Celebrate National Flag of Canada Day

Queen Elizabeth Park Flag Raising Ceremony – The Legacy of Jack Braverman

The national flag of Canada was inaugurated on February 15, 1965. Officially called National Flag of Canada Day, or Flag Day, this day commemorates the inauguration of the Canadian national flag.

Special public events are held across the country. Here at home, The City of Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, with full support by The Canadian Club of Vancouver, is inviting local citizens to attend a special flag raising ceremony. Our nation’s flag will be raised at Queen Elizabeth Park, at Vancouver’s highest peak.

(Queen Elizabeth Park. Source: Shutterstock)

In loving memory of Jack Braverman, and to honour his important legacy, The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman and her mother and The Flag Shop Founder, Doreen Braverman, donated the new 60’ flag pole and Canada flag, being raised for the first time at the event. For as long as Susan owns the company, The Flag Shop has committed to donating all future 6′ x 12′ Canada flags for this flagpole, in honour of Jack’s memory.

(Jack, Susan and Doreen Braverman)

Jack Braverman was a very special man. He was a true Sales legend, who demonstrated sincere respect for every person with whom he came in contact. He was all about what he called relationship selling: The relationships he forged with others mattered more to him than making the sale. This was his true gift. And, Susan is his living legacy, cultivating heart connections with her team and clients, achieving success by the same approach as her Dad! It’s no wonder at all that he was immensely proud of what she has accomplished!

He also understood that every person on the team brought immeasurable value and each one played a vital role. While he was the guy who closed the deal, Jack always acknowledged there were many others who worked together to make it all happen. He was known for making lifelong connections with his clients, and will forever be remembered for his spirit of generosity, giving of his time and demonstrating genuine care for others.

Jack deeply loved his family, who learned so much from him about the value and impact of giving back. Throughout his life, he was a pillar in the community and he modeled outstanding examples of benevolence and caring. This is his legacy.

Join the Braverman family and The Flag Shop team on February 15 at noon, at Queen Elizabeth Park, and be a part of a very special flag raising ceremony. There will be musical performances by Dixie Strollers Brass Band and the Nootka Elementary School Choir, as well as a fireworks display.

In this important year in history, the Canadian flag is celebrating its 52nd anniversary. And, 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation! http://bit.ly/2kKOvi2

New Westminster Yesterday and Today

The city symbols and the history

Gold Rush
The Fraser River Gold Rush began in 1858 and New Westminster was built in 1859 on the site of a Kwantlen native people’s village. Under the British colonial governor, Sir James Douglas, New Westminster was incorporated in 1860, and is Western Canada’s oldest incorporated city. The new capital of British Columbia was given its name by Queen Victoria, in honour of her favourite district in London. New Westminster is still known as “The Royal City” today.

The Great Fire of 1898 destroyed New Westminster’s downtown core, wiping out businesses, warehouses, wharfs and steamboats along the waterfront. By 1910, the city had been rebuilt, with an electric railway connecting New Westminster with Chilliwack. The Canadian National Railway arrived a few years later in 1915.

New Westminster Fire in 1898
(The New Westminster post office after the fire of September 11, 1898. Source: Library and Archives Canada.)

Modern Day New West
In the 1980s, the redevelopment of the Fraser River waterfront began and included growing neighbourhoods and the building of the Westminster Quay public market. In 1981, Irving House was designated New Westminster’s first heritage site. Then, in 1986, the SkyTrain rapid transit link connected New West to Vancouver, coinciding with Vancouver hosting Expo ‘86.

City of New Westminster
(Downtown New Westminster and Westminster Quay. Source: Tourism New Westminster.)

Coat of Arms - New WestminsterSymbolism of the Coat of Arms and Flag of New Westminster
The coat of arms and flag presented to the city by the Governor General of Canada in 1992 are a unique expression of the City’s natural and historic heritage.

