Our 2016 Annual General Meeting

Greetings from Toronto! (Actually, we’re back in Vancouver now.)

Last week, head office staff and franchise owners came together in Toronto for our Annual General Meeting. This is our yearly chance to meet, greet, discuss, plan, and party, and did we ever accomplish all that and more! Since this year the meeting was in Toronto, we also did a few supplier visits and got to see firsthand just how a flagpole is made (I’ll write more on that next week). Below are some photographic highlights of the 2016 AGM Toronto.


The Flag Shop AGM takes place every year in January. This is an opportunity for all of the franchises across Canada to come together. Our next AGM will be right at home in Vancouver BC, and we’re already excited for it!

The Flag Shop: A Year in Review 2015

As the holiday season is upon us and the New Year approaches, we decided to take a moment to reflect on the events of 2015. This last year has seen it’s share of good times (the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag), great times (Pride across Canada was blast!), and certainly controversial times (ahem, Confederate flag anyone?).

So without further ado, The Flag Shop 2015 Year in Review:

January

(Clockwise from top-left) The Flag Shop New Brunswick hiding behind a snow drift; A snow day meant a hard days work for store manager, Belinda's kids in New Brunswick; flags produced by the Make Club in Victoria
Clockwise from top-left: The Flag Shop New Brunswick hiding behind a snow drift; A snow day meant a hard day’s work for store manager Belinda’s kids in New Brunswick; Flags produced by the Make Club in Victoria.

The year started off snowy in New Brunswick. The blizzards out east were so bad, the store went into hiding. They made the best of things though, by having a lot of good, fun snow days! Meanwhile on the wet coast, creativity bloomed during a collaboration between The Makehouse and The Flag Shop Victoria.

February

(Clockwise, from top-left) Sales and marketing staff at head office pose in their pink attire; The Flag Shop Toronto pulls out the flag to show where they stand; The Flag Shop Victoria has a gorilla to protect against bullying; Le Flag Shop Montréal proudly displays the message in their window; The Flag shop Saskatoon shows their support for the cause; An anti-bullying flag flies at Winnipeg City Hall
Clockwise, from top-left: Sales and marketing staff at head office pose in their pink attire; The Flag Shop Toronto pulls out the flag to show where they stand; The Flag Shop Victoria has a gorilla to protect against bullying; Le Flag Shop Montréal proudly displays the message in their window; The Flag shop Saskatoon shows their support for the cause; An anti-bullying flag flies at Winnipeg City Hall.

Valentine’s Day may be in February, but that’s not why things turned pink at The Flag Shop. With our Anti-Bullying movement, our stance against bullying took hold as we all showed support to stop bullying in our schools.

(Left-Right) President, Susan Braverman; The Flag Shop Calgary and Edmonton Owner, Phyllis Mandshein Bright
Left to Right: President, Susan Braverman; The Flag Shop Calgary and Edmonton Owner, Phyllis Bright.

We also had the opportunity to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Flag. At fifty, our young flag still looks as beautiful as ever!

March

(Left to Right) Gordie Howe flag flies in Saskatoon; Roman Mars tells everyone how amazing flags are (still from www.youtube.com); The Flag Shop London makes some great flags to support Epilepsy Awareness Month (Left to Right) Gordie Howe flag flies in Saskatoon; Roman Mars tells everyone how amazing flags are (still from www.youtube.com); The Flag Shop London makes some great flags to support Epilepsy Awareness Month
Left to Right: Gordie Howe flag flies in Saskatoon; Roman Mars tells everyone how amazing flags are (still from www.youtube.com); The Flag Shop London makes some great flags to support Epilepsy Awareness Month

As we moved into the spring, some great stuff happened. The Flag Shop Saskatoon made flags to honour the great Gordie Howe. Roman Mars gave a Ted Talk that got everyone talking about flags. Meanwhile, The Flag Shop London was busy making flags for the Epilepsy Support Centre.

