The "Kermode Bear" design was chosen to represent the province's "vast, rugged northern region" and because the animal is recognised as a provincial symbol. As well, in 2016 the Great Bear Rainforest Act received Royal Assent.
The "Purcell Mountains" design was chosen to represent the province's "interior region" with the snow capped peaks pictured on the plate being from the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park and Protected Area.
The "Porteau Cove" design was chosen to represent the province's "South Coast region" as it is one of the most popular provincial parks in British Columbia and also represents the most southerly fjord in North America.
For posterity, we have archived ICBC's Bulletin No. 16; "New number plates featuring BC Parks", which provides some basic details on these plates. To access it, Click Here!
PA0-00A to PA9-99X
PB0-00A to PB9-99X
PC0-00A to PC9-99X
PD0-00A to PD9-99X
PE0-00A to PE9-99X
PF0-00A to PF9-99X
PG0-00A to PG9-99X
PH0-00A to PH9-99X
PJ0-00A to PJ9-99X
PK0-00A to PK9-99X
PL0-00A to PL9-99X
PM0-00A to PM9-99X
PN0-00A to PN9-99X
PP0-00A to PP9-99X
PR0-00A to PR9-99X
PS0-00A to PS9-99X
PT0-00A to PT9-99X
PV0-00A to PV9-99X
PW0-00A to PW9-99X
PX0-00A to PX9-99X
RA0-00A to RA9-99X
RB0-00A to RB9-99X
RC0-00A to RC9-99X
RD0-00A to RD9-99X
RE0-00A to RE9-99X
RF0-00A to RF9-99X
RG0-00A to RG9-99X
To mark the Fifth Anniversary of the BC Parks plates, BC Parks released a "Five-Year Report" (linked through the image above) in order to provide an overview of the various projects and other initiatives funded through the sale of the plates.
Of interest, 325 projects have been funded by the $20,000,000 raised through the sale of the plates. The majority of these projects, 79 in total, occurred on Vancouver Island the Queen Charlottes. Equally of interest, the cost of the 250,000 plates for ICBC to have made is $2,707,022, which works out to about $5.41/plate - which seems expensive, broker commissions are another $2,100,109 while BC Parks administration costs are $387,570 (huh?).
Popularity by type:
February 22, 2017
January 29, 2019
January 29, 2020
September 30, 2020
May 1, 2021
January 26, 2022
May 31, 2023
Initial Distribution - January 29, 2017
The following is an unofficial attempt to record the initial distribution of the BC Parks plates in an attempt to create a historical record but also to provide a more immediate benefit to motorists seeking a particular combination of letters and numbers. The information has been compiled by contacting Autoplan Agents and