The city flag is modeled after the national flag, with blue bars on each side and the shield of the city’s arm in the centre. The shield is based on the emblem drawn by Corporate White of the Royal Engineers, which was adopted by City Council in 1860, the year of incorporation. The flag contains symbols evoking the situation and economy of the young settlement in colonial British Columbia: transport by sailing ship, the agriculture of the lower Fraser valley, the natural heritage and wealth of the great coastal forests and the salmon riches of the Fraser River.

City of New Westminster Flag

Want to show your pride in your municipality? Get your municipal flag from The Flag Shop.

Rare Disease Foundation

The moment we received the quote request from the Rare Disease Foundation, we knew we wanted to do our part to support them.  So, we supplied them with the best quality feather flags and banners, manufactured here at our Vancouver plant, at the lowest price possible!

What an honour to work with the Rare Disease Foundation, which upholds important values in their daily work. These include focus on research and programs to the benefit of those living with or affected by rare diseases; working with purpose to revolutionize rare disease care; creating like-minded communities across Canada, offering a sense of belonging and hope; and celebrating the resiliency of the community they serve.

Late last year, the foundation was in attendance at the Lace Up for Kids event co-hosted by the UBC Student Recreation Department and the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. The proceeds from this important annual event fund ongoing rare disease research efforts by the Rare Disease Foundation.

And more recently, we worked with the foundation again, creating the custom tent canopy, which will be displayed at events throughout the year, including International Rare Disease Day and other important events, such as their annual Family Picnic, planned for next summer at Burnaby Village Museum.


We have a soft spot for all children and recognize we have a collective social responsibility to give kids the best chance at a bright future.

Check outRare is Everywhere”, a beautiful children’s book which illustrates and celebrates genetically rare animals such as the pink grasshopper white tiger, brown panda, blue lobster, black jaguar and many others. The lyrical text highlights the beauty of each animal and encourages children to celebrate our differences, which make us unique and beautiful!  http://bit.ly/1knxMhn


Happy New Year!

The Flag Shop would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful time with family, friends and loved ones. 2017 has finally arrived and like every New Year, it brings anticipation and an expectant hope for things to come!

This time of the year is filled with moments of celebration, reflection and resolutions – all of which are great for inspiration! As we look ahead to an amazing year, we know 2017 will be full of historic events and celebrations from coast to coast to coast as we, the citizens of our great country, celebrate Canada 150! How awesome to show our love and pride for the best country in the world!!

And, The Flag Shop team is beyond excited, because we absolutely thrive on taking the best care of our customers and clients, creating memorable shared experiences, while learning new things and growing even more!  And, in the true Canadian spirit of caring for our neighbours, The Flag Shop will continue to seek important opportunities to making a difference in the communities where we live and work!

Canada is a diverse, rich and dynamic country with a population of more than 34 million sharing a vast land, with many diverse cultures and thriving, vibrant communities. Since Confederation in 1867, Canada has seen progress, growth and change, and continues to be a leader in the global community! This is an important time in our history when all Canadians will stand together and take pride in our Canadian heritage, considering the true meaning of what it is to be Canadian.

To learn more about Canada 150, visit here.

Working with Heritage Canada, The Flag Shop is proud to be an Official Licensed Merchandiser of Canada 150 products!  Our design and production teams have been planning and working for a year, and we are ready to support your events with an exciting stock products line. Check back often to see the latest and greatest!


Merry Christmas!

Festive Street Banners for St. George, NB

The Town of St. George, New Brunswick held its annual Santa Claus Parade last weekend and families came out to enjoy the festivities, which included skating and hot chocolate with Santa.

St. George has a population of 1,500 and is the centre of the largest aquaculture industry in North America, harvesting Atlantic salmon, scallops, herring, clams and lobster from the icy waters of the Bay of Fundy.

This Christmas, the people of St. George are celebrating the kids in the area, who submitted Christmas-themed coloured drawings, as part of a special street banner project. Local schools were invited to participate and were encouraged to create group and individual drawings.

