Happy Earth Day – Saturday, April 22!

Showing Our Support for Environmental Protection

How It All Began
In 1970, after seeing the effects of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson had the idea for a “National Teach-In on the Environment.” He had hoped to assemble and organize the student community, so he chose April 22, falling between Spring Break and final exams. On April 22, 1970, more than 20-million Americans came out to the streets, public spaces and campuses in solidarity to show their support for a sustainable and healthy environment. That same year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was established and Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts were passed.


Students from Arvada High School in suburban Denver march on the first Earth Day—April 22, 1970. Image credit: Rocky Mountain News

It was two decades later, in 1990, when Earth Day achieved worldwide levels of public engagement, rallying 200 million people in 141 countries, elevating environmental awareness to a global scale. It was Earth Day 1990 that brought new focus to the importance of recycling efforts and helped to pave the way for the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992. Today, Earth Day is celebrated by more than a billion people every year.

The Flag Shop Demonstrates Environmental Responsibility
We’re so honoured to partner with our friends at Common Thread Cooperative , a local enterprise that sources street banners and other fabric to convert into colourful and durable products. Common Thread’s main social purpose is creating employment by providing sewing training and production coaching for newcomers to Canada, people living with mental illness and others. Upcycling used banners keeps them out of the landfill and contributes to the livelihood of the people who make them!


Common Thread producers working in The Flag Shop’s production area

We proudly offer GREEN options to our discerning clients who care as much as we do about making a positive difference in preserving the environment. Developed by The Flag Shop, Echotex® is 100% recycled banner fabric which consists of 65% pre-consumer polyester fiber and 35% PET bottles waste. Echotex combines corporate social responsibility with vibrant and durable options for street banners. The City of West Vancouver was the first municipality to use Echotex for their street banners which was for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Since then, dozens of municipalities have chosen to go green by getting their street banners made by The Flag Shop using this fabric.


The City of West Vancouver had these Echotex street banners made and installed by The Flag Shop in 2012

Echotex street banners made and installed by The Flag Shop for the Vancouver Aquarium on the Burrard Street Bridge in 2014

Join us on Earth Day, Saturday April 22nd as we stand together as part of the global community, showing our commitment to ensuring a sustainable environment for future generations.

The Earth flag is available for purchase at The Flag Shop. Show your support by waving it not only tomorrow, but also throughout the year!


The earth is what we all have in common.
-Wendell Berry

The Sikh Community Celebrates Vaisakhi

The Sikh New Year

Sat Sri Akal!

Vaisakhi is a festival which celebrates the founding of the Sikh community, known as the Khalsa. It is celebrated on April 14 each year.

The Flag Shop is proud to serve its diverse range of clients representing cultural community interests, some of whom we have been working with for many years. Clients celebrating Vaisakhi include Gurdwara Sahib Kalgidhar Darbar, in Abbottsford and Sikh Temple Gurdwara, in Chilliwack.  We’ve also had the honour of supplying the Punjabi Market with street banners over the years, to highlight this friendly and colourful district around Main Street and 49th Avenue, and we hear they will be hosting their own Vaisakhi parade, too!

The History of Vaisakhi
On Vaisakhi day in 1699, a guru named Gobind Singh called Sikhs from all across India to the city of Anandpur Sahib. At this gathering, the guru called upon Sikhs to uphold their faith and preserve the Sikh religion. Guru Gobind Singh lifted his sword and asked anyone prepared to give his life for his faith to come forward. One Sikh came forward and followed the guru into a tent. Shortly after, the guru reappeared alone, carrying a sword covered in blood. He asked again. Another Sikh stepped forward. Again, the guru took him into the tent, and reappeared alone, with his sword covered with blood. This was repeated until five Sikhs had offered up their lives in the name of their faith.  In the end, the guru emerged from the tent with five men dressed regally in blue. Guru Gobind Singh called the five Sikhs the Panj Pyare: the Five Beloved Ones.


