BC150 The Founding of British Columbia

The year 2008 marks the 150th Anniversary of British Columbia as a Crown Colony. Through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, cross government, year long, province-wide festivities have celebrated this important milestone known as BC150. It has been a year of significant accomplishment. Communities far and wide initiated programs to enshrine their proud, local history and heritage into the archival fabric of the Province’s compelling legacy. As an integral aspect of these festivities, and during Veterans’ Week 2008, the British Columbia Veterans Commemorative Association (BCVCA) unveiled a program to the sesquicentennial Anniversary of the founding of the Province, referred to as,

“On Guard For Thee”


The BCVCA Tribute program includes a Commemorative Planning Kit for use in communities by civic officials, service organizations, youth groups and other social agencies interested in paying homage to their local military and heritage. As an integral component of the kit, a moving and stunning visual video tribute portrays BC’s military heritage over the course of the last 150 years.

The Commemorative Planning Kits will be offered to 90 communities throughout British Columbia. The symbolism of ninety relates to the 90th Anniversaries of the First World War Armistice, the birth of Canada as a nation and the founding of Remembrance Day.

As the Royal Navy charted the pristine coastlines and the Royal Engineers pioneered the majestic interiors, citizen homesteaders and citizen soldiers never wavered in their call to service and as history has borne witness, British Columbians revere those who came before and those who stand today ”On Guard For Thee”.

BCVCA gratefully acknowledges:

  • the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts as well as Canadian Heritage
  • the creative direction and artistry of Creativeway Services and MediaFX Group for their involvement with the “On Guard For Thee” Commemorative Program
  • BC/ Yukon Command of The Royal Canadian Legion for their support with community planning events.

“On Guard For Thee” BCVCA Commemorative Planning Kit Content

Tribute PSA “On Guard For Thee”– a one minute moving and powerful public service announcement can be used by local cable and television stations, to inspire viewers to learn more about their local military history, heritage and heroes. This is also an excellent opening visual for any type of historic presentation being made by civic leaders, community organizers, educators and youth.

Tribute Video “On Guard For Thee”
 – a twenty-four minute poignant visual tribute portraying British Columbia military history will engage viewers in gaining a greater understanding of duty, service and sacrifice in the cause of humanity. This tribute video can also be used by educators to inspire youth about researching and learning their community military lineage.

Commemorative Planning Guide - an overview of commemorative ceremonies which engage Veterans with youth in meaningful Acts of Remembrance. When young people actively have a role in a ceremony, it brings new relevance to their understanding and their dutiful responsibility for Remembrance.

Poppy Seeds for Gardens of Remembrance – Poppy Seeds are included for the planting of Gardens of Remembrance in April to revere Canadian sacrifices at Vimy Ridge during the First World War. The Poppy is the sacred flower of Remembrance.

Candles for Candlelight Tributes – special red commemorative candles are included for the planning of Candlelight Tributes. The symbolism of this tribute is to have Veterans pass the Torch of Remembrance from one generation to another. 

Discover Your Community Military History

BCVCA Commemorative Planning Kits have been created and are being shared with communities, encouraging a resurgence of interest in local military history. 150 years ago the map of British Columbia was largely created by the efforts of the soldiers of the Royal Engineers and the sailors of the Royal Navy. Their accomplishments have given rise to that most enduring of Canadian traditions, the citizen manned Army, Navy and Air Force, who have kept duty watch over every community in British Columbia.

Learn about your communities Military history Share your family’s Military legacy. Plan inspired, commemorative ceremonies to honour your military history, heritage and heroes.