Town of St. George Banners

More than 80 drawings were submitted, mostly by individuals. The original plan was to install 14 banners, with the same design on each side. Due to the exceptional response, St. George increased their banner numbers to double the original plan, for a total of 28, and had a different street banner displayed on each side. Families in town are so proud of the all the kids who participated, as well as the beautiful creations, which add to the festive holiday spirit in town. The community response to these beautiful and unique banners has been heart-warming! “These are so beautiful! What an amazing idea and I can’t imagine how the kids feel seeing their Christmas pictures around town like that!” said Diane Lee, a local resident of St. George. Dawn Borthwick Clark, also of St. George said, “I noticed these tonight as I was driving through….. LOVE THEM! Thank you to our kids and our brilliant town!”

Town of St. George Banners

Visit the Town of St. George’s website to see more of their beautifully decorated streets.

Stars on Broadway

The West Broadway Business Improvement Association (WBBIA) represents more than 300 businesses and property owners on West Broadway between Collingwood and Larch, in Vancouver, BC.

A BIA is Born –
It was back in 2011, that a group of West Broadway businesses submitted a proposal to municipal council to be designated as a Business Improvement Area (BIA). Through this designation, the business community would agree to join together to bring improvements to the area. All businesses were consulted and a special bylaw was passed. This was the beginning of the WBBIA.

A Star is Born–

(Well, actually, 70+ stars!)

Last month, the WBBIA launched its Stars on Broadway initiative to acknowledge and celebrate business owners who have been serving their community for 20 years or more. Some of The Flag Shop staff were in attendance at a special launch event, and were honoured to be a part of the celebration!

And, there’s a great deal to celebrate with over 70 long-time business owners operating storefronts on West Broadway! The vibrant and diverse neighbourhood is home to many businesses bound together by the WBBIA, to help create the fabric of the community which we enjoy today. With too many to list entirely, here’s a snapshot of WBBIA honourees:

Ace Cycles Since 1946
Founded by Lorne Atkinson, Ace Cycles was born out of a love of cycling. For Lorne, being a celebrated cyclist and talented mechanic, it was a natural fit to take over an existing bike shop on West Broadway and make it his own. He loves the neighbourhood so much he even moved his family there. Says Lorne’s daughter Jan, “We all love the natural beauty and the welcoming neighbourhood.” A real family business, many Ace Cycles customers are not only first-, but second and third generation.

Finn’s On Broadway – Since 1952
For nearly 65 years, Finn’s on Broadway has been fitting men in quality clothing. Though the quality brands they carry have changed and evolved over the past decades, two things have remained: their commitment to quality and to providing excellent service.

The Sunshine Diner – Since 1970
This diner is rich with history, having originally been named Sunshine Cafe back in 1970. Today, “The Sunshine” remains in the heart of Kitsilano in Vancouver, – or what the owners like to call “home sweet home.” Owned by the Pantsios family for over 21 years, they are proud to serve quality ingredients while providing excellent service.

The Toybox – Since 1972
The Toybox has been a Kitsilano landmark for decades. “Kitsilano customers are perfect for the specialty retail business,” says, owner Gary Mussatto. “They tend to care more about the quality of products and less about what’s popular on television.” When the store moved across the street from its original location, it was transformed into a toy factory, complete with conveyor belts, painting and wrapping machines and even a secret tunnel.

Omega Travel Since 1974
Nick Panos opened Omega Travel in the heart of Vancouver’s Greek town in Kitsilano. Initially established to help the members of the Hellenic community travel to Greece to spend the holidays with their families, Omega Travel has evolved over the last 40+ years to become one of Western Canada’s leading travel agencies. Nick is a founding and current Board member of the West Broadway BIA, a co-founder of Greek Day and serves as a long-standing member of the Hellenic Congress of BC.

Bellissima Fashions S ince 1975
Bellissima proudly opened its first location in 1975. Situated on Pender Street in downtown Vancouver, husband and wife team, River and Serena worked hard to grow their small business. Providing fabulous styles ranging from casual wear to formal, and specializing in business casual, customers are sure to find everything they need, from the perfect evening dress to comfortable and stylish outfits for the weekend. Today, Bellissima is still a family run business which has grown from one location, with a staff of four, to 22 stores across Canada, employing over 400. 

