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We Got Fun!

United Empire Loyalists, Vancouver branch members, participate in many activities and events that celebrate the rich cultural history of British Columbia and Canada, with the aim of highlighting the unique role played by it’s Loyalist heritage.

Here's just a sampling of the fun we have planned:


February: Black History Month

The Vancouver Branch UELAC celebrates and honours black Canadians and their contribution to our Canadian history and heritage. In 1783-1784, many freed black loyalist came to what is now Nova Scotia (Birchtown) in support of the British Crown.

Many blacks also came through the Underground Railroad in Canada from 1840-1860.

(Photo modified from Daniel G. Hill, The Freedom-Seekers: Blacks in Early Canada, Agincourt, Ontario, Book Society of Canada, 1981, p.29).


February 15: Canadian Heritage and Flag Day

On Canadian Heritage and Flag Day, UEL members dress up in period costume and join in the festivities at any of a number of local events celebrating Canadian history and the Maple Leaf flag.

Read (or watch) about the Maple Leaf flag at Historica Heritage Minutes: Flags.

March: St Patrick's Day Parade

The annual Vancouver Celtic Festival features one of the largest parades in British Columbia (last year saw 108 groups) and an opportunity to meet history buffs of all kinds, including those with interests in and connections to Loyalists heritage.

See parade route, festival events, the Dominion site's page about Vancouver Branch's participation in the 2009 St. Patrick's Day parade.


April & May: B.C. Heritage School Fairs – Local, Regional, Provincial

Display by 2011 B.C. Heritage Award winner Angelica Angeles (Gr.7)

BC Heritage Fair Society - Vancouver Branch UELAC Award

Awarded to a student in recognition of outstanding achievement in highlighting the history of the settlement and growth of Canada prior to Confederation (1867) in particular, the United Empire Loyalists or their descendants and their contribution to the development of Canada.

Currently, we award winners in 14 school districts who participate in the B.C. Heritage Fairs: VCR UELAC Award (PDF).


May: BC Heritage Fairs

Since 2011, the UELAC Vancouver Branch has been awarding BC students for their history projects across the school districts participating in the BC Heritage Fairs. Students are adjudicated at their individual schools and selected to represent their school at the Regional Fairs. Finalist winners are selected throughout the province and awarded the UELAC Vancouver Branch History Award. The winners join the Branch members in September and present their oral projects to the membership.

Click photos to enlarge


May: Hyack Festival, New Westminster, BC

The annual Hyack Festival is a showcase of food, crafts and dancing at the River Market (formerly, the New Westminster Quay). You will find us by the statue of Simon Fraser, UE. (See hellobc.com for more details.)


June: UELAC Dominon Conference: "Beyond the Mountains 2010"

The United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada annual general meeting brings together people from all across the country. The Pacific region (Thompson-Okanagan, Chilliwack, Victoria and Vancouver branches) proudly hosted and sponsored our 96th get-together in the beautiful Okanagan city of Vernon.


June: BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival

Bagpipes, dancing, Gaelic sports, Celtic vendors, food and lots of fun attract huge crowds to this annual celebration of everything from the British Isles that takes place in Coquitlam's spectacular Percy Perry Stadium. Join us for the Highland Games!


July 22: B.C. Loyalist Day

B.C. Loyalist Day proclaimed by Lt. Gov. Stephen Point

The four Pacific Regional Branches of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada will be celebrating BC Loyalist Day, on the closest Sunday to the 22nd July. Sunday 22 July was proclaimed as BC Loyalist Day in 2012 by the Hon. Lt. Gov. Stephen Point.

Come join us and enjoy our historical program. Bring a picnic lunch, observe the unfurling of the Loyalist Flag and Presentation of Colours. Learn some exciting heritage and informative Canadian history. The four UELAC branches are Vancouver, Chilliwack, Thompson-Okanagan and Victoria.

Come and hear the proclamation! Presented to the four UELAC branches who Honour their Early Canadian Loyalist ancestors, Loyalist Day is a day to celebrate. Many British Columbians are direct descendants of the first loyalists who arrived in what is now eastern Canada in 1783 after the American Revolution.

“Because they were Loyalists, we are Canadians” – Prof. W.S.MacNutt, University of New Brunswick

Click photos to enlarge


The Proclamation


Celebrations at our first Loyalist Day


“Alex MacKenzie from Canada by land,
22nd July 1793.”


August: "Fur Brigade Days & Fort Festival of the Arts"

Fort Langley national historic site, built by the Hudson's Bay Co. in 1827 is the colonial birthplace of B.C.


September: B.C. Heritage Fair – Vancouver Branch Loyalist Award

The UELAC Vancouver Branch Loyalist Award is presented to a student “in recognition of outstanding achievement in highlighting the history of the settlement and growth of Canada prior to Confederation (1867), in particular the United Empire Loyalists or their descendants and their contribution to the development of Canada.”

See the list of 2015 award winners; read the text of the address delivered by Carl Stymiest at the presentation of the Vancouver Branch awards.

Click photos to enlarge


October: "Finding Your Roots"

The Tri-Stake Family History seminar, sponsored by the Church of Latter-Day Saints, brings together genealogists, historians and other experts who share their knowledge to help unlock the mysteries of your own family history.
Surrey Stake Centre, 6270 126th Street, Surrey, British Columbia


October 2017: UELAC Vancouver Branch 85th Anniversary

The Vancouver Branch UELAC celebrates the 85th anniversary of its formation of its, having received its charter 18 May 1937 from the National Association. In 2017, The Pacific Regional Branches will meet in Vancouver at the Scandinavian Centre in Burnaby on Sunday 01 October 2017 to Celebrate and honour our Loyalist Ancestors and their contribution to our Canadian history and heritage. Please stay tuned for further information.


Nov. 11: Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is an important day in the Canadian calendar and is an opportunity to give meaning to past sacrifice and acknowledge the courage of those presently serving. Each year, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we gather in memorial parks, community halls, workplaces, schools and homes to observe a moment of silence and mark the sacrifice of so many.

The Act of Remembrance

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

Each year, UEL members participate in formal ceremonies to honour the sacrifices made by all those who have served to create, defend and maintain the peace in this great nation.