The BC Hotel Association (BCHA) was established on April 9th, 1917. While the details of our very early years are not as concrete, the impact that our organization and our members have had across the province is clear. Formed following the first convention of the Hotel Innkeeper’s Association of the Dominion of Canada in Winnipeg in September 1913, the BCHA shaped the foundation of the province’s hospitality industry. As more people filtered into and through BC, regional hotel keepers saw a need for a unified approach to the challenges they faced in this new economic climate. While there may have been few formal properties in the beginning, those in operation offered all the amenities and pleasures of the time.
It is well known that the history of the accommodation industry is often closely tied to that of liquor, and the BCHA’s origins are no different. In 1924 a bill was passed in the legislature, giving hotels the exclusive right to sell beer by the glass. This regulation gave way to a boom of hotel construction to keep up with the licenses issued to sell draft beer. The close link between liquor and hotels was further cemented in a 1943 Colonist advertisement and public service announcement from the BCHA that stated the association’s commitment to advocating for the hospitality industry as a whole.