Kidsbooks – Since 1983
Phyllis Simon decided to take her love of children’s literature and her librarian’s skills and venture out into the business world. Kidsbooks started small and grew slowly to take on more challenges as the bookstore grew. What remained consistent throughout the decades was the owner’s belief that books have a certain inexplicable magic and that paper books with actual pages would endure, even in view of the technology of today’s world.    

Broadway International Wine Shop Since 1986
Established in 1986, with a limited inventory in a modest space, this shop was one of the first private wine stores in BC, not to mention the first in Kitsilano! “We love the neighbourhood, the people and the history,” says Rosina. “Our customers and long-time neighbours are like family. They have seen us grow up, we’ve all grown up together.” Originally started by their parents, siblings Jason and Rosina Li, with Christopher Reid, continue the family legacy with passion and enthusiasm. They love to collaborate with like-minded businesses to host tastings and events, and share their love of good wine, and good company.

Nat’s Pizza – Since 1992
Owned by Nat and Franco Bastone, Nat’s New York Pizzeria’s thin-crust, Neapolitan-style pizza originated in Nat and Franco’s great-, great-, great- grandmother’s kitchen in Naples, Italy back in the 1900s. In 1991, Nat and Franco traveled to Yonkers in New York to learn the 100-year old family secret behind hand-tossed pizza and the famous sauce. They returned to Vancouver and proudly introduced their family’s thin-crust pizza to Kitsilano in 1992. 

The Stars on Broadway initiative includes new street banners which can be seen adorning the neighbourhood, reflecting the vibrant local personalities who comprise the longest-running WBBIA membership. These beautiful banners were created in partnership with Emily Carr students and local artists from BrainBoost Education. The Flag Shop Vancouver was deeply inspired by the sense of community, the creativity and the commitment to supporting its members – all demonstrated by the WBBIA. The street banners tell the story of the neighbourhood. The story is about the power and impact of local enterprise. It’s about endurance. It’s about the sense of community in the area. The story is about people joining together to make a difference.  And the moral of the story is: “Small businesses matter!”


Visit kitsonbroadway.com for helpful links and contacts.
Visit bia.bc.ca for more information about BIAs in BC.

The Canadian Club of Vancouver – A Local Mainstay

Canadian Club Vancouver - Celebrating 110 Years

It’s been a great year for The Canadian Club of Vancouver! The Club had its beginnings 110 years ago, in 1906. In the 1920s, The Club was a leader in a local initiative to erect a cenotaph in Victory Square, honouring Canadian war veterans.

Actively pursuing its goals to foster fellowship among people, and encouraging the celebration of the Canadian identity while creating dialogue around matters of national significance, the Canadian Club of Vancouver continues to be a community leader today.

And, though the Club has evolved since its founding, it continues to focus on hosting meaningful events featuring guest speakers who share knowledge, insights and personal pride in Canadian pursuits. The Club is also involved in important citizenship ceremonies for new Canadians, as well as in hosting the BC-Resident Order of Canada Luncheon.

Earlier this month, The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman, along with her mother Doreen, The Flag Shop founder, together with key corporate staff, were hosted by Raymond Greenwood, President of The Canadian Club of Vancouver.  On December 2, over 100 guests gathered at The Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Vancouver, to share an afternoon with the renowned CBC chief correspondent, and lead anchor of The National,
Peter Mansbridge, OC.

Peter Mansbridge

Even in view of his outstanding achievements and accolades in journalism, there is a certain humility about Peter Mansbridge. In the same way that he has been a dinner guest in our homes for decades sharing the evening news, there is a warm familiarity with his signature voice, as well as the manner with which he lets his stories unfold before his audience. We hung on every word. He shared many captivating stories, told with compelling detail, three of which addressed the meaning of being Canadian. He made the audience laugh uproariously – and he made us beam with personal pride in our Canadian heritage.

The event also featured the Henry Hudson Elementary Intermediate Choir, comprised of students ranging from Grades 4 to 7. The young choir sang traditional Christmas carols and, at the start of the event, performed the Canadian National Anthem.