April

From left to right: The Flag Shop Winnipeg cheers on the Jets; the flag of Vancouver Island soars to new heights and new proportions (photo from the Times Colonist); Greenpeace Canada shows off their flag
Left to right: The Flag Shop Winnipeg cheers on the Jets; the flag of Vancouver Island soars to new heights and new proportions (photo from the Times Colonist); Greenpeace Canada shows off their flag.

The Flag Shop in Winnipeg cheered on the Jets, while in Victoria the Vancouver Island flag was made bigger than ever before. In Vancouver, Greenpeace Canada launched a new flag design.

May

May was a pretty quiet month as we prepared for the summer.

June

Then things got serious, in June we halted the sale of the Confederate flag. It was a big moment for the company, as we had to all come together and do what we thought was best. You can read more about that decision here.

July

Left to Right) World Cup banner on display at the Head Office / The Flag Shop Vancouver location; The Flag Shop Chilliwack puts out a fun display of FIFA merchandise.
Left to Right: World Cup banner on display at the Head Office / The Flag Shop Vancouver location; The Flag Shop Chilliwack puts out a fun display of FIFA merchandise.
Come July, we were glad to turn our attention to an International flag debate as New Zealand held a flag referendum. We also had the opportunity to cheer on the Canadian Women’s team at the World Cup!

August

Clockwise from top-left: The Flag Shop Vancouver at the Vancouver Pride Festival; The Flag Shop Victoria and their giant Rainbow flag marching at Victoria Pride; The making of The Flag Shop Victoria Pride flag; The Flag Shop Victoria having fun making a giant rainbow flag; One of our first sewn Canada Pride flags; The Flag Shop Saskatoon at a pride event; (centre) Sarah the Wonder dog relaxing in her Pride scarf at The Flag Shop Edmonton
Clockwise from top-left: The Flag Shop Vancouver at the Vancouver Pride Festival; The Flag Shop Victoria and their giant Rainbow flag marching at Victoria Pride; The making of The Flag Shop Victoria Pride flag; The Flag Shop Victoria having fun making a giant rainbow flag; One of our first sewn Canada Pride flags; The Flag Shop Saskatoon at a pride event; (centre) Sarah the Wonder dog relaxing in her Pride scarf at The Flag Shop Edmonton.

For our yearly review, we put this one in August, but really The Flag Shops across the country are involved with Pride all year long! To see a more in-depth review on some of this year’s Pride involvement click here.

Clockwise, from top-left: Toothpick flags made for the occasion; Front and back of toothpick flags; Jack and Doreen Braverman after 50 years of marriage; Jack and Doreen Braverman's wedding portrait
Clockwise, from top-left: Toothpick flags made for the occasion; Front and back of toothpick flags; Jack and Doreen Braverman after 50 years of marriage; Jack and Doreen Braverman’s wedding portrait.

In anniversary news, our founder, Doreen Braverman, and her husband Jack celebrated fifty years of marriage this year with their family and friends.

Left to right: Whitecaps Banners on the Georgia Viaduct; SFU 50th Anniversary on the Dunsmuir Viaduct; Brand New Whitecaps Banners on the Cambie Street Bridge; PNE Banners on the Granville Street Bridge; More SFU Banners on the Burrard Street Bridge.
Left to right: Whitecaps Banners on the Georgia Viaduct; SFU 50th Anniversary on the Dunsmuir Viaduct; Brand New Whitecaps Banners on the Cambie Street Bridge; PNE Banners on the Granville Street Bridge; More SFU Banners on the Burrard Street Bridge.

Also in Vancouver, we celebrated what we called ‘Total Bridge Domination‘ when banners made right here in our production facility were on every major thoroughfare leading into downtown Vancouver.

September

Clockwise, left to right: A bird became stuck in the Head Office; Corporate staff attempt to catch (and free) the bird; banners go up at UBC and at SFU; Vancouver Opera and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra banners are installed in Vancouver.
Clockwise, from top-left: A bird became stuck in the Head Office; Corporate staff attempt to catch (and free) the bird; banners go up at UBC and at SFU; Vancouver Opera and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra banners are installed in Vancouver.

