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Do you know....

  • How to address the City of Edmonton’s Mayor?
  • Why flags are flown at half-mast or raised to mark special days?
  • You can request a military retirement letter from our military liaison, with the Edmonton Salutes Committee?
Protocol Office and Services

The Protocol Office provides leadership and coordination in the City's ceremonial, protocol and diplomatic activities.

The Protocol Office strives to profile the City in a politically and culturally sensitive and positive manner. This Office is responsible for a portfolio of events, activities and services that benefit, promote, celebrate or enhance the City of Edmonton in accordance with international standards and practices.

Our Services

  • Visit coordination and hosting for delegations and official visitors
  • Provide gifts and information for national/international visits
  • Provide direction and advice for flag etiquette, speaking order, seating arrangements and styles of address
  • Provide direction and advice through the Edmonton Salutes Committee to maintain and enhance the bond between the City of Edmonton and the local military community
  • Coordinate and provide direction for Council Protocol items initiated by the Mayor and Council
  • Support City of Edmonton ceremonial events and related major events
How to Address the Mayor, Councillors & Dignitaries

Addressing the Mayor

When introducing: His Worship Mayor Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton

In correspondence:

His Worship Don Iveson
Mayor, City of Edmonton
2nd Floor, City Hall
1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7

Salutation: Sir

Note: In conversation or at official occasions, use "Your Worship"; less formal is "Mayor Iveson".

Addressing the Councillors

When introducing, in correspondence: Councillor First Name Last Name

Note: In conversation or at official occasions, use "Councillor Last Name"

Styles of Address for Alberta Provincial Dignitaries

Mailing Address Salutation In conversation

Lieutenant Governor of a Alberta*
His/Her Honour the Honourable
(full name)

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Address

* The Lieutenant Governor of a province has the title "Honourable" for life; the courtesy title "His/Her Honour" is used only while in office.

Your Honour
or
My dear Lieutenant Governor:
"Your Honour"
first, then
"Sir" or "Madam"
or "Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (name)"

Spouse of a Lieutenant Governor*
Her/His Honour

(full name)
Address

* The courtesy title "His/Her Honour" is used only while the Lieutenant Governor is in office.

Your Honour:
or
Dear Mrs./Mr. (name):
"Your Honour"
first, then "Madam/Mrs./Mr. (name)"

Former Lieutenant Governor
The Honourable

(full name)
Address

Dear Mr./Mrs./
Ms./Miss (name):
"Mr./Mrs./
Ms./Miss (name)"

Premier of  Alberta
The Honourable

(full name),

M.L.A.
Premier of Alberta
Address

* The title "Honourable" is used only while in office, unless he/she is a member of the Privy Council. "Mr. /Madam Premier" should not be used.

Dear Premier: "Premier"
first, then
"Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (name)"

Provincial cabinet ministers
The Honourable

(full name), M.L.A.
Minister of ______________
Address

Note: A cabinet minister does not retain the title "Honourable" after tenure of office unless he/she is a member of the Privy Council.
M.L.A.: all provinces/territories except for:
- Ontario (M.P.P.)
- Quebec (M.N.A.)
- Newfoundland (M.H.A.)
The term "Mr. /Madam Minister" should not be used.

Dear Minister:
Dear Colleague: (between colleagues)
"Minister"
first, then
"Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (name)"

Judges of Superior Courts
Appeal Court, Superior Court, Court of the Queen's Bench
The Honourable

(full name)
Judge of ______________
Address

Dear Mr./Madam Justice (name): "Mr./Madam Justice (name)"

Chief judges / judges of provincial courts
The Honourable

(full name)
Provincial Court of Alberta
Address

* The title "Honourable" is now recognized for provincially appointed judges. The courtesy title "His/Her Honour" is no longer appropriate given an official title has been granted.

Dear Chief Judge/Judge (name): "Judge (name)"
Members of a provincial legislative assembly
Mr. John Smith, M.L.A.
Address

Note: Members of the Queen's Privy Council retain the title "Honourable" for life and use the initials "P.C." after their name. M.L.A.: all provinces/territories except for:
- Ontario (M.P.P.)
- Quebec (M.N.A.)
- Newfoundland (M.H.A.)
Dear Mr./Mrs./
Ms./Miss (name),
"Mr./Mrs./Ms./Miss (name)"

Closing Salutations for all Dignitaries: Sincerely

Order of Precedence for Events

The Order of Precedence outlines the order people would speak at special events in Alberta. Precedence may vary depending on the event. For further information please contact the Protocol Office.

