Canada goose tiff

Canada Goose protest interrupts opening night of TIFF

The entertainment world is turning its focus to Canada this week as the 44th annual Toronto International Film Festival gets underway in Hogtown — and what that world saw on opening night was nothing short of disturbing.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) staged a powerfully gruesome protest in front of the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Thursday evening just as the festival kicked off in earnest for 2019.

So with whom is the group's beef (pardon the pun)? That would be Canada Goose — an official TIFF sponsor and longtime target of animal rights activists who decry the company's use of both fur and down in its products.

"Canada Goose has issued false and misleading statements about 'transparency standards,' but doesn't address that those 'standards' still permit coyotes to suffer in painful steel traps, with a broken leg, lacerations, and hemorrhaging for days before being shot or bludgeoned by the trapper," reads a statement from PETA regarding the protest.

"Birds used by the down industry are inevitably sent to the slaughterhouse, where standard practice is to hang them upside down, stun them, and then slit their throats—often while they're still conscious—before immersing them in scalding-hot water," the statement continues.

"After a PETA complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, Canada Goose no longer claims that its standards 'ensure' that suppliers don't abuse animals."

Members of PETA, including organization spokesperson Pamela Anderson, are asking TIFF to cut all ties with Canada Goose in response to its alleged ethical violations.

"All feature films at TIFF are up for an award sponsored by the company," reads a PETA blog post highlighting a letter sent from the Canadian actress to TIFF Director Cameron Bailey.

"But as long as the brand continues to pay for the fur of wild coyotes who were caught in painful steel traps and the feathers of birds who didn’t want to be killed, there's no way for TIFF to continue accepting Canada Goose’s blood money and still be ethical."

TIFF has yet to respond to the protest, or to Anderson's letter, but both are getting plenty of attention today.

International media outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter picked up the story of PETA's Canada Goose protest in Toronto, amplifying it widely on Twitter, where thousands are now calling upon TIFF to drop the outerwear brand as a sponsor.

"No film festival should welcome a sponsor whose name is synonymous with cruelty," said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman ahead of the TIFF opening night protest.

"PETA is urging the Toronto International Film Festival to cut ties with Canada Goose until the company agrees to stop supporting the torment and death of geese and coyotes for its coats."

Canada Goose has responded to PETA's allegations with the following statement:

"This is just another example of PETA using their scripted rhetoric in an attempt to mislead consumers. We remain committed to the responsible use and ethical sourcing of all materials in our products, as evidenced by our transparency standards."

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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