September, in Vancouver at least, saw a lot of sunny skies and a little bit of excitement. Banners from our production facility went up all over the city and we also ended up with a wild bird as a pet for the day in our head office!

October

Clockwise, from top-left: Decoda Literacy Flags are flew all over British Columbia; Kooza banners go up in Vancouver; A line of Blue Jays flags ready for sale at The Flag Shop Saskatoon; Michael B. went as all of the Avengers; A nice car flag in New Brunswick; Rebecca L. asks if you want to build a stick flag?
Clockwise, from top-left: Decoda Literacy Flags were flown all over British Columbia; Kooza banners go up in Vancouver; A line of Blue Jays flags ready for sale at The Flag Shop Saskatoon; Michael B. went as all of the Avengers; A nice car flag in New Brunswick; Rebecca L. asks if you want to build a stick flag?

In October, the Blue Jays made a run for the World Series! It was also Co-op Week in Canada and Decoda’s Literacy Month. Cirque de Soleil’s Kooza came back to Vancouver and jealous of their amazing costumes, some of the head office staff dressed up for Halloween.

November

Clockwise, from top-left: Two children walk the path at the George Derby Centre; The flags of the Camp Hill Memorial in Nova Scotia; The flag parade during the Victory Square Ceremony in Vancouver.
Clockwise, from top-left: Two children walk the path at the George Derby Centre; The flags of the Camp Hill Memorial in Nova Scotia; The flag parade during the Victory Square Ceremony in Vancouver.

A great deal of November was dedicated to Remembrance Day. Nova Scotia showed that they have some of the most beautiful memorials. In Vancouver, we once again produced flags for the George Derby Pledge-A-Flag campaign and the Victory Square Remembrance Day Ceremony was as busy as ever.

A Transgender flag flies in Winnipeg (photo from cbc.ca); A photoshoot for our new transgender flag in Vancouver.
A Transgender flag flies in Winnipeg for Transgender Day of Remembrance (photo from cbc.ca); A photoshoot for our new transgender flag in Vancouver.

We also produced our first full line of Transgender flag products, many of which were used at Transgender Day of Remembrance events across the country.

Left to Right: Greetings from Winnipeg, host of the 2015 Grey Cup; The Flag Shop Ottawa stands dejected after a lost bet with The Flag Shop Edmonton.
Left to Right: Greetings from Winnipeg, host of the 2015 Grey Cup; The Flag Shop Ottawa stands dejected after a lost bet with The Flag Shop Edmonton.

There was time for a little fun though. As the Grey Cup approached, The Flag Shops in Edmonton and Ottawa made a friendly wager. The losing team’s shop had to post a selfie with the winning team’s flag. Well we all know how that turned out…poor Alan.

December

Left to Right: An around the world theme for a Santa Claus parade in Fredericton, NB; The Flag Shop Saskatoon did an informative series on the flags of 'Christmas.'
Left to Right: An around the world theme for a Santa Claus parade in Fredericton, NB; The Flag Shop Saskatoon did an informative series on the flags of ‘Christmas.’

Finally the holidays are upon us and the year is ending. Things took a decidedly global turn as the Santa Claus parade in New Brunswick had a theme of ‘Around the World.’ Meanwhile, The Flag Shop Saskatoon has been posting a very informative series all about the flags of Christmas.

 

That brings an end to our trip down memory lane. We hope that your 2015 was as eventful and rewarding as ours was and we wish you nothing but the best in 2016!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

– The Flag Shop

Actually, The Flag Shop New Brunswick is going to save all their wishes so that it will stop snowing…

Pride 2015: Vancouver Wrap-Up

2015 was a big year for The Flag Shop’s involvement in LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations with a lot of firsts. We launched our new Pride mini-site: pride.flagshop.com, joined in partnerships, and made donations to important local charities as well as launching a new contest. Read on to see the specifics of our involvement.

This year The Flag Shop came out in a big way. While our company has a longstanding relationship with members of the LGBTQ+ community this year we really took things to the next level.

