In Canada, the Canadian Heraldic Authority manages the official creation of coats of arms, flags and badges. All Canadian citizens and organizations (municipalities, schools, associations, etc.) can contact the chief herald of Canada to have heraldic emblems created for them. A grant of armorial bearings is an honour conferred within the Canadian Honours System in recognition of service to the community.
Due to a significant increase in the demand, all new petitions will be placed on a waitlist until 15 May 2023 at the earliest. Please also note that our file backlog has lengthened the duration of each of the steps outlined here.
- Opening of the file
Duration: 2 to 5 months
- You fill out the online application form.
- After reception of your application, we will contact you to obtain the relevant documents to complete your file. Which documents will I need to provide?
- As the creation of heraldic emblems is part of the Canadian Honours System, you need to have contributed to the well-being of your community to be granted heraldic emblems.
- The chief herald of Canada reviews your request and makes a recommendation to the deputy herald chancellor, who then signs a warrant permitting the grant to be made to you.
- An invoice for the processing fee is sent to you. Consult the Price List.
- Research and written concept
Duration: 2 to 4 months
- A herald works with you to determine the themes to be included in your emblems.
- The chief herald of Canada reviews and approves the concept developed by the herald.
- A written proposal, including all of the design elements and their significance, is sent to you for your approval.
- Preliminary artwork
Duration: 3 to 5 months
- You sign a contract with an artist of the CHA.
- The CHA artist creates a colour illustration of your arms, flag and/or badge.
- This preliminary artwork is sent to you for your approval, along with the artist’s invoice.
- Final art and calligraphy of the grant document
Duration: 3 to 4 months
- You choose one of two formats for the grant document.
- You sign two contracts for artists of the CHA to do the final painting and the calligraphy on the grant document.
- The artist paints your heraldic emblems; the artist’s invoice is sent then to you.
- The calligrapher adds the text to the grant document; the calligrapher’s invoice is then sent to you.
- The chief herald of Canada seals the document and signs it joined by witnesses.
- Mailing, publication and protection
- The grant document, symbolism page and photographs of the emblems are mailed to you once all payments have been received by the painter and the calligrapher.
- In the following 6 to 12 months, the emblems are added to the online version of the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada.
- The granted emblems are protected by copyright, but on request the CHA can also arrange for their trademark registration with you paying the registration fees.