Vancouver City Council

Civic Awards

Freedom of the City

Book of FreedomsThe Freedom of the City is the highest award given by the City of Vancouver. Reserved for individuals of exceedingly high merit, it is given only in exceptional cases, usually to someone who has gained national and international acclaim in the arts, business or philanthropy, and who has brought recognition to Vancouver through his or her achievements.

Nominations for the award are submitted by members of City Council, and are considered at an in-camera meeting. According to the Vancouver Charter Globe (Section 205) these nominations must be approved by unanimous vote of Council.

The City began recognizing individuals with the Freedom of the City Award in 1936. Recipients of the award are recognized during a special ceremony at Council, which consists of the reading and presentation of a framed scroll, the Freedom Medal and a decal that permits free parking at City parking meters.

Recipients have their names inscribed in the Book of Freedoms and are entitled to be called Freeman of the City of Vancouver.

Chronological list of Freedom of the City recipients


Civic Merit Award

Civic Merit BookThe Civic Merit Award recognizes individuals for outstanding achievement in a particular field of endeavour — be it sports, science, arts or culture — within the city and the province, or in recognition of a specific service. Like the Freedom of the City award, City Council must vote unanimously to give the Civic Merit Award.

The City began awarding the Civic Merit Award in 1942. Recipients are recognized during a ceremony at Council, in which the Mayor reads a resolution on the recipient's achievements and presents the Civic Merit Medallion and a bound, calligraphed copy of the Resolution.

Recipients' names are inscribed in the Civic Merit book.

Chronological list of Civic Merit recipients