  1. The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
  2. The Premier of Alberta
  3. The Chief Justice of The Court of Appeal of Alberta
  4. Former Lieutenant Governors; precedence is determined by date of their Commissions
  5. Former Premiers; precedence is determined by the date of their swearing-in ceremony
  6. The Speaker of Legislative Assembly of Alberta
  7. Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Canada
  8. Members of the Executive Council of Alberta, in relative order of precedence as determined by the Premier
  9. Leader of the Official Opposition
  10. Members of the Privy Council for Canada resident in Alberta, with relative precedence among them to, first, Members of the Canadian Cabinet and second, to those not in Cabinet
  11. Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta with precedence governed by the date of their first election to the Legislature
  12. Members of the Senate, who represent Alberta, relative precedence determined by date of appointment
  13. Members of the House of Commons who represent Alberta constituencies, relative precedence determined by date of election
  14. Chief Justice, Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
  15. Justices of Alberta Court of Appeal
  16. Justices of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench
  17. Heads of religious denominations
  18. Heads of Consular Posts: Consuls-General; Consuls; Vice-Consuls; Consular Agents (Precedence is determined by the date that definitive recognition is given by the Governor General)
  19. Chief Judge of the Provincial Court followed by judges in seniority of appointment
  20. Mayors
  21. Aboriginal Leaders: Chiefs of the Treaty First Nations in Alberta, in order of seniority of election to office; President of Metis Settlements General Council; President of Metis Nation of Alberta
  22. Senior Officials:
    • The Deputy Minister to the Premier and Cabinet Secretary; the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly; the Ombudsman; the Provincial Auditor; the Chief Electoral Officer; the Ethics Commissioner, and the Information and Privacy Commissioner
    • Deputy Ministers; then Senior Alberta government officials with rank of Deputy Minister as determined by the Executive Council; then Chief Executive Officers of Crown Corporations (relative precedence determined by date of appointment)
    • City Councillors
  23. Universities: The Chancellor of the University of Alberta; Chancellor of the University of Calgary; Chancellor of the University of Lethbridge; Chairman of the Board, University of Alberta; Chairman of the Board, University of Calgary; Chairman of the Board, University of Lethbridge; Chairman of the Board, Athabasca University; President of the University of Alberta; President of the University of Calgary; President of the University of Lethbridge; President of the Athabasca University
  24. Police and Military: the Assistant Commissioner of "K" Division, Royal Canadian Mounted Police; General of the Land Forces Western Area Headquarters; Commanding Officers of Canadian Forces Bases Calgary, Cold Lake, Edmonton Suffield, Wainwright

Notes

The Table of Precedence for Alberta lists categories in their order of precedence as they apply to ceremonies and occasions of a provincial nature. At provincial functions where federal, foreign or diplomatic dignitaries are present, circumstances may dictate that provisions of the Table of Precedence of Canada or international rules of protocol be observed thus giving these dignitaries precedence over certain provincial categories. Information on protocol for national ceremonies is available on the Heritage Canada website.

In the absence of the Lieutenant Governor from the Province or his/her inability to carry out the duties of Lieutenant Governor for any reason, the Administrator of the Province takes the Lieutenant Governor's place of precedence.

Rules for flying the Flag

Position of Honour

Flying the Flag

The location of the position of honour depends on the number of flags flown. When two flags (or more than three flags) are displayed, the position of honour is furthest to the left. To an observer facing the display, the Canadian flag should be on the left and the City flag on the right. 

When three flags are flown, the position of honour is in the centre. From the perspective of the audience facing the flags, the Canadian flag should be placed in the centre, the Provincial flag on the left and the City flag on the right.

Precedence

The order of precedence for flags is:

  1. The National Flag of Canada
  2. The flags of other sovereign nations in alphabetical order.
  3. The flags of the provinces of Canada (in the order in which they joined Confederation)
  4. The flags of the territories of Canada (in the order in which they joined Confederation)
  5. The flags of municipalities/cities
  6. Banners of organizations
  7. Historical Flags

When there are more than three flagpoles, the National Flag of Canada should be flown on the left of the observer facing the flags. An additional National Flag of Canada may be displayed at the end of the line if desired.

Alone

When the National Flag of Canada is flown alone on top of or in front of a building where there are two flagpoles, it should be flown on the flagpole to the left to an observer facing the flag.

When the National Flag of Canada is flown alone on top of or in front of a building where there are more than two flagpoles, it should be flown as near as possible to the centre.

It is not proper to fly the Canadian flag on the same flag pole as any other flag. According to Heritage Canada. The Canadian flag should always be flown on it's own mast. It should not be subjected to indignity or displayed in a position inferior to any other flag.

Half-masting for Mourning

Flags at Half-mast

In Canada, half-mast is the preferred term rather than half-staff. This is in reference to nautical masts.

The flag is brought to the half-mast position by first raising it to the top of the mast then immediately lowering it slowly to the half-mast position.

A satisfactory position for half-masting is to place the centre of the flag exactly half-way down the staff.

Flags on City buildings and space may be lowered to half-mast to commemorate special dates such as Remembrance Day, as a measure of respect and condolence when a high profile official passes away or as per protocol recommendation.

A flag is generally half-masted until sunset on the day of the funeral or memorial, unless other arrangements have been specified.

Requesting a Community Flag

Non-profit or charitable groups may apply to have their flag raised by contacting the City's Civic Events Office. If approved, these flags may be flown for up to one month on the "Community Flag Pole" located on the southwest corner of the City Hall Plaza near the Cenotaph.

Flags will be raised under two circumstances:

1. Flags of nations recognized by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs upon request, on its national day of an anniversary of a special occasion.

2. Flags of non-profit or charitable organizations may be raised upon request of up to one month.

You can also request to raise a flag on the City of St. Albert community flag pole

City Hall Flag Specifications

The Canadian flag, Provincial flag and City of Edmonton flag are flown on the official flag poles in front of City Hall.

These flags are 3 feet by 6 feet or 0.90 by 1.80 metres.

More information about flag etiquette is available on the Canadian Heritage website.

For More Information

Protocol Office

Email protocol@edmonton.ca

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