What does it mean to be invested?
Investiture is a ceremony in which someone becomes a member of a group. In this case, appointees or those named as members become invested into The Order of British Columbia, and are members for the rest of their lives.
Members of The Order of British Columbia can use the initials ‘O.B.C.’ after their name. Referred to as post-nominals.
What do the letters after person’s name mean?
These letters are called post-nominals. Not all Canadian Honours entitle the awardee to use post-nominals.
Who can nominate someone for The Order of British Columbia?
Any person or group is welcome to nominate a deserving individual as a candidate for appointment to the Order of British Columbia. Nominations require a nominator and two letters of support. You can download a nomination form from this site or submit online. You can also contact the Honours and Awards Secretariat and request a form be sent to you.
One form per nominee, please.
All nominations are confidential to respect the privacy of the people consulted and to avoid disappointment of the nominees, and we ask that the nominators and others involved do the same. Nominators may be contacted to clarify information provided. All nominations received for the Order of British Columbia are processed by the Honours and Awards Secretariat. Once your complete nomination (nomination form and two letters of support) has been processed, you will be contacted by email and given a file number for your nomination. Please ensure all material reaches the Secretariat before the deadline (first Friday in March). You will also be contacted by email following the selection process about the status of your nomination. Please refer to the website www.orderofbc.gov.bc/news for the latest updates.
Who can be nominated for this honour?
Any resident of British Columbia, or former long-term resident, who has demonstrated outstanding achievement, excellence or distinction in any field of endeavour benefiting the people of the Province or elsewhere is eligible. Your nominee must be living at the time you make the nomination and must not be a current Federal, provincial or municipal elected representative.
The Secretariat keeps all nominations confidential to respect the privacy of the people consulted and to avoid disappointment of the nominees, and we ask that the nominators and others involved do the same.
When are the selections made?
The Advisory Council usually meets in April each year and makes recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council. Successful nominees and their nominators are usually notified before June by telephone. Nominators whose submissions are unsuccessful will be contacted by mail or email in late June and will have the opportunity to carry their nomination forward to next year.
How do I check the status of a nomination for the Order of British Columbia
To check the status of your nomination, email email@example.com and reference your file no. We are unable to release information to persons other than the nominator. All nominations are confidential. Nominators may be contacted to clarify information provided. Nominators will be contacted by email following the selection process regarding the status of their nomination. Please refer to the website www.orderofbc.gov.bc/news for latest updates.
How many people receive the Order of British Columbia?
Between 13-15 people are invested into The Order each year.
Whom should letters of support be addressed to?
Letters of support should be addressed as follows:
Honours and Awards Secretariat
PO Box 9422 STN PROV GOV’T
Victoria British Columbia
Salutation: Dear Sirs/Madams OR Dear Members of the Advisory Council
How do I write a compelling nomination?
In order for your nomination to stand out against the many others we receive, you must explain and include evidence and clear examples of what makes your nominee so exceptional. For your reference, attached is a guide on “How to Write a Compelling Nomination”.
What is the Order of British Columbia Insignia?
The insignia of the Order of British Columbia consists of a stylistic dogwood, the floral emblem of British Columbia. The insignia is part of a medal which also features a crowned shield of arms. It is worn with a green, gold, white and blue ribbon. The member’s name and year of investiture are engraved on the back of the medal.
A lapel pin button of the Order can be worn anytime with street clothes.
Each recipient of the Order also receives a Certificate of Appointment signed by the Lieutenant Governor and be granted the right to have the letters O.B.C. placed after their name.
When and how can the insignia be worn?
To learn more about the wearing of insignia, download the brochure, “Wearing of Orders, Decorations and Medals” (3.99MB – PDF* – Date published online: 2013-06-10)
* Print version – Adobe Acrobat format. To read Adobe Acrobat® files, you will need to download and install the free Acrobat Reader® software available from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
- Only the actual recipient of an honour can wear its insignia.
- No family member or any person other than the original recipient may wear the insignia of an order, decoration or medal, even posthumously.
- Insignia that are purchased or otherwise acquired may be used for display purposes only and cannot be worn on the person in any form or manner.
- The insignia of orders, decorations and medals not listed in the Order of Precedence, as well as foreign awards, an award of which has not been approved by the government of Canada, shall not be mounted or worn in conjunction with orders, decorations and medals listed in the Order of Precedence.
The Honours and Awards Secretariat recommends the following businesses should you wish to have your miniature mounted on a medal bar:
Canex Top Line Undress Ribbon Bars
1343 Woodway Road 198 Greenlees Drive
Victoria, BC V9A 7K6 Kingston, ON K7K 6P7
Ph: (250) 382-1539 Ph: (613)545-1096
Bob Underhill Joe Drouin Enterprises Ltd
#304 678 W Queens Road 3 – 36 de Varennes
North Vancouver, BC V7N 2L3 Gatineau, QC J8T OB6
Ph: (604) 988-4844 Ph: (819) 568-6669 ext 212
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.joedrouin.com
I have lost or broken my lapel pin. Can this be replaced?
Miniatures and lapel pins of the Order of British Columbia are available for purchase by Members of the order only. Members should complete the Order Form and submit directly to Pressed Metal Products at email@example.com.
If you lose your insignia, please contact the Honours and Awards Secretariat.
I have more than one medal. What is the protocol for wearing them?
The Canadian Honours System has rules regarding the Order of Precedence of its various honours. Please visit the Governor General of Canada website at http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=14979 for more information for the sequence for wearing the insignia or Canadian orders, decorations and medals.
Are there other Orders in Canada?
Yes. They include:
- National Order of Canada (C.C.; O.C.; C.M.;
- Order of Quebec (Ordre national du Québec) (G.O.Q., O.Q., C.Q.) — French only
- Saskatchewan Order of Merit (S.O.M.)
- Order of Ontario (O.Ont.)
- Order of British Columbia (O.B.C.)
- Alberta Order of Excellence (A.O.E.)
- Order of Prince Edward Island (O.P.E.I.)
- Order of Manitoba (O.M.)
- Order of New Brunswick (O.N.B.)
- Order of Nova Scotia (O.N.S.)
- Order of Newfoundland and Labrador (O.N.L.)
Order of Precedence
The Canadian Honours System has rules in regards to the Order of Precedence of its various honours. The following (http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=14979&lan=eng) are the Canadian Honours System post-nominals and Order of Precedence as of April 2, 1998’s Privy Council no P.C. 1998-591. The asterisk (*) indicates approved honours added since that date.
Example of the Order of Precedence and the post-nominals: If someone is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, was invested as a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia and was also granted the Canadian Forces Decoration, he or she could add “P.C., C.M., O.B.C., C.D.” after his or her name in that order.
Honours vs. Awards
Honours provide official recognition of citizens by the people through their head of state – in Canada’s case, the Queen. Honours, by international custom, entitle the recipients to wear the “insignia” (usually medals on a ribbon) around the neck in some cases, on the left side of the jacket, dress or uniform in most others. Some honours entitle the recipients to post-nominal letters (initials after their names).
Awards are a form of recognition which can be given by any organization, including governments, and may take the form of certificates, plaques, trophies, lapel pins and sometimes medals – although these should not be worn in the same place as the insignia of honours recognized by the Canadian Honours System.
What if my nominee is not eligible?
If your nominee’s achievement is in community service, or for bravery, you may wish to consider a nomination for the British Columbia Medal of Good Citizenship, BC Community Achievement Awards, or the Governor General’s Decorations for Bravery
For a full list of alternate awards and recognition programs please access the link under Other Awards and Recognitions.