Panj Pyare. Photo © [S Khalsa] / Source: www.thoughtco.com

The Five Beloved Ones were the first members of the new Sikh community, called the Khalsa.  Khalsa men took the surname of Singh (meaning lion) to represent courage and women took on the surname Kaur (meaning princess) to emphasize dignity.

Khalsa and Vaisakhi celebrations are taking place across Canada, most notably in Calgary, AB , Burlington, ON, Toronto, ON  and Surrey, BC.


  Source: https://hiveminer.com/Tags/vaisakhi,vancouver/Recent
Happy Vaisakhi!

National Tartan Day – April 6

Celebrating Scottish Heritage

On October 21, 2010, the Minister of Canadian Heritage officially declared April 6 as Tartan Day. It is celebrated on this date because it is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, a declaration of Scottish independence, made in 1320, which says, in part: “…It is in truth, not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself…”


Source: The Declaration of Arbroath, 6 April 1320/National Records of Scotland, SP13/7

Tartan Day in Canada is an annual observance, which was initiated at a meeting of the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia in 1986. The following motion was put forward: “That we establish a day known as Tartan Day. This to be a day chosen to promote Scottish Heritage by the most visible means. The wearing of the Scottish attire, especially in places where the kilt is not ordinarily worn, i.e.: work, play or worship.”


Source: iStockphotocom/Paul McKinnon

Thanks to the tireless efforts and work of Jean Watson, spanning 30+ years, Tartan Day is recognized by all Canadian legislatures as well as the Senate of the United States.

The tartan is a traditional woolen fabric woven in patterns, striped or checkered (plaid), and has long been a symbol of Scotland. Canada’s national tartan, the Maple Leaf Tartan, was created by David Weiser in 1964, in preparation for the 100th anniversary of Confederation. It has been proudly worn by Canadians over the years, and was given official status in 2010.

Today, join The Flag Shop as we honour and celebrate the more than four million Canadians of Scottish heritage, who represent an important part of our national identity of freedom, cultural diversity, unity and strength.

 

For more information about tartans, symbols of Scottish heritage and pride, please visit Tartan flags and Highland flags on our website.

The 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

Remembering Our Fallen Heroes

April 9, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge which took place during the First World War, in the open countryside north of Arras, France. In the epic battle, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together for the first time and valiantly seized the ridge from the German army. Today, an iconic white memorial rests at the top of the ridge. Designed by Canadian Walter Seymour Allward, the monument commemorates the battle and honours the memory of Canadians who were killed, and for whom there are no known graves.


Video Commemorating 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. (Source: Veterans Affairs Canada)

It was at Vimy Ridge that Canada began to shape its character as a nation. By this victory, Canada was changed from a colony under British rule, to a country forging its own identity in the world. It was the efforts of these heroic and brave Canadians that established our nation, as one representing unity, honour, integrity and strength.


Source: Wayne Cuddington/The Ottawa Citizen

“The Battle of Vimy Ridge is such an important part of our history as a country because it brought people together,” said Phyllis Bright, Owner of The Flag Shop Edmonton. “There’s a lot of interest here, in this important anniversary.  We have a school in our neighbourhood called Vimy Ridge Academy. Their sports team name is The Raiders.”

This name is most appropriate because during the war, Canadians soldiers took part in trench raids, something which they developed and mastered. Throughout the war, these Canadian soldiers were brave and heroic raiders, who rushed the enemy trenches courageously, and captured enemy territory. These raids were vital in preparation for the ultimate victory at Vimy Ridge.

Join all locations of The Flag Shop across our great country on April 9 as we perpetuate the memory of those who valorously gave their lives in this battle. This victory was the first milestone where Canada came of age and was then recognized across the world.


World War I (1868-1921) Canadian Red Ensign

Interested in knowing more about Vimy Ridge 100th Anniversary events in your area? Visit Veterans Affairs Canada, for a full listing of events across in your area.

The Flag Shop proudly carries a full range of Canadian-made ensigns and military flags, including the Vimy Ridge flag, also known as the WWI Canadian Red Ensign.


