Fonds PR-2343 - Bank of British Columbia fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Bank of British Columbia fonds

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  • textual record
  • graphic material
  • sound recording
  • moving images

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1967-1986 (Creation)
    Bank of British Columbia

Physical description area

Physical description

1.12 m of textual records and other material.

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Administrative history

Centred in Canada’s Western provinces, the Bank of British Columbia operated between 1968 and 1986. Promoted by W.A.C. Bennett, the Bank of B.C. was first officially proposed for incorporation by Senator J.W. Farris in 1964. Royal Assent for incorporation was granted after the passing of Bill S-20 in December 1966, and a chartered licence to commence operations was established in October 1967.

After initial capital acquisition, common shares were posted for trading on the International Section of the Vancouver Stock Exchange (trading symbol “BBC”), February 1st, 1968. On July 16th, 1968, the Bank’s first branch was opened at 999 W. Pender in Vancouver. By 1986, shortly before its closure, the Bank had branches in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan as well as offices in London, England, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Cayman Islands. The Bank is credited with having introduced several innovative programs later pursued by other institutions in Canada. With its main offices in Vancouver, B.C., it is also noted for being the only federally chartered bank headquartered in Western Canada at the time of its creation.

In November, 1986, the majority of the then failing Bank of B.C. was acquired by the Hong Kong Bank of Canada (now the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank of Canada). In April, 1987, the Bank of B.C. and its remaining assets were renamed B.C. Bancorp. Slated with the liquidation of remaining assets and the distribution of the proceeds to its shareholders, B.C. Bancorp ultimately conclude its affairs in 1996 through the acquisition of its shares by the Canadian Western Bank.

Custodial history

The records were donated to the BC Archives by the Honk Kong Bank of Canada (now Hong Kong Shanghai Bank of Canada) in 1995.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of textual, photographic, video, and audio records of the marketing department of the Bank of British Columbia.
Records document the following activities of the marketing department: selection of an advertising agency; creation of a corporate image; promotion of the bank including program development and associated promotional materials (pamphlets, mailings, posters, television and radio commercials etc.); administration of employee incentive programs; issuing press releases and tracking media coverage; production and dissemination of annual reports and shareholder reports; collection of historical documents relating to the bank and associated agencies; collection of staff photos for promotional use; and oversight of the opening of new branches.

Following these activities, the fonds has been arranged into the following 9 series: Advertising, media coverage and press releases; Shareholder and public relations records; Company relations and staff engagement records; Annual reports; Company calendar records; Marketing strategy, research, and promotion records; Bank history records; Staff profile records and; Branch opening records.

There have been two institutions in B.C.’s history operating under the name of the Bank of British Columbia, the first operating from 1862 until 1901. While the activities of these two institutions are unrelated, the shared namesake was often highlighted, and many members of the public communicated with the second Bank of B.C., sending its staff historical material related to the first Bank of B.C. These records can be located in the series “Bank history records”.

The records were received by the archives with no designated classification system and many of the textual records and the majority of the photographic records were loose in their boxes. A selection of photographs were selected for removal by the archivist as they lacked any identifiable connection with the Bank and its business. A selection of textual material and video cassettes were identified for removal due either to their deleterious physical condition or lack of context to the Bank’s business.
Additionally, while the Bank of B.C. collected newspaper clippings throughout its life, documenting its advertising campaigns and media coverage, those folders and scrapbooks comprised exclusively of newspaper clippings devoid of other context and featuring predominantly material from major newspapers, were not kept by the archivist.

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Availability of other formats

Reference copies of records in MS-3210 available in digital format.

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Series descriptions and file lists are available.

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No further accruals expected.

General note

Accession(s): 92-7105

Physical description

Includes 1317 photographs, 7 videocassettes, and 1 audio cassette.


Graphic material may be in cool or cold storage. Contact staff for specific details.

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Physical storage

  • Box: 927105-0001
  • Box: 927105-0002
  • Box: 927105-0003
  • Box: 927105-0004
  • Box: 927105-0005
  • Box: 927105-0006
  • Box: 002328-0363
  • Box: 002328-0365