Ceremonies and Protocol

We create experiences to remember for our campus community, and steward traditions and protocol for the Okanagan campus.

The Ceremonies and Protocol Office coordinates the University’s ceremonial, recognition and university-wide special events at the Okanagan Campus.

It is the main office responsible for the Spring Convocation ceremonies, working very closely with many other units on campus to ensure that the graduating students and their families and friends have an experience to remember.

The office maintains the University’s traditions and protocol. It also provides advice for and coordinates events relating to high-level visitors and flag protocol.

The team collaborates with the offices of the Chancellor, UBC Board of Governors, President and Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, and Development and Alumni Engagement to produce events that bring distinction to campus.

The office also works closely with UBC Vancouver colleagues in Ceremonies and Protocol to coordinate institution-wide events.


Graduation procession walking through the courtyard


How we support ubco

We coordinate the University’s ceremonial recognition and VIP events in support of the University’s Strategic Plan.


Ceremonies and Protocol is the main office responsible for the Graduation (Convocation) ceremonies. Held in the gym, the ceremonies include the conferring of academic and honorary degrees. Learn more about UBC Okanagan Graduation.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge unveil a plaque during their 2016 visit to UBC OkanaganVIP VISITS

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

Recent VIP visits and events have included:

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Each year, Ceremonies and Protocol leads the planning of several formal, university-wide events. We also provide advice and guidance to other Okanagan campus event-planning teams.

Explore UBC Okanagan Event Planning Resources.


Length of Service Recognition Reception
These annual receptions recognize staff and faculty who have achieved 15–40+ years of service.

UBC Okanagan Welcome Back Faculty & Staff BBQ and Information Fair
Each September, the University welcomes UBCO faculty and staff to the new academic year. More than 500 staff enjoy lunch, live entertainment and information booths.

Two UBCO staff members chat at a UBC event

Staff Recognition Awards
The Staff Awards Program includes the President’s Service Award for Excellence (PSAE) and the Staff Awards of Excellence.

Faculty Award Receptions
A number of events are held through-out the year to acknowledge the achievements of faculty, including the Awards for Teaching Excellence and Innovation.

Learn more about Faculty and Staff Recognition.


Society of Scholars Reception
This annual event recognizes students for their achievements and is coordinated in conjunction with Student Experience Office. Learn about the Society of Scholars.


Annual and special events to recognize members of the community for their support of the university are coordinated in conjunction with Development and Alumni Engagement.

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Ceremonies and Protocol functions as the Protocol Office of The University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus.

Not only does Ceremonies and Protocol 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, and Canadian dignitaries including the Governor-General, the Lieutenant-Governor of BC and senior government officials.

The office works very closely with the Offices of the President, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, and other departments to ensure appropriate attention is paid to visits of Canadian and international dignitaries.

Flags in UBCO courtyard


Ceremonies and Protocol 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 in the main courtyard. 

Learn more about Flag Protocol.


UBC has developed Indigenous Peoples: Language Guidelines which includes land acknowledgements for both in-person and virtual events.

Learn more about Indigenous Engagement at UBC Okanagan


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.

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

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