Canadian Club Vancouver

Textile Image Inc. | The Flag Shop is a proud sponsor of The Canadian Club of Vancouver and looks forward to supporting banner events in 2017, including Canada 150 celebrations and the 50th Anniversary celebration of The Order of Canada.

Please visit Canadian Club of Vancouver’s website for membership information and sponsorship opportunities.

In Memory of Whitney Smith, PhD

The Flag Shop is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Whitney Smith, on November 17, taken too soon by Alzheimer’s disease, at the age of 76.

Whitney Smith
(Whitney Smith holding the flag of Guyana, which was based on his design.)

Dr. Smith was the President Emeritus, founder and first president of the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA). He was passionate about the pursuit of knowledge of flags, as well as the advancement of the formal study and analysis of flags, coining the term “vexillology.” Throughout his life, he dedicated himself to the pursuit of all things relating to flags. Whitney was truly the greatest of his time and through the work of NAVA, he gave flags immeasurable significance in today’s culture.

As a small boy, Whitney became obsessed with flags and his enthusiasm only grew with the passage of time. In 1961, Dr. Smith and his colleague Gerhard Grahl co-founded the world’s first journal on the subject of flags: The Flag Bulletin #234, and a year later, in 1962, he established The Flag Research Center, as its director and all The Flag Shop locations across Canada came to rely on him for his knowledge and expertise. Indeed, he became known internationally as the foremost vexillological expert, providing influential knowledge about all aspects of flags.

The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman recalls first meeting Dr. Smith at the age of 13, and says, “I absolutely loved Whitney!! He was bigger than life with a gentle spirit. Growing up, I remember, as a child that no one knew more about flags than Whitney. He was so passionate about sharing his knowledge and was a dear friend to our Flag Shop family! I will miss him so much!”

Whitney Smith
(Susan Braverman with Whitney and her mother, Doreen, the founder of The Flag Shop.)

Throughout his amazing career, he authored scores of books including Flags through the Ages and Across the World, The Flag Book of the United States and Flag Lore of All Nations. He also wrote more than 250 articles for the Encyclopedia Britannica. It was Whitney’s books that gave a name and deeper significance to what we do. His passion paved the way, sparking interest and dialogue among flag enthusiasts the world over.

Dr. Smith was the designer of flags such as the national flag of Guyana. As Guyana was emerging from British colonial rule, Smith wrote a letter to an independence leader and asked what the new country’s flag was going look like. He learned that a flag had not yet been designed and was asked for ideas. Whitney designed a prototype, depicting a golden arrow-like triangle with an overlapping red triangle against a green background. The flag was adopted, with minor modifications. Dr. Smith learned about the adoption of his flag design six years later, when Guyana gained formal independence.

Before the age of the internet, he was the forefather of the flag movement in North America and internationally. Whitney was known for designing the flag for the Saudi Navy and for advising the Smithsonian Institution about the preservation of the Star-Spangled Banner which flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Dr. Smith also contributed to the design of flags for the islands of Bonaire and Aruba. In his lifetime, his vast collection exceeded 4,000 flags.

The Flag Shop extends deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr. Whitney Smith. He will be missed by flag buffs, experts and vexillologists around the world.

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs

The Flag Shop is proud to work with organizations supporting vital programs which improve the quality of life for individuals. One such example is the supply of special custom lapel pins, vinyl stickers and retractable banners for events and projects of BC & Alberta Guide Dogs.

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Custom Lapel Pins
(Custom lapel pins for BC & Alberta Guide Dogs)

The mission of BC & Alberta Guide Dogs is to meet the growing demand for professionally trained Guide Dogs and Autism Support Dogs for citizens of British Columbia and Alberta, while meeting or exceeding industry standards.

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs, is celebrating 20 amazing years of making a difference in the lives of individuals with visual impairments and autism. This past summer, BC & Alberta Guide Dogs held its 20th Anniversary Volunteer Celebration Luncheon at Tsawwassen Springs in Delta, BC. At the event, volunteers were recognized, including over 130 supporters who contributed at least 5 years of service, all the way up to 20 years!

