In 1998 a group of Veterans from British Columbia’s Lower Mainland came together to discuss opportunities for collaborative commemorative planning. At that time there was very little government, academic and community involvement with this type of activity, other than Remembrance Day. A number of Veterans and Regimental Organizations mounted their own commemorative events but these were tailored to their specific interests and did not necessarily appeal to wider educational and community interests. 

The group saw the need to work together, to coordinate a more comprehensive program which would engage the community at large. They also formed the intention to involve not only government agencies but also, corporate and community organizations to support commemorative programs. 

This informal group became the “B.C. Veterans Commemorative Committee” with the shared vision of enlightening citizens about Canada’s proud and stellar Military history. Its first major initiative was the presentation of commemorative events in each month of the year. Through the Committee, the work of all veterans’ organizations was promoted, as well as its own commemorative programs.

During the first years of operation, the Committee, with the assistance of grants from Veterans’ Affairs Canada introduced many inspired “B.C. Signature Commemorative Events” including Candlelight Tributes; Theatrical Military Re-enactments for Youth; plays based upon B.C. Veterans Military experiences and Living History Events.

In 2002 the committee incorporated itself under the under the B.C. Societies Act as “The British Columbia Veterans Commemorative Association”. With Lt Col (Ret’d) Archie M. Steacy CD as the founding president. In 2004 the Association made representation to Premier Gordon Campbell to initiate the B.C. License Plates Program. This commemorative program has had significant impact among the community-at-large, with these specialized plates seen every day throughout the province.