Beginning in May, with the launch of our Pride-specific website, pride.flagshop.com, our commitment to the cause has really taken on steam. The website not only features our entire Pride product line but has also expanded to include a comprehensive listing of Pride events across Canada, Pride news coverage, a listing of Pride Societies across Canada and more. We are working on adding new products to our line to better serve the LGBTQ+ community.

Clockwise (from top-right): Our media wall looking great at this info booth (Photo: Vancouver Pride); Two of our Pride booth workers; A custom sewn Transgender flag for PFLAG Vancouver; One of our furry booth volunteers; Some Flag Shop paper flags adorning some fabulous shopping carts in the parade. (Photos: Rebecca Love)

Clockwise (from top-right): Our media wall looking great at this info booth (Photo: Vancouver Pride); Two of our Pride booth workers; A custom sewn Transgender flag for PFLAG Vancouver; One of our furry booth volunteers; Some Flag Shop paper flags adorning some fabulous shopping carts in the parade. (Photos: Rebecca Love)

We also deepened our involvement with local charitable organizations. We recently worked with the Vancouver Pride Society to produce a media wall for them as well as running a Pride flag booth at the Vancouver Pride Festival with proceeds being donated. We also donated a hand-sewn transgender flag for PFLAG Vancouver, an organization that speaks for a more accepting Canadian society in regards to sexual orientation and gender identity issues.

From left to right: A standing banner outside of the Out on Screen Gala Opening; Two retractable banners fresh off the press in our production warehouse.

From left to right: A gamma banner outside of the Out on Screen Gala Opening; Two retractable banners fresh off the press in our production warehouse.

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival has some great new banners at a discount as a result of another print partnership, this time with their organizer, Out on Screen.

From left to right: Early Bird Winner, Tyler; 2nd Place winner, Kylee; Grand Prize Winner, Zoltan

From left to right: Early Bird Winner, Tyler; 2nd Place winner, Kylee; Grand Prize Winner, Zoltan

This was also the year of our first ever #PrideFlag social media contest! In an effort to encourage people to proudly show their Pride Flags all around Vancouver, we launched a photography contest that yielded some great shots and a few excellent winners that helped raise the profile of the Pride flag even further.

From left to right: The Flag Shop Victoria takes part in the local Pride Parade; The Flag Shop London set up a booth at Niagara Pride.

From left to right: The Flag Shop Victoria takes part in the local Pride Parade; The Flag Shop London set up a booth at Niagara Pride.

Better still, it’s not just here in Vancouver that The Flag Shop is involved in Pride activities. Our store in London, Ontario had a great booth set up at Niagara Pride while The Flag Shop Victoria made a giant Pride flag and used a pick-up truck to drive it in the local Pride Parade!

All in all we made some great memories through this year’s Vancouver Pride season. Of course Pride issues aren’t just important at one time of year, so we’ll continue to grow and strengthen our participation in supporting LGBTQ+ people as an ally. What is coming next? I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.

We are wearing pink today!

Staff in our stores across the country wore pink for Pink Shirt Day (February 25th)!

The Flag Shop Vancouver donated 1,000 Anti-Bullying paper stick flags to I Am Someone‘s annual Walk2Talk event on February 22nd.

The Flag Shops Chilliwack and London in the news

Our Chilliwack store contributed to the street banners recently put up in a notoriously busy school zone in an effort to get motorists to slow down.

Our London store made the flags at Savour Stratford. See the photos here.

Some of our Flag Shop franchise owners quoted in the news

Betty at The Flag Shop London discusses the run on Canadian flags for Canada Day in London’s Free Press.

Phyllis at The Flag Shop Edmonton was contacted for a story about a 1967 Canadian Centennial flag found in a basement and brought out for Canada Day this year.

The Flag Shop in the news

Two of our franchise owners were quoted in Flag Day articles in February.

Guy in Winnipeg talked about the best-selling flags in his shop (hint: Canada comes first, but they’re awfully fond of their new hockey team) for Winnipeg Free Press.

Betty in London contributed her knowledge of flag etiquette including when to replace an old flag for LFPress’s Flag Day article.

If you have any flag questions of your own, we’re always happy to help! Just contact your closest Flag Shop for more information.