Mayor Ken Sim’s ABC Vancouver raised nearly $600,000 in 2023, nearly double the total of every other political party in Vancouver, according to data from Annual Reports filed with Elections BC. That success relied on relatively large donations from a smaller number of donors, however, as parties like OneCity and COPE raised respectable amounts from a larger pool of donors.

Note: For this analysis, we’ve combined donations to Vancouver City Council and Vancouver School Board races.

ABC Vancouver was well ahead of the pack with $590,000 in donations, an amount that rivals the fundraising of the BC Conservatives provincially. The runner up, OneCity, raised $150,000 and leftist stalwarts COPE raised $65,000. Past mayor Kennedy Stewart’s Forward Together party raised almost $42,000, while the Greens only raised $34,000 despite having the second largest caucus in the city. Colleen Hardwick’s TEAM for a Livable Vancouver raised $29,000, while Vision Vancouver struggled along with $11,500. Vancouver’s longest serving political party, the NPA, raised a mere $1,025 from three donors – two of whom gave $500 and one who donated $25. Vote Socialist raised $1,500 from four donors.

Despite ABC’s commanding fundraising lead, they relied on fewer supporters than their opponents. ABC reported 565 donors, 498 of whom gave at least $100. In fact, 69 ABC donors gave the maximum to both the party’s City Council and School Board races or $2,648 total and 155 gave $1,324 (the max to one of the two campaigns).

OneCity, meanwhile, had 833 total donors, 420 giving under $100 and 413 giving $100 or more. COPE also had an impressive 478 donors. The remaining parties had fewer than 200 donors.

The average ABC donor gave just over $1000. The next most-wealthy donors were for Forward Together, who donated $310 on average.[1] The names of donors who give $100 or more are reported publicly. Anonymous donations are only permitted for donations of $50 or less that are made via a donation box at an event (or similar).

The balance sheets and income statements can give us a sense of the financial health of each of the parties. The following charts show their accumulated surpluses (assets minus liabilities) as of December 31, 2023 and their revenues for 2023.

The accumulated surpluses show us that despite the wide fundraising advantage, ABC and OneCity ended 2023 with similar reserves ($79,000 versus $66,000). Most other parties had more modest amounts of $15-30,000 in the bank.

The big standout, however, is Forward Together’s nearly $270,000 debt. This is entirely due to accounts payable by the campaign. Notably, Forward Together’s 2023 income was healthier than their contribution data suggests as the party received $133,000 in transfers from Kennedy Stewart’s campaign funds. The party also collected $3,000 in consulting fees and from a Canada Post refund. However, that fundraising was clearly not sufficient to cover their debts.

Among COPE’s liabilities is a loan to former city councillor Tim Louis. Louis gave the party an interest-free loan of $26,000 in 2002, to be paid back by 2025. Only $2.623.96 of that is outstanding. No other parties reported any outstanding campaign loans.

On the revenue side, ABC Vancouver finished 2023 well ahead of all its competition. Vision Vancouver and the NPA ran deficits for 2023 of $15,000 and $7,600, respectively.

Most parties reported some advertising activities in 2023, which includes commercials, social media ads and even printing promotional materials such as pamphlets and buttons. ABC reported spending nearly $27,000 on advertising, more than double the total of all other parties. Vision spent $4,000; OneCity $3,500; Vote Socialist $1,400; Greens $1,000; COPE $900 and TEAM $600. Forward Together and the NPA did not advertise in 2023.

Only ABC and COPE reported fundraising events. The ABC Studio 54 Dance Party was held in November and attended by 396 people. In February, COPE’s Year of the Rabbit Dinner sold 124 tickets. Their May, “Leave them Kids Alone!” concert fundraiser to stop school closures sold 87 tickets. They sold 76 tickets to their August summer backyard party. And they ended the year with the “ABC is a Drag” drag show fundraiser, which sold 122 tickets.


ABC Vancouver and OneCity are clearly best positioned to compete in the byelection that is almost guaranteed by Christine Boyle winning the Vancouver-Little Mountain BCNDP nomination. ABC has an incredible fundraising lead over all of its opposition and it has a respectable donor base. It also faces a divided opposition as COPE clearly still has some life left in it, meaning the presumptive OneCity byelection candidate will need to fight to make their case to carry the progressive torch.

Other parties are clearly going to struggle if they intend to continue. Forward Together’s deep debts aren’t covered by their revenues. Vision, the NPA and Vote Socialist also ended the year in a dire situation.

Finally, TEAM and the Greens are arguably mirrors of each other. TEAM has no elected caucus members and many likely assumed its support would evaporate after the election. However, a modest group of donors is keeping the party alive. The Greens, by contrast, have representation on each body and are effectively driving the Park Board following the schism in the ABC caucus. This political success hasn’t motivated their donor base, however, and they’ll need to rebuild their operations if they intend to compete in the upcoming byelection. Importantly, TEAM has double the cash in the bank compared to the Greens.

In a future post, we’ll look take a quick look at the returns of other parties in BC, outside the City of Vancouver.

[1] Technically the average Vote Socialist donation was $372 and the average NPA donation was $342, but we’ve excluded those above due to the small number of donors.

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