The Early Years – Building the Chapter’s Foundation

IABC/BC grew from the ashes of the BCIEA. In 1976, Adrian Harper, IABC/BC chapter president in 1981, joined a group of communicators who were members of the BC chapter of the Industrial Editors' Association, but some members had separately joined the international body of IABC. The group decided to become a chapter of IABC with separate IABC and BCIEA membership fees. "That only lasted a short while - it created logistical and financial difficulties and was frowned upon by IABC headquarters - so we made the decision to go to full IABC/BC membership only, despite fears we'd lose half our membership. We didn't. In fact we flourished."

Milestones & Memories

First Accredited communicator joins IABC/BC

First Accredited communicator joins IABC/BC

From 1980 to 1986, Peter Roaf, ABC, MC, worked in Edmonton, where he was IABC chapter president. Among other positions held, he became an Accredited Business Communicator and a founding member of IABC District One (Western Canada) and served two years as Professional Development Chair on the International Executive Board. In 1986, he joined IABC/BC as the first Accredited Business Communicator. Peter is shown here with his wife Elise (Stoesser) Roaf, ABC, MC.

Tudor Williams, ABC receives Master Communicator Award

Tudor Williams, ABC receives Master Communicator Award

Tudor Williams, ABC, MC was the first IABC/BC member to receive the Master Communicator Award, Canada’s highest form of recognition for an IABC member. Tudor, who passed away in 2017, was recognized internationally for his communication and issues management research, change management strategies and strategic communication planning.

IABC BC officially started as chapter

IABC BC officially started as chapter

The first BC members were attached to US District 6 which included the US Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. Fred Morley (pictured here at left with Maureen Simons at right and another member) remembers returning to BC from Manitoba in 1975 and joining the IABC/BC chapter board. In 1980, Toronto joined IABC and the new Canada District One and District Two were formed (now Canada East and West). However, to the best of Fred’s memory, IABC/BC was the inaugural Canadian chapter! For more on the chapter’s early days, read Fred Morley's blog post.

A coin toss

A coin toss

Adrian Harper, chapter president in 1981, recalls: "Canada was originally one IABC district and it was decided we should split into two. Toronto, being by far the largest chapter, wanted the title of District 1 but we claimed we should have that title since we were the older organization. In the end we decided we'd toss a coin -- and we won -- and thus became Canada District 1."

International history of IABC

International history of IABC

IABC's predecessor was the American Association of Industrial Editors (AAIE), which was founded in 1938. AAIE became a member of the International Council of Industrial Editors (ICIE) in 1941. It withdrew from ICIE in 1946 but formed IABC when it merged again in 1970.

The IABC Research Foundation is formed

The IABC Research Foundation is formed

The IABC Research Foundation is formed to build a research-based body of knowledge. The mission of the foundation is to generate resources to fund and support strategic initiatives in line with IABC’s purpose and to demonstrate the power of professional communication as a force for good in business and society

IABC Philippines

IABC Philippines

IABC Philippines becomes first chapter in Asia.

IABC establishes regions

IABC establishes regions

IABC establishes the Asia/Pacific, Europe/Africa and Americas regions in order to grow internationally.

IABC profile study

IABC profile study

An IABC Profile study reveals a major shift among membership since 1970 from editors to managers/directors.

First Accredited Business Communicator joins IABC/BC

First Accredited Business Communicator joins IABC/BC

From 1980 to 1986, Peter Roaf worked in Edmonton, where he was IABC chapter president. Among other positions held, he became an Accredited Business Communicator and a founding member of IABC District One (Western Canada) and served two years as Professional Development Chair on the International Executive Board. In 1986, he joined IABC/BC as the first Accredited Business Communicator.

Tale as old as time -

Tale as old as time - "Come sit with us"

Longtime member Jennifer Wah recalls her first time as a member in 1987. "I was working at the BC Lottery Corporation. My boss Terri Smolar basically told us that we were all going to be members and what are you going to sign up to do? It ended up being a lot of fun and a lot of learning. People said 'come sit with us' in some big way or another and suddenly a lightbulb goes off and you're running a conference or you're landing a client or you're learning something brand new. It's what I love most about IABC, the 'come sit with us'."

