Maintaining the Protocols & Traditions of UBC

Ceremonies and Events functions as the Protocol Office of The University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. Not only does Ceremonies and Events maintain the protocols and traditions of the University, it is also responsible for protocol expertise for special international visitors to the campus such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Canadian dignitaries including the Governor-General, the Lieutenant-Governor of BC and senior government officials.

Ceremonies and Events works very closely with the Offices of the President, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, and other departments in ensuring that the appropriate attention is paid to visits of Canadian and international dignitaries to the Okanagan campus.

VIP Visits

Usually, Ceremonies and Events is made aware of visits of high-ranking officials through the President’s Office, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal’s Office or the BC Protocol Office. Occasionally, departments or faculties initiate an invitation to a high-level official and the invitation is accepted. It is preferable if Ceremonies and Events can be brought into the planning for such a visit prior to the invitation being extended. However, as early as possible in the planning, Ceremonies and Events should be advised and engaged for advice and guidance. Depending on the official and the nature of the visit, the Ceremonies Office may assist with the coordination.

Ceremonies and Events also provides guidance regarding general protocol questions such as flags, staging, order of precedence, speaking order and seating.

Flag Protocol

Ceremonies and Events is responsible for the protocol around the use of and (when required) the lowering of the Canadian, BC, UBC and Okanagan Nation Alliance flags on campus.

For the Rules for Flying the Canadian Flag, visit the Canadian Heritage site.

The rules for flying other flags are based on the Rules for Flying the Canadian Flag. Please contact Ceremonies and Events if you have questions regarding flag protocol or if you wish to borrow flags for your campus event. See the Event Resources page for more details.

Syilx Okanagan Nation

In consultation with colleagues at Musqueam and the Syilx Okanagan Nation, and at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan, UBC Ceremonies and Events has developed the following land acknowledgements to be used during the COVID-19 period for virtual events.  Please include these acknowledgements in your virtual events where you would have otherwise included a land acknowledgement during an in-person event or gathering:

PDF – Guidelines – Acknowledging the Syilx Okanagan Nation  at Virtual Ceremonies and Events

PDF – Guidelines – Acknowledging the Syilx Okanagan Nation at In-Person Ceremonies and Events

For more information about these protocols and the language used:


To learn more about Indigenous Engagement at UBC Okanagan, please follow this link

UBC Honorary Degree Protocol

Each year, UBC awards honorary degrees to individuals who reflect the university’s vision to inspire people, ideas and actions for a better world and who have made substantial contributions to society. Guidelines have been developed to provide information to the UBC community and honorary degree holders on how and when to refer to the honour in title and style of address.

PDF – Titles, Styles and Address for Honorary Degree Recipients 

For more information about UBC’s Honorary Degree recipients, please visit our graduation website.