Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


November 27, 2009  It's Fur Free Friday and animal activists from around the Lower Mainland demonstrated outside of Snowflake, a retailer leasing space inside the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia St.  Snowflake Trading Corporation Ltd. was founded in 1979 by Rokie Bernstein, and has been selling cruelty ever since.  Fur coats, wraps, jackets, hats and other apparel is prominently displayed in its windows.  Despite polite requests to senior management and staff to consider the terrible cruelty and suffering of animals exploited for the industry, and to discontinue selling fur, our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Rokie Bernstein and her sister, Megan Halprin, consider animals as renewable resources, citing that "in one year two little minks become a hundred little minks."  Activists have been peacefully demonstrating outside on a weekly basis for a couple of years now, educating the public about humane alternatives and spreading the word that "cruel is not cool."  We strongly urge everybody to boycott the Fairmont and help us shut Snowflake down.  Their lease is up in September, 2010 and we do not want the landlord, Westmont Hospitalities, to renew it.  Snowflake, like Pappas Furs, targets the Asian tourists.  Carmina Gooch, RAG BC 

E-mail Snowflake at snowflake@snowflakecanada.com or at snow14@telus.net  Tel: 604-681-7000 

Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Inc. CEO: William R. Fatt william.fatt@fairmont.com or bill.fatt@frhi.com 
Fairmont Regional Manager: Mark Andrew mark.andrew@fairmont.com
Fairmont Corporate Headquarters Tel: 416-874-2600
Westmont Hospitalities (WHG) 
Kenneth Gibson kenneth.gibson@whg.com
Mark Davies mark.davies@whg.com
Mohamed Thowfeek Mohamed.Thowfeek@whg.com
Tel: 905-629-3400

Pappas Furs Designers Ltd. sales@pappasfurs.com Phone: 604-681-6391, is a family-run Vancouver business that opened in 1913, and needs to hear from you!  Please speak up for the animals and put these unethical and cold-blooded people out of business.  Unfortunately, another store opened in late 2007 in the Aberdeen Mall in Richmond, targeting the Asian community.

People everywhere have to know that fur is not fashion - the animals need you.  It's one voice at a time that brings societal change. 

Unfortunately, Mark's Work Wearhouse is selling WindRiver fur-trim hats (rabbit fur) again, despite receiving many phone calls and letters last year.  Company representatives, for the most part, did not answer calls or e-mails. customer.service@marks.egain.net or robinlynas@marks.com  WindRiver patrick@windriver-clothing.com

Mark’s advertises WindRiver Fur-Lined Bomber Hat

Price: 34.99(CDN$) Sale Price: $26.24  until Dec. 6, 2009
Durable, water resistant nylon shell. Lightweight, polyfill insulation.
Soft rabbit fur trim.
December 1, 2009  Rabbit Advocacy wrote to Mark's again this year and have received the same format reply from Corporate Customer Relations, Deborah Schryer, as others have.  Excerpt: 
Thank you also for your comments regarding the rabbit fur hats in our stores. Your comments have been forwarded to Senior Management for their review. We have many substitutable styles of headwear that do not use fur, however we have a traditional base of consumers who will not accept the substitutes.
Comment: Many people have said they will be shopping at cruelty-free and ethical retailers.  Others have said that they will do something to help animals this year, and encourage family members to do the same.

December 1, 2009 Carmina Gooch, RAG BC wrote to the Fairmont and WHG regarding Snowflake. 

Dear Sirs: 

The Rabbit Advocacy Group of BC is asking that Snowflake Ltd., a retailer occupying space in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia St., not have its lease renewed when it comes up in September, 2010. 

We have fielded numerous concerns by the public over the proliferation of fur apparel, including coats, jackets, scarves, gloves, and other clothing being sold by this company.  One elderly woman informed us in no uncertain terms, that despite having lunched at the hotel for many years, she no longer felt comfortable even stepping foot inside the lobby.  

Most of the fur comes from China, a country with no animal legislation.  Nowadays, consumers do not want to spend their money in establishments that support animal cruelty.  With growing awareness regarding animals as sentient beings, and as having rights, boycotts of businesses unwilling to change are becoming more widespread.  Activists have been demonstrating outside the Hotel Vancouver on a regular basis for well over a year, handing out literature that reveals the horrors of this brutal industry.  Horrors like rabbits screaming during slaughter and other innocent animals being skinned alive. 