 

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: March 30 – April 23

Take a Break, Unplug and Connect with Your Surroundings

The 11th Annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) celebrates spring during the time of year when 43,000 cherry trees burst into bloom around the city, with 20+ cherry blossom themed community events happening throughout March and April. The festival offers something for everyone! A full calendar of events brings people together and engages the community to enjoy the natural beauty of its surroundings.


Source: Vancitybuzz.com

Linda Poole, Executive Director of VCBF says, “People are working too hard. It’s time to take a break, unplug and take a seat on the petal mats beneath the trees. When the cherry blossoms bloom our hearts open and we become more aware of our emotions. This creates a world of opportunity for us all to connect with one another, and with the beauty that surrounds us.”


Source: Yourdailydish.com

The Flag Shop Vancouver has been supporting the festival since we made the street banners last year, and we wash and store these beauties so they can be used year after year. And this year, you can admire them on Oak Street by VanDusen Botanical Garden!  We’re so proud to be a part of the festivities, honouring the beauty and symbolism of the cherry blossom. We donated a retractable banner promoting a new Raffle Draw, with two Air Canada economy tickets to Japan up for grabs! Sakura Night Gala offers a special evening of food and friendship featuring eight of Vancouver’s top local restaurants, coming together to prepare a very special menu of Asian-fusion flavours to delight your senses.


Cherry Blossom Street Banners on Burrard Street Bridge

Hanami is a Japanese word which literally means “flower viewing.” The word, however, quite commonly refers to cherry blossom appreciation. Hanami is easy and can be a walk in the park, enjoying the beauty of the flowers. Traditionally, it involves a picnic and gathering of people, joining together under the blossoms.

Be a part of The Big Picnic and enjoy bento box lunches, by Cocktails & Canapés, under Queen Elizabeth Park’s iconic cherry blossom canopy. Pre-ordering is now open! At the Sakura Days Japan Fair you will see the ritual of the Japanese tea ceremony, enjoy Japanese cooking demonstrations and taste premium sake. For more details about the event, please visit http://www.japanfairvancouver.com/.

As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday this year, the VCBF will commemorate the anniversary by celebrating the country’s strength, pride, and freedom. The theme for the 2017 VCBF Haiku Invitational is “Freedom.” The fleeting nature of the blossoming of cherry trees reminds us all to celebrate life and enjoy every moment. Haiku, is short Japanese poetry that captures a moment of awareness and appreciation. Join other poets across the globe and submit your best haiku, honouring the beauty of the cherry tree, and recognizing freedom.


Source: Arthur Mok/Vancitybuzz.com

Congratulations to Linda Poole, the VCBF Board of Directors and The Cherry Team.

Happy Hanami!

Custom street banners, custom retractable banners, the Canada/Japan Friendship Pin and the Japanese flag are some of the many products available at The Flag Shop.

 

 

Odysseo by Cavalia – Thanks for the Memories

 

Vancouver Bids Farewell to the Best Show Ever!

The Flag Shop Vancouver was honoured to supply our client, Cavalia Inc. with 690 beautiful, custom printed banners to promote and celebrate Odysseo by Cavalia: The Best Show Ever. These exquisite banners adorned the streets of Vancouver, looking simply stunning against the city’s skyline.


Source: Vancouver’s Best Places

Because we support our clients, Susan Braverman invited the management team to attend the last evening performance. This spectacular show magically combines equestrian arts and high-tech theatrical effects. We were captivated by the opening scene, beginning in a misty forest, as a herd of horses grazed and frolicked under rolling clouds and a setting sun. Enthralled by the sights and sounds, we shared the experience with the entire audience as we rediscovered the century-old relationship between humans and horses.


Source: Cavalia.com

The travelling show includes 65 horses and 48 artists, taking a crew of 120 to set up under the big top. The horses are the stars of the show and the utmost care and attention went to these incredible animals, each treated with love and respect. Of all the performers, the horses were the last to arrive, flown to Vancouver by a chartered 747, and transported to a local farm for two weeks of leisure and pasture before the show opened. The horses were welcomed in style, on a red carpet. Talk about royal treatment!