First World Conference outside of North America

First World Conference outside of North America

IABC’s first international conference outside North America draws members from 26 countries to London, UK. Ryan Williams remembers going with his dad. "I think I was a little bit older than 10 but not much. My dad (Tudor Williams) would just bring us along. I remember going to Disneyland and also going to IABC events. It's hard to think about people as career network because it feels like family. I have a hard time thinking about these wonderful people as mentors and colleagues but more like another dad or uncle who comes alongside and encourages you and challenges you and involves you."

IABC's magazine wins Maggie Award

IABC's magazine wins Maggie Award

Communication World wins the first of many Maggie Awards from the Western Publishing Association.

Tudor Williams given Master Communicator honour

Tudor Williams given Master Communicator honour

Tudor Williams, ABC, MC was the first IABC/BC member to receive the Master Communicator Award, Canada’s highest form of recognition for an IABC member. Tudor, who passed away in 2017, was recognized internationally for his communication and issues management research, change management strategies and strategic communication planning.

The 1980s Events

Terry  Fox's Marathon of Hope

Event Name: Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope

April 12, 1980-Sept. 1, 1980 @ Across Canada

Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope captivates an entire country. The one-legged runner Terry Fox of Port Coquitlam began his cross-country “Marathon of Hope” to raise money for cancer research. Terry Fox’s run was stopped short on September 1st, 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles) after he began his Marathon of Hope. Terry stopped running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Start of the Man In Motion World Tour

Event Name: Start of the Man In Motion World Tour

March 21, 1985 @

Rick Hansen and his team embarks on the Man In Motion World Tour, a journey around the globe to prove the potential of people with disabilities and raise awareness for accessibility.

1980 Events

Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope

Event Name: Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope

April 12, 1980-Sept. 1, 1980 @ Across Canada

Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope captivates an entire country. The one-legged runner Terry Fox of Port Coquitlam began his cross-country “Marathon of Hope” to raise money for cancer research. Terry Fox’s run was stopped short on September 1st, 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles) after he began his Marathon of Hope. Terry stopped running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Completion of the Seawall

Event Name: Completion of the Seawall

September 21, 1980 @ Vancouver

The Stanley Park Seawall is completed after over six decades of planning and construction.

1981 Events

The Globe and Mail Extends to Vancouver

Event Name: The Globe and Mail Extends to Vancouver

October 1981 @ Vancouver

In October 1981, the national edition of the Globe and Mail is extended to Vancouver, via its satellite printing network.

Actor Chief Dan George dies, aged 82

Event Name: Actor Chief Dan George dies, aged 82

Sept. 23, 1980 @ Vancouver

In 1959 he began his acting career (TV, stage, Hollywood films). He appeared to great acclaim in the first production of The Ecstasy of Rita Joe by George Ryga (1967). His films included Little Big Man (1970) (a wonderful performance, for which he received an Oscar nomination) and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1975). He was the chief of the Squamish Band from 1951 to 1963, and honorary chief of the Squamish Nation.

1982 Events

Construction of SkyTrain Line

Event Name: Construction of SkyTrain Line

March 1, 1982 @ Vancouver

On March 1, the construction of the original SkyTrain line started under the Social Credit government of Bill Bennett, who inaugurated the system at Waterfront Station. SkyTrain opened on December 11, 1985, with free weekend service.

Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982

Event Name: Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982

April 17, 1982 @ Ottawa

On April 17, Queen Elizabeth II signs the Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982, patriating Canada's Constitution.

1983 Events

BC Place opens

Event Name: BC Place opens

June 19, 1983 @ Vancouver

BC Place officially opens in preparation for the 1986 World’s Fair. The stadium is the world’s largest air-supported domed stadium until a new roof is installed decades later. The first ever event at BC Place occurs on June 20 with a match between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Seattle Sounders.

Vancouver Art Gallery moves into old courthouse

Event Name: Vancouver Art Gallery moves into old courthouse

Oct. 15, 1983 @ Vancouver

After a hugely successful fund-raising campaign to “take the art gallery to court”—$8 million was raised, which enabled the Vancouver Art Gallery to move into the old courthouse. The new Vancouver Art Gallery opened to the public on October 15, 1983 with 41,400 square feet of exhibition space.

1984 Events

Pivotal decision on Guerin/Musqueam case

Event Name: Pivotal decision on Guerin/Musqueam case

Nov. 1, 1984 @ Vancouver

On November 1, 1984, the highest court in Canada ruled in favour of the Musqueam Indian Band. Chief Guerin and other members of the Musqueam Band of British Columbia successfully sued the Federal Government for $10 million in damages for the surrender and improper lease of 400 acres of reserve land to the Shaughnessy Heights Golf Club. November 1 is designated as Musqueam Day, a day to acknowledge the hard work that resulted in a victory for all Indigenous peoples in Canada. Musqueam Administration observes this day as a statutory holiday.

