Series GR-1448 - Centennial '58 Committee records

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Centennial '58 Committee records

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  • textual record

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  • 1956-1962 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Centennial Committee

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9.3 m of textual records

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Biographical history

The British Columbia Centennial Committee was established in 1956 by the Centennial Celebration Act (Statutes of British Columbia, 1956, 4-5 Eliz. 2, c. 56) to provide for the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary in 1958 of the establishment of the mainland colony of British Columbia.

The members, honorary officers, and honorary members of the Committee were appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council. The Board of Directors, consisting of eight members selected by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, was responsible for the management and administration of all business and affairs of the Committee, including control of the revenues and expenditures. It had the authority to appoint sub-committees, to establish a centennial advisory council, to make financial assistance grants, and to select an emblem for the Committee. Seventeen sub-committees were appointed and three hundred and thirty-three Local Centennial Committees were established in communities throughout the province.

The chairman of the Committee was Lawrence J. Wallace, who was also Deputy Provincial Secretary. Funding was provided by the Government of British Columbia and by other grants and gifts. The duties, functions and powers of the Committee included:
1. making and carrying out arrangements necessary for organizing a celebration;
2. entering into agreements and arrangements with any person, association, or organization for the purpose of planning, co-ordinating, and organizing the celebrations; 3. making orders as required for the purpose of carrying out these duties and functions.

Through the British Columbia Centennial Committee, the provincial government provided grants-in-aid to assist communities with special centennial projects. Major events, educational, cultural and historical programmes also received financial assistance.

The Committee was disbanded after submission of its final report in February 1959.

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Records of the committee established by the Centennial Celebration Act of 1956 to celebrate the centenary of the mainland colony of British Columbia in 1958. Includes records of various sub-committees and applications from communities for provincial grants for commemorative projects. General chairman of the committee was L.J. Wallace, Deputy Provincial Secretary. Records in this unit were maintained by committee's secretary, W.B. Ireland, Provincial Librarian and Archivist.

GR-1448 consists of the files kept by W.E. Ireland who, in addition to his duties as Honorary Secretary, served as a member of the screening committee for applications for community projects. He also served as chairman of the subcommittee on Historic Sites and Publications which commissioned Margaret A. Ormsby's British Columbia: A History.

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Transferred from the office of the Deputy Provincial Secretary, 1975.


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General note

The British Columbia Centennial '58 Committee was established under the Centennial Celebration Act of 1956 [45 Eliz. 2, c.56] to "make and carry out all necessary arrangements for the organizing of a suitable and effective celebration of the centenary of the founding of the Mainland Colony of British Columbia." The general chairman of the Committee was L.J. Wallace, Deputy Provincial Secretary; W.E. Ireland, Provincial Archivist and Librarian was Honorary Secretary. Seventeen subcommittees, responsible for such areas as athletic and sporting events, creative and cultural activities, and tourist promotion, were also established, along with hundreds of local community committees throughout the province. In addition to providing money for special celebrations and activities, the provincial government offered 60 cent per capita grants to communities wishing to undertake special centennial projects: projects included the construction of community halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, arenas, and the like. All told, over three hundred and forty such projects were approved.

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Accession number(s): G84-017

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