Order of British Columbia

The Order of British Columbia (French: Ordre de la Colombie-Britannique) is a civilian honour for merit in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Instituted in 1989 by Lieutenant Governor David Lam, on the advice of the Cabinet under Premier Bill Vander Zalm,[1] the order is administered by the Governor-in-Council and is intended to honour current or former British Columbia residents for conspicuous achievements in any field,[1][2][3] being thus described as the highest honour amongst all others conferred by the British Columbia Crown.[3]

Order of British Columbia
Awarded by the

Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
TypeProvincial order
Established21 April 1989
EligibilityAll living persons except politicians while in office.
Awarded forService with the greatest distinction in any field benefiting the people of British Columbia or elsewhere.
StatusCurrently constituted
ChancellorJanet Austin
Next (higher)Order of Ontario
Next (lower)Alberta Order of Excellence

Ribbon of the Order of British Columbia

Structure and appointment

The Order of British Columbia, which evolved out of and replaced the earlier Order of the Dogwood, is intended to honour any current or former longtime resident of British Columbia who has demonstrated a high level of individual excellence and achievement in any field, demonstrating the "greatest distinction and excell[ence] in any field of endeavour benefiting the people of the Province or elsewhere."[3] Only those who are elected or appointed members of a governmental body are ineligible as long as they hold office.[3] There are no limits on how many can belong to the order or be inducted at one time.

The process of finding qualified individuals begins with submissions from the public to the Order of British Columbia's advisory council, which consists of the Chief Justice of British Columbia, who serves as the Chair; the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly; a president, in turn, of one of British Columbia's public universities, for a two-year term; the President of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities; the Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Relations; and two Members of the order.[4] This committee then meets once yearly to make its selected recommendations to the lieutenant governor. Posthumous nominations are not accepted, though an individual who dies after his or her name was submitted to the advisory council can still be retroactively made a Member of the Order of British Columbia.[5] The lieutenant governor, ex officio a Member and the Chancellor of the Order of British Columbia,[6] then makes all appointments into the fellowship's single grade of membership by an Order in Council that bears the viceroyal sign-manual and the Great Seal of the province; thereafter, the new Members are entitled to use the post-nominal letters OBC.[7]


Upon admission into the Order of British Columbia, in a ceremony held at Government House in Victoria, new Members are presented with the order's insignia. The main badge consists of a gold medallion in the form of a stylized flower of the Pacific Dogwood—the official provincial flower—with the obverse in white enamel with gold edging, and bearing at its centre the escutcheon of the arms of British Columbia, all surmounted by a St. Edward's Crown symbolizing the Canadian monarch's role as the fount of honour.[8][9] The ribbon is patterned with vertical stripes in green, white, blue, and gold, reflecting the colours within the provincial coat of arms; men wear the medallion suspended from this ribbon at the collar, while women carry theirs on a ribbon bow at the left chest. Members will also receive for wear on casual clothing a lapel pin, appearing as a smaller enamel Dogwood flower capped by a crown.[10]


Past appointments include:

See also


  1. Bingham, Russell. "Culture > Awards > Order of British Columbia". In Marsh, James H. (ed.). The Canadian Encyclopedia. Toronto: Historica Foundation of Canada. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  2. Elizabeth II (1989). "Provincial Symbols and Honours Act". In Protocol and Events Branch, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat (ed.). Provincial Symbols. Victoria: Queen's Printer for British Columbia. 17.1. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  3. Protocol and Events Branch, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat. "Order of British Columbia". Queen's Printer for British Columbia. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  4. Elizabeth II 1989, 14
  5. Elizabeth II 1989, 17.3
  6. Elizabeth II 1989, 13.2
  7. Elizabeth II 1989, 18.1
  8. Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "Honours and Recognition Programs > Canadian National Honours". Queen's Printer for Canada. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  9. Elizabeth II 1989, 18.2.a
  10. Elizabeth II 1989, 18.2.b
  11. Government of British Columbia, Protocol and Events Branch. "Order of British Columbia > Recipients > 1996–2001 > 1997 Recipients > Walter Hardwick – Vancouver". Queen's Printer for British Columbia. Archived from the original on 8 December 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2010.

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