Source: The Vancouver Sun

In this unforgettable experience, we were teleported to majestic locations around the globe and beyond! We were thrilled to take an enchanted journey to the desert and savanna of Africa and the American southwest, Easter Island and verdant fields; marvelling at the beauty of the northern lights, and a majestic ice cave.


Source: Cavalia.com

Many thanks to Danny Gauthier of Cavalia for convincing Susan to purchase tickets, and to many wonderful show sponsors for bringing Cavalia to our great city! Although the show has left Vancouver, the troop continues its tour with openings in Chicago on April 1 and Mississauga on June 28. For more information about the show, please visit cavalia.com.

Congratulations to show Creator and Artistic Director, Normand Latourelle. Also a pioneer of Cirque du Soleil, Latourelle was born and raised in Montreal. Since 2003, he has been fully dedicated to Cavalia Inc.

The Flag Shop supports the arts and entertainment industry in many other capacities, from designing custom banners to supplying international flags. To view our other street banner projects, visit: http://www.flagshop.com/street-banners.php

Read the rest of this entry »

International Women’s Day

Honouring the Achievements of Women

International Women’s Day (IWD) takes place every year on March 8, across the globe, in celebration of women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements throughout history. It is also known as the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

International Women’s Day gives women a collective voice to be heard. It all started in 1908, during a time of unrest and debate over oppression and inequality, when a group of 15,000 women gathered in New York City to demand fair pay, better working conditions, and the right to vote.


Source: giaonthemove.com

It was their commitment to action for equality that sparked similar events in other countries. In 1911, the first official International Women’s Day rallies were held in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. The day is now observed in countries around the globe and many ways.

International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations in 1975. For more than 20 years, the UN has adopted a yearly theme for IWD. In 1996, the theme was “Celebrating the past, Planning for the Future”. In 1997: “Women at the Peace table”. In 1998: “Women and Human Rights”. In 1999:  “World Free of Violence Against Women”. More recent themes have included, for example, “Empower Rural Women, End Poverty & Hunger” and “A Promise is a Promise – Time for Action to End Violence against Women”.


Source: happenings.com.ng

Every individual has an important role to play in helping to drive better outcomes for women. Around the world, International Women’s Day provides an important opportunity for action that can result in positive change for women.

At The Flag Shop, we are proud of our company heritage of strong leadership by women beginning in 1975. Doreen Braverman founded the company, starting the first full-service flag store in the world. And, in 2010, Susan Braverman bought the company and became President. This work which was begun over 40 years ago has brought countless opportunities for women to grow and thrive on many levels including economic livelihood, creativity, and social advancement. The Flag Shop also honours women’s achievements within the team: The Flag Shop Edmonton Owner-Manager, Phyllis Bright; The Flag Shop Nova Scotia Owner, Debbie Hartlen; The Flag Shop Saskatoon Owner-Manager Judy Denham, The Flag Shop Montreal Owner-Manager, Ginette Bazergul; The Flag Shop Toronto Partners, Lilly and Ladan Siahpoosh and The Flag Shop Chilliwack Manager, Vanessa Oddy.

Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day 2017 is: “Equality Matters”. The theme holds significance because, in this country, we are advocates for the advancement and celebration of women and we recognize equality is the only way to ensure continued progress.

So, in the week of International Women’s Day, what will you do to celebrate the women in your circles, and to ensure a brighter future for the daughters of nations around the globe?

Wave the flag for United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace!


This beautiful 3’x6’ custom printed flag was made by The Flag Shop Nova Scotia.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Celebrating Our Canadian Heritage – What’s So Great about Us Canadians, Anyway?

The Power of Co-Branding

Since Confederation in 1867, Canada has seen positive growth and change. Today, all Canadians are part of a global community connected by ease of travel and modern technology. As we recognize Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, it’s a great time for all Canadians to think about what it really means to be Canadian. What exactly does it mean to you? As a nation, we have shown time and time again, that the people of this country value peace, tolerance, compassion, friendship and democracy.