And earlier this month, BC & Alberta Guide Dogs celebrated with the Pacific Autism Family Network in Richmond, BC, who held its Grand Opening event. For additional Information about upcoming events in BC and Alberta, visit the events page.

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Retractable Banners
(Retractable Banners for BC & Alberta Guide Dogs. Left: 20th Anniversary Volunteer Celebration Luncheon; Right: In partnership with Pacific Autism Family Network)

Quality of life has been immeasurably transformed for countless individuals, such as Sarah and her family.

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Brady
Sarah was diagnosed with autism at the age of two years. She didn’t like going out in public. The sounds and people were simply too overwhelming for her. Her behaviors made getting through the day a difficult struggle. Everything changed when Sarah met her best friend, protector, companion, therapist, and brother. From the minute Brady walked into our home, he changed our lives forever! Watching the two of them together was amazing!

Of Brady, she said, “I’ll never be lonely again as long as I have my trusted furry friend!” To say thank you to all of the people responsible for bringing Brady into our lives seems so inadequate. BC & Alberta Guide Dogs has given us a gift that has brought such joy and happiness! Brady has changed our family forever. Our daughter is happy and safe. The quality of her life has improved beyond anything we could have ever hoped for. We are so very grateful!

Visit the BC & Alberta Guide Dogs website to read more stories of impact or to learn about volunteering opportunities.

Courage and Sacrifice in the Name of Peace

We Will Remember

Courage and Sacrifice in the Name of Peace
Commemorate Remembrance Day – Honour Our Heroes

On November 11, we remember the men and women who fought to preserve the tradition of freedom which Canadians enjoy every day. These heroes believed their actions would leave a lasting legacy of freedom for future generations. We must all do our part to ensure their dream of peace is realized. On Remembrance Day, we honour them for their ultimate sacrifice and pay homage to the courage of those who served their country in the name of peace for all nations.

The Flag Shop takes pride in working with our clients and in knowing that the work we do makes a real difference in the lives of those we touch. Here are two examples:

Operation Veteran
The Flag Shop Montreal proudly supports Operation Veteran supplying hundreds of flags in support of this important program, since 2009.

Operation Veteran was founded By Dr. Paul Kavanagh in partnership with the Canadian War Museum with the goal of providing complimentary meal vouchers to all Canadian military veterans who visit the museum.

The work of Operation Veteran pays tribute to the men and women who have served our nation, and helps us to remember our fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives to ensure freedom for future generations. All veterans visiting the museum are offered a meal voucher valued at $11 in honour of Remembrance Day. Since the first voucher was offered in 2009, more than 10,200 veterans have enjoyed a complimentary meal while visiting the museum.

Operation Veteran: Elias & Victoria Interview Dr. Kavanagh

George Derby Centre
The Flag Shop Vancouver acknowledges the work of the George Derby Centre, of Burnaby BC. This intermediate care facility provides residential care to veterans of the Armed Forces. The centre was built over 50 years ago, originally as a rehabilitation centre for young disabled veterans returning from the war. Today, the centre provides essential residential care to war veterans in its 300-bed facility.

The George Derby Centre relies on community support in the form of volunteerism and important funding efforts, such as the Pledge a Flag campaign. The goal of this event is to heighten public awareness of the importance of meeting the social and medical needs of our war heroes. All community support positively impacts the quality of life for veteran residents. Thousands of Canada flags, – symbols of Canadian patriotism and pride – are pledged, and include visits by community school students from Cariboo Secondary School and Armstrong Elementary School.

George Derby Centre

George Derby Centre

George Derby Centre

Interested in knowing more about other Remembrance Day events in your area?
Learn more by visiting the Veterans Affairs Canada website, which includes an interactive map of Remembrance Day events across Canada.

The Flag Shop proudly carries a full range of Canadian-made Remembrance Day products to honour veterans and pay tribute to our fallen heroes, as well as ensigns and military flags.