Pope John Paul II visit to BC

Event Name: Pope John Paul II visit to BC

Sept. 18, 1984-Sept. 19, 1984 @ Abbotsford & Vancouver

On September 18/19, Pope John Paul II visited British Columbia. This was the first visit to Canada by a Pope.

1985 Events

Start of the Man In Motion World Tour

Event Name: Start of the Man In Motion World Tour

March 21, 1985 @ Vancouver

Rick Hansen and his team embarks on the Man In Motion World Tour, a journey around the globe to prove the potential of people with disabilities and raise awareness for accessibility.

SkyTrain begins operation

Event Name: SkyTrain begins operation

Dec. 12, 1985 @ Vancouver

The SkyTrain begins operating from Waterfront Station to New Westminster Station in time for Expo 86.

1986 Events

Expo 86

Event Name: Expo 86

1986 @ Vancouver

A big year for Vancouver. Expo 86 brings over 22 million visitors to the “World in Motion – World in Touch” themed fair between May and October. Vancouver landmarks including BC Place Stadium, Canada Place, the Plaza of Nations and Expo Centre (now Science World) are all constructed as part of the event. Expo 86 also featured the world’s largest hockey stick, the McBarge, the world’s largest flag pole, a roller coaster, monorail and other impressive attractions. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Prince Charles and Princess Diana open the fair on May 2, 1986.

First Dragon Boat races outside of Asia

Event Name: First Dragon Boat races outside of Asia

May 2, 1986-Oct. 13, 1986 @ Vancouver

In recognition of Vancouver’s centennial, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office/Tourism Board donated 6 teak boats to the city. Dragon boat races were run for the first time outside of Asia during Expo 86.

1987 Events

Man in Motion World Tour Ends

Event Name: Man in Motion World Tour Ends

May 22, 1987 @ Vancouver

Rick Hansen and his team complete the World Tour and return to Vancouver. The Tour raised $26 million for research, rehabilitation, and sport.

Canada Pavilion at Expo 86 becomes Canada Place

Event Name: Canada Pavilion at Expo 86 becomes Canada Place

July 1, 1987 @ Vancouver

What had been the Canada Pavilion at Expo 86 became Canada Place, the city’s convention centre. The first event in the $144.8 million structure was the International Culinary Olympics. They’ve since crammed a lot in here: the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Pan Pacific Hotel, The Vancouver Port Authority Corporate Offices, Cruise Ship Terminal (operated by the Vancouver Port Authority), the CN IMAX Theatre, World Trade Centre Office Complex and Citipark parking facility.

1988 Events

Opening of Science World

Event Name: Opening of Science World

Summer 1988 @ Vancouver

Science World opened in the former Expo Centre, the “golf ball,” at 1455 Quebec Street. The first show was a preview, a four-month smash titled Dinosaurs! A Journey through Time with White Spot. More than 350,000 visitors came during its run. The centre would close for refurbishing, then open for good on May 6, 1989. The conversion was by architect Boak Alexander.

Apology to Japanese Canadians for wartime internment

Event Name: Apology to Japanese Canadians for wartime internment

Sept. 22, 1988 @ Ottawa

During the Second World War 22,000 Japanese Canadians were uprooted from their homes, separated from their families and sent away to camps. Not one was ever charged with an act of disloyalty. Prime Minister Brian Mulroney formally apologized to Japanese Canadian survivors and their families in 1988. Art Miki, of the National Association of Japanese Canadians, called the apology and $300 million compensation package “a settlement that heals.”

1989 Events

Official Naming of Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Event Name: Official Naming of Pacific Spirit Regional Park

1989 @ Vancouver

Pacific Spirit Regional Park rings UBC’s Vancouver campus with lush rainforest trails. It was formally named in 1989.

The Order of British Columbia Gets Established

Event Name: The Order of British Columbia Gets Established

April 21, 1989 @ Vancouver

The Order of British Columbia was established by statute to recognize persons who have served with the greatest distinction and excelled in any field of endeavor benefiting the people of the Province or elsewhere. It’s awarded annually. “The Order represents the highest form of recognition the Province can extend to its citizens.” The web site lists everyone who has won recognition since the program began. 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.

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Building the Chapter’s
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