With so many fur substitutes, there's no excuse for this barbaric industry to continue.  We hope you agree, and make the socially responsible and astute business decision to not renew Snowflake's lease in 2010. 

Thank you for your attention and action on this important matter. 

We've received feedback from people who have also written, phoned, or stopped by the Hotel Vancouver to voice their opposition to this retail business.  An elderly woman, who had lunched at the hotel on a regular basis over the years, said she has chosen to dine elsewhere.  Another writer said that "wearing dead animals" reflected poorly on a person's character and to not be shy about speaking out.  We heartily agree! 

September 30, 2010 Victory! We had been hearing rumours several months ago that Snowflake’s lease would not be renewed at Fairmont’s Hotel Vancouver. Today the company is moving out! Over the past several years activists have handed out countless leaflets exposing the cruelties of this blood industry, making this a successful campaign. 

February 2010 The Hudson's Bay Company is selling fur again, despite overwhelming evidence of profound animal suffering and cruelty, as well as a large protestation from a global collective encouraging otherwise.  Carmina Gooch wrote to the corporate head office and in part the response was that the decision was "prompted by increased popularity and demand for the product."  Retail space is licensed to a third party in selected Bay stores in areas where there is substantial customer demand. 

November 4, 2010 It was a small group of demonstrators representing PETA who staked out Vancouver’s Empire Landmark Hotel on Robson to protest the use of animals in clothing. The hotel is one of several venues for Vancouver Fashion week that runs from Nov. 2nd to 7th. There was good media coverage with passersby stopping to chat. With so many humane alternatives available, there’s absolutely no excuse for wearing animal ‘products.’ It’s a short, brutal, and tortured existence for those who are sacrificed in the name of fashion. Don’t be part of it!  

September 20, 2011 West Hollywood moves to ban fur sales!; more good news follows! 

September 25, 2013 The times, they are a changin’ (and they’re looking fur-free); more companies are ditching fur

Comment: Rabbit Advocacy supporters have (and do) attended many a local anti-fur protest outside locations such as Snowflake, Winners, and Pappas Furs. We have also written to numerous corporations and businesses urging them to discontinue selling cruelty. Unfortunately, Grouse Mountain Resorts has not listened, although we have received responses that include “we are pursuing environmentally and socially responsible practices.”  info@grousemountain.com

The good news is that Pappas Furs is shutting down! This fur store, western Canada's oldest and largest (est. 1913), is finally closing its doors, and owner Constantine Pappas is retiring.

April 14, 2014 update: There are many happy to see the demise of this sordid business, despite the biased reporting by Jenny Lee, of the Vancouver Sun. There can be no glory in such a morally reprehensible company in which suffering and cruelty is the norm. Every bit of fur worn by unthinking and uncaring consumers represents the loss of life of a once-living being.

Lee replied to Carmina Gooch’s thoughts on the story, stating, in part, that the closing of a 100-year-old business cannot be ignored since it “has had such a historic relationship with our province.” 

January 12, 2015 After losing its lease with the Vancouver Fairmont Hotel in September, 2010, Snowflake Furs relocated to the Pacific Centre. Regular protests and other actions persisted against this sordid business, and once again Snowflake owner, Rokie Bernstein, is being evicted. Several weeks ago, security called police after one of Bernstein’s allies roughed up two elderly male protesters.

March 13, 2015 Animal rights group files complaint against Canada Goose; 2021 finally, Canada Goose to nix fur

Useful info: Legislation pertaining to the fur industry & the Competition Bureau of Canada

November 12, 2015 Canada’s Textile Labelling Act is hopelessly outdated. The outgoing Conservative Party and PM Stephen Harper repeatedly ignored private members’ bills, petitions, letters from the public, and media outcry over such an antiquated Act. With a new Liberal government sweeping into power, we are hopeful new legislation is forthcoming. Legislation that will require the labelling of any and ALL fur, the identity of the species and the country of origin.

Read more: Canadian Fur Stats (2009 wild animals/2010 fur farms)         LCA: Fur Farming Facts

U.S. retailers accused of mislabelling furs, HSUS files lawsuit 

If you'd like to receive RAG BC's "What's Wrong with Fur?" leaflet please e-mail info@rabbitadvocacy.com