Canadian Heraldic Authority
The Authority's principal objective is to ensure that all Canadians who wish to use heraldry will have access to it. It also encourages good heraldic practice in Canada by working to the highest standards of the art form and by developing research and registration procedures that are consistent with an international level of excellence.
The Authority's major activities include: granting of new armorial bearings (arms, flags and badges) and native symbols; registration of recognized existing arms, flags and badges; approval of military badges, flags and other insignia of the Canadian Forces; provision of information on heraldic artists who work in various media; and development of, and involvement in, national and regional heraldic ceremonies. These ceremonies, incidentally, may involve the Governor General, who may personally present the new coat of arms and sign the grant document. With few exceptions, only documents the Governor General has personally presented to corporate bodies bear his signature; others are signed by officers of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
The Canadian Heraldic Authority is headed by the Governor General and administered by several officers: the Herald Chancellor (who is the Secretary to the Governor General), the Deputy Herald Chancellor (who is the Deputy Secretary, Chancellery of Honours), and the Chief Herald of Canada (Director of Heraldry and the senior heraldic professional). They are supported by other officers: Saint-Laurent Herald (Registrar and custodian of the Authority's seal), Fraser Herald (the Authority's principal artist), and the other Heralds. For more information, see Officers and Heralds of Arms.
Requests for new arms or registrations of existing arms take the form of a "petition" addressed to the Chief Herald of Canada, who must assess and approve the request before a warrant for the grant can be signed by the Herald Chancellor or the Deputy Herald Chancellor. A herald then works with the petitioner to create a design, which is then rendered artistically, in two separate stages, by an artist assigned by the Authority. Completed grant or registration documents are recorded in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada, and the notice of the grant or registration is published in the Canada Gazette.
For details of this process, please go to the Procedure Guide.