32s The Lions Club was formed just over 100 years ago in Chicago, the Lions Club of Kitchener was chartered in 1937. The Lions Club, right from the start, has been involved in vision-related issues. Helen Keller challenged the Lions to be the “Knights of the Blind”. There are about 25,000 members across Canada, every small community has a Lions Club. They do screening of kindergarten kids, kids who have never had their eyes checked. The Lions are tied in with the optometry school at the University of Waterloo. They have refractors used for testing. Kids are referred to optometrists, but not all kids actually follow up with appointments. The Lions will buy glasses for kids who need the financial assistance. The Lions Clubs have just created two new districts, and want to take this project across the country. Another major project is guide dogs for the blind, started in 1985. That’s expanded to hearing dogs, diabetic-sensing dogs, stress-relief dogs. There’s a school in Oakville for the finishing part of training a client with their dog. It takes a month to get trained! People can apply to the Lions Foundation of Canada in Oakville through
54m17s Another major project is the Citizen of the Year. This year’s recipient is John Tibbits, president of Conestoga College. He’ll be in the parade as a celebrity! The award is in May, the search begins in January. There’s a selection process, nominators have to write a letter to say what the nominee has done, then a selection committee makes the decision.
55m30s Bob thanks Jack, gives the credits, and introduces the last musical selection.
56m27s Hey Allie autogramm | Music That Humans Can Play (photo silhoutte of four people dancing, they're coloured in vertical pink stripes, with a teal background)
Music That Humans Can Play

CKMS Community Connections Hour One airs on CKMS-FM 102.7 on Monday from 11:00am to Noon, and Hour Two airs alternate Fridays from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

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Bonus Video

Download: CCC-2023-11-13-episode146-Jack-Bishopv30a7.webm, 177 MBytes, 56m57s

Show notes and podcast interview content is Copyright © 2023 by the participants, and released under a CC BYCreative Commons Attribution Only license. Copy, re-use, and derivative works are allowed with attribution to Radio Waterloo and a link to this page. Music selections are copyright by the respective rights holders.

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