History of the VIP Tournament

The Vancouver International Pride (VIP) tournament was first held in 2000, but is tied to the roots of the VTA in 1991. Gay Games III were held in Vancouver in 1990, by far the largest international LGBTQ+ sporting event in the world to that point. Hollywood actor Bud Foley was tournament director with co-chair Jeannette Moran, for a tennis competition that featured over 1000 players. The world-wide impact of that tournament was significant and as a result, and drawing on a number of existing lesbian and gay tournaments in the US, the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA) was formed in 1991 in San Diego to develop a circuit of LGBTQ+ friendly tennis tournaments, that has become international.

That same year of 1991, Harry Mugford and Sean Lung gathered some existing Vancouver LGBTQ+ players and formed the VTA with Bud Foley as the first member. The club grew gradually. Joe Crowell became the third president (1993) with the stated intention of having the VTA join the GLTA. Joe served on the board as the GLTA rep for another seven years, working toward the creation of the VIP. Finally in 2000, the club was ready and sanctioning from the GLTA was secured. Barron McConnachie volunteered for the tournament coordinator role and worked hard leading a committee to bring about the first VIP, which included 148 players, still the largest VIP to date. The tournament is held each year during the Vancouver Pride festivities, typically the first weekend of August.