Fonds AM1556 - Society Promoting Environmental Conservation fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Society Promoting Environmental Conservation fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the fonds.

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Physical description

10.27 m of textual records and other material

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Biographical history

The Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, or SPEC, was established in January, 1969 by Bernard Hagell, Dr. Robin Harger, John Haywood, Ralph Lundahl, Derrick Mallard, Gwen Mallard, Larry McConnell, John Stigant, Dr. A. Turnbull and others. On October 10, 1969 the organization was incorporated as the Canadian Scientific Pollution and Environmental Control Society of British Columbia, making it one of the oldest environmental organizations in Canada. SPEC is a non-profit charitable organization run by volunteers. SPEC was formed to promote the preservation of the environment through the provision of information intended to increase the public's awareness of environmental issues, conducting research and consulting with industry, labour, government and academic communities. SPEC functions through its membership and an elected Board of Directors. In December, 1969 SPEC opened its first office and information centre in Burnaby. SPEC was responsible for establishing the first recycling depots in BC, and for founding the Recycling Council of British Columbia, or RCBC in 1974. SPEC was successful in helping to prevent the development of nuclear power plants on Vancouver Island as a member of the BC Know Nuclear Coalition. SPEC participated in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Uranium Mining (February 16, 1979 - February 27, 1980) opposing proposals to develop uranium mines in BC. In 1981 SPEC s name was changed to the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, first suggested in 1979 by Vice-President Tony Pearse at the Annual General Meeting of that year. In August, 1981 SPEC established an energy information center at 2150 Maple Street to demonstrate energy saving methods and devices such as solar technology, and low energy lighting with funding support from the provincial and federal government.

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, SPEC continued its advocacy work for government, industry audiences, and the wider public. Projects included protesting against power plants and offshore oil operations, improving public transportation systems, protecting drinking water and reducing the use of household hazardous waste and pesticides. In 2011, SPEC was located at 2060 Maple Street and in 2014 moved to its current space at 2305 West 7th Avenue.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of annual reports, budgets, meeting minutes, policies, correspondence, court records, proposals, research reports, publications, and subject files generated by SPEC in the course of carrying out its functions and activities. Arranged into the following series: administrative and financial records; board minutes and committee records; correspondence; court proceedings; directors files; projects, programs and events; reports, publications and newspapers; research and inquiry files; subject files and photographs.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from Society Promoting Environmental Conservation in 2009 and 2011. A donation by Ken Pattern was also made in 2022.


Some photographs in this fonds have been assigned item numbers with the prefix "CVA 1556"
Two textual records in Series 7 have also been assigned item numbers, 2009-103.1 and 2009-103.2

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Restrictions on access

Access to some records in this fonds is restricted due to Archives policy. Records contain personal information about identifiable individuals. Researchers must complete an ‘Access to restricted records’ agreement and may be required to provide additional documentation. See archivist for details.

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Physical description

Fonds includes ca. 1,000 photographs, 8 maps, 1 technical drawing, 12 posters, 2 buttons, and 1 postcard

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