The Military Ball originated in 1946 as a victory celebration to mark the end of World War II and has continued, uninterrupted, since. It began as the brainchild of the officers of the Vancouver Garrison to relive the euphoria of the time and to celebrate the return to families and friends. Much had changed during the six year period that Canada had been to war and many returning military personnel had not seen their spouses and children during that time. Some discovered, much to their amazement, that their daughters, who were ten years old in September 1939, didn’t resemble the young ladies who answered the door in 1945. The experience was profound, so much so that it was decided to include the daughters in the Military Ball as debutantes, not for the purpose of introducing them society as in the 19th century Victorian custom but to re-introduce them to their fathers. The presentation of debutantes ended with the 2006 Ball.
The Military Ball may have begun as a party for Army officers but it has evolved. The social distinctions between officers, NCOs and soldiers have changed over the years and so has the Gala. Now all members of the Armed Forces are invited, regardless of rank or branch of the service along with partners in the first responder community and any other friends of the military. The BC Army Gala committee has organized this event specifically to continue the best traditions of the past with additions to make it fun for all who attend.