amsterdam: europride 2016 x philips

© philips

rainbow banners, thumping beats and a lot of chiseled bods: these are the usual ingredients of any gay pride around the globe, but amsterdam's version features a boat parade through the scenic canal district, and makes it truly stand out. this years edition, held last weekend, was somewhat exceptional, as the dutch capital was designated to host europride, a larger-scale event with a more pan-european than local focus. the canal parade obviously was one of the highlights of the extensive program, pulling large heaving crowds from near and far to the dutch capital's waterways.

a colourful procession of over 75 boats, representing a wide range of governement institutions, ngo's, small businesses and large corporations. in the latter category falls philips, a multinational headquartered only a stone's throw away from the boat parade action. the dutch company made its debut with a branded boat of its own to make an engaging statement, one that seamlessly ties in with its mission to make the planet healthier and more sustainable through meaningful innovation. philips envisages a diverse team of individuals, each with different perspectives and experiences, but working in an environment where differences are considered an added value and thus need to be fostered.

boarding the philips party vessel were staff members from its head office and company locations around the globe, in addition to a handful of local celeb invitees. each staff member had actually gained access by penning a motivational message about joining in on the boat tour. the kick-off of philips' first-ever participation in amsterdam's gay pride was held at philips center, the company's towering head office, by way of a late morning breakfast that was attended by both staff organizers and lucky contestants, who all indulged in a buffet laden with healthy drinks and bites. before being whisked away for the boat trip, each participant was handed frivolous party regaliia to blend in.

it looks like this wasn't just a jolly one-off for philips, and the company is already plotting to participate in next year's europride celebration in madrid, also with the specific aim to further proclaim its stance for diversity and different perspectives, and show off the company's true colours to a global audience along the way.

© philips / photography: frank van beek