Posted by: cherylyoung | March 9, 2012

Here are some facts about British Columbia that might help you when you are looking for souveniers


  • The greatest concentration of Spirit Bears are found

  • on  the Central Coast and North Coast of British

  • Columbia,  Canada, but have been documented in

  • northeast  British Columbia and as far east in North

  • America as Minnesota.

  • It is illegal to hunt the Spirit Bear in B.C.

  • In British Columbia, the greatest number of Spirit

  • Bears are found on Princess Royal Island, where as

  • many as one-tenth of the black bears born

  • are white.

  • The Spirit Bear, like most black bears, weighs about

  • half a pound when born and generally between

  • 150-300 pounds when fully grown.

  • The bear’s body length, measured from the tip of the

  • nose to the tip of the tail, averages between four and

  • six feet.

  • Its height, measured from the bottom of the paw

  • flat on the ground to the highest part of the

  • shoulders, is between two-and-a-half and three feet.

  • Spirit Bears, like most black bears, are omnivores.

  • They eat berries, nuts, fruits, roots, grasses and

  • plants, insects, deer and moose fawns, carrion and

  • during the salmon season from late summer

  • through  fall – spawning salmon.

  • They are usually solitary, except females with

  • offspring.

  • Males keep large home ranges overlapping with

  • smaller ranges of several females.

  • Females reach sexual maturity at three to four years

  • of age.

  • Mating takes place during the summer months,

  • with  gestation taking about 220 days.

  • Cubs are born in their mother’s winter den in

  • January or February, and are weaned at about eight

  • months, but may remain with their mother for up

  • to a year-and-a-half, when she is ready to mate again.

Spirit Bears can live for more than 25 years in the wild.


They can go without food for up to seven months during

hibernation in northern areas.


British Columbia Coat of Arms

The Shield of the Province of British Columbia was

originally granted by King Edward VII on 31 March 1906;

the remaining elements of the Coat of Arms were

subsequently granted in person by Her Majesty Queen

Elizabeth II on October 15, 1987.


BC Flag

The Union Jack on the shield symbolizes our colonial



Our geographic location between the Pacific Ocean and

Rocky Mountains is represented by the wavy blue and

silver bars and the setting sun.


The supporters, the stag and the ram, represent the

former colonies of Vancouver Island and

British Columbia.

The Royal Crest (the crowned lion standing on the

crown), wears a collar of dogwood flowers, and sits atop

the golden  helmet of sovereignty.



Traditional heraldic elements of a wreath and mantling

are in  Canada’s colours.


Our provincial flower, the dogwood, appears a second

time entwining the motto which translates as Splendour

without diminishment.



Provincial Motto


(“splendour without diminishment”)


Provincial Bird

The Steller’s Jay (Cyanacitta Stelleri) became the

Province’s  official bird on December 17, 1987.

This saucy and intelligent bird appears suddenly as a

flash of deep blue.


When he settles on a branch, you can see that his head

and crest are blackish, while his wings, tails and stomach

are blue.


The raucous call of the Steller’s Jay can be heard west

of the Rocky Mountains, nesting in coniferous forested

regions at mid-to-high elevations.


The Steller’s Jay is a member of the same family

as crows, ravens and other jay species.


It is an omnivore with a diet of insects and carrion as

well as plants.

Photo: Phil & Loretta Hermann

Provincial Flower

The Pacific Dogwood (Cornus Nauttallii) was adopted

as British Columbia’s floral emblem in 1956.


It is a small tree that grows 6 to 8 metres (20 to 30 feet)

in  height.


Leaves are dark green on the upper side, lighter on the

underside and the blooms appear from April to June and

sometimes again in the fall. 30-40 small cream to greenish

flowers are arranged in clusters and are surrounded by

four to six large pointed, petal-like bracts.


In autumn, the Dogwood is conspicuous for its

cluster of bright red and orange berries


Early legend portrays the Dogwood as being the wood

of the Cross-of Calvary; the flower petals from the

Cross, the centre the Crown of Thorns and the red

tips of the petals the Blood of Christ.


Pacific Dogwood is on the list of British Columbia

plants protected by law and it is a punishable offence

to  pick or destroy.

Provincial Gemstone

Jade became the official mineral emblem of the

province in 1968.


Consisting mostly of nephrite, BC jade is prized by

carvers of fine jewellery and sculptures at home and

particularly  in the Orient.


It is mined in many parts of British Columbia.


Provincial Tartan

The Provincial Tartan, in use since 1966 and

registered with the Court of the Lord Lion,

Edinburgh, Scotland, was  officially adopted by

statute in 1974.


Represented in the design are the blue of the

Pacific Ocean, the green of the forests, the red of the

Maple Leaf  (Canada’s national symbol), the white

of the Dogwood  and the gold of the crown and sun in

the provincial Arms.


Provincial Tree

The Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata Donn) was

adopted as the official tree of the Province on

February 18, 1988.


Historically, the tree has played a key role in the

lives of West Coast Natives, and continues to be a

valuable resource for the Province.


Flag of Canada

The search for a new Canadian Flag started in 1925 and

ended when a Senate and House of Commons Committee

recommended a single stylized maple leaf design, which

was approved by resolution of the House of Commons

on December 15, 1964, followed by the Senate on

December17, 1964, and proclaimed by Her Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II,  to take effect on

February 15, 1965.


The National Flag of Canada came into being almost

100 years after the Dominion was created in 1867.


The maple leaf flag was raised for the first time at

noon, February 15, 1965 during special ceremonies on

Parliament Hill in Ottawa.


This blog is brought to you courtesy of

Cheryl Young, Realtor, Victoria B.C





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