Source: Shutterstock

Canadians have carved out a global reputation, a history and a uniquely Canadian cultural mosaic. Making our mark all over the world, Canadians are not only known for our values, we have changed the world with our innovation, too! We Canucks invented basketball, the telephone, insulin, the hockey goalie mask, the zipper and the CanadArm, to name just a few!

Though basketball may be more popular with our neighbours to the south, it was a Canadian gym teacher, James Naismith, who invented the sport in 1891. The world can thank Alexander Graham Bell for the telephone, which has come a very a long way since 1876, when Mr. Bell used his invention to communicate, saying, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Then there’s insulin, which was created by Dr. Frederick Banting, a Nobel Prize laureate of Alliston, Ontario.  Jacques Plante of Montreal Canadiens fame was the first goaltender to create and use a goalie mask in 1959. A Canadian electrical engineer, named Gideon Sundback created the first modern-day zipper in 1913, improving upon earlier renditions. The CanadArm was used for 30 years as part of the NASA Space Shuttle Program. It’s a robotic arm that captured and repaired satellites, helped position astronauts and moved cargo!


Source: The Vancouver Sun-Submitted Photo/MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.

So, Canadians are inventive, caring and polite! And, we get along with everyone! Proudly Canadian, The Flag Shop will help you combine your brand with the Canada 150 logo, as you join hands with all Canadians from coast to coast to coast, in this important year of patriotism and pride in our nation. Co-branding is a powerful marketing tool which will convey a sense of goodwill while creating opportunities to expand the public profile of your organization.

Whatever your vision may be for marking Canada 150, we have a full range of stock and custom products to celebrate this historic milestone while showcasing your brand! Unleash the power of co-branding and join us as we celebrate with our fellow Canadians! Visit canada150.flagshop.com  and be inspired by the limitless possibilities to make your events shine!

For more information about celebrations and events across the country, visit: http://bit.ly/2bxZRUa.

It’s Canada’s 150th birthday! And, that’s a lot of candles!

 

Street Banners Make Everything Beautiful

The City of Richmond Street Banner Program

At The Flag Shop Vancouver Head Office, we love our client, The City of Richmond, with whom we’ve been working since the 1990s. Our story begins when The Flag Shop first supported the City in creating street banner specifications, in the earliest days of their street banner program. It has been an honour to be part of this important civic tradition, spanning an unprecedented 20+ years.

And, aside from making city streets look beautiful, event organizers also use banners to create awareness and anticipation of their special events. The City of Richmond street banner program is steeped in history and is an exceptional model of civic pride and engagement. Every year, the City creates an impressive new street banner program which engages the citizens of the community and empowers them to showcase the best of the community. The program allows citizens to take personal pride in their great city, while telling the story of Richmond with beautiful imagery. The real beauty is found in the knowledge that the banners reflect the story of The City of Richmond – as told by the very people who live there.

Through the years, designs have included a diverse and exceptional range of visual art forms such as collage, photography, digital art, printmaking, illustration and painting. All submissions are originals reflecting themes such as active living, transportation, arts, culture and heritage, parks and nature.

This year, the banner contest brought nearly 300 submissions, of which 11 banners were selected as the winning entries. Each banner visually reflects Richmond’s tagline for Canada 150, which is being celebrated by all Canadians throughout 2017: One nation, hundreds of cultures, thousands of communities, millions of people and limitless stories. Entries range in subject matter and reflect the experiences, the places and people, which make Richmond such a great place to call home.


Source: The City of Richmond

The vibrant and beautiful street banner collection was unveiled last month at a City Council meeting. To recognize the winners, City Council invited them to Council Chambers for a special unveiling ceremony. What a fitting and meaningful way to honour those whose designs stood out among hundreds of contenders. All winning banners will be proudly displayed throughout the city, until early 2018.


Source: The City of Richmond

When The City of Richmond adopted its Environmental Purchasing Policy and Guide, we found even deeper meaning in our common goal to make a positive difference for the environment. Combining brilliantly coloured banners with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility, The Flag Shop is proud to offer GREEN solutions in street banners. Echotex® is a unique and exclusive product made with shredded textiles and recycled plastic. Choose Echotex® and be a leader in environmental stewardship.

And, while it’s exciting to see new street banners being installed, taking them down doesn’t need to be a solemn occasion. Instead of sending your old street banners to the landfill, why not give them a fresh start by turning them into bags? We are proud to support Common Thread Cooperative , a local group that repurposes street banners, extending the life of the banners and contributing to the livelihood of the people who make the bags. By choosing The Flag Shop, clients and customers make a conscious decision to work with a team who aims to make a difference and to change the world one flag at a time.

Congratulations to The City of Richmond contest winners! The street banners are breathtaking!

See more about The Flag Shop’s commitment to sustainability at http://bit.ly/2kPyk3m

 

 

EVERY Day is Anti-Bullying Day

Take a Stand. Lend a Hand

The Flag Shop is intentional in its commitment to make a positive difference in the communities where we live and work.  The Flag Shop president, Susan Braverman literally grew up at The Flag Shop, as did her daughter, and the countless children of its employees over the last 40+ years. We have a soft spot for all children and recognize we have a collective social responsibility to take a tough stand against bullying.


Source: antibullying.co.uk

Back in 2014, Grace Fenton, at the time a grade 7 student from Albert Mines, New Brunswick, won a PINK SHIRT DAY design contest. The Flag Shop recognized a unique opportunity to support anti-bullying efforts, by elevating public awareness and honouring Grace’s achievement. The design has a positive message which is easily understood and represents the importance of helping those who have a need. The flag was hoisted for the first time in 2014 and later that year, The Flag Shop was granted exclusive rights to use Grace’s design, supporting anti-bullying efforts across Canada.


Source: Grace Fenton

For The Flag Shop, this was a monumental achievement, which allowed us to create a full product line, as part of the collective effort to make a positive impact. With what we hope will be a universal symbol, proceeds from the sale of these products go back to Canadian organizations who work tirelessly to put an end to bullying.

Bullying is repeated aggressive behaviour where one person or group in a position of power deliberately intimidates or abuses someone with the intent to hurt them. Young people can be unkind to each other during adolescence as they learn social skills and grow into adults. While these interactions can be unpleasant, there is a clear distinction between conflict and bullying. Bullying includes all three of the following:

  • Intentional – the behaviour is aggressive and is a deliberate attempt to hurt someone.
  • Repeated – the behaviour involves aggressive actions targeting the same person over time.
  • Imbalance of power – the bully exerts social or physical power over the victim.

Important Truth: Peers play a major role in bullying – by either stopping it or making it worse.
Children who are bystanders to bullying learn about the negative use of power and aggression in relationships.  Through exposure over time, bullying behaviour can become “normal”. With a captive audience, a child who is bullying gets attention from peers, which leads to improved social status. When bystanders have the courage to take a stand and lend a hand, bullying ends quickly in most cases.

Solution: Bystanders can be heroes!
When children witness bullying, they need guidance and support to understand their social responsibility to take a stand and lend a hand. Adults can teach children to step in and be assertive. This action helps to shift the balance of power. If children do not feel safe to take a stand, they should be encouraged to report bullying incidents to an adult.

Important Truth: Reporting bullying is an effective way to stop the violence.
Bullying is about power and the abuse of power. Bully is not something that children can resolve without adult intervention. Once a bullying begins, attempts by the child to make it stop on their own are usually unsuccessful, and may even make the situation worse.

Solution: Children need to be encouraged to report bullying and must be given multiple options and strategies for reporting.
Responsible adults must let victims know they care about and want to know about a child’s experiences. Adults must also convey that it’s an adult’s job to make sure the bullying stops.

On some level, we’ve all seen the effects of bullying. At The Flag Shop, EVERYDAY is Anti-Bullying Day. And, the world needs more heroes! When you witness bullying, take a stand. Lend a hand.

Help protect our children, while raising heroes who lend a hand, in this important social cause!

Visit our anti-bullying website for eye-catching products that feature the winning logo design!

http://www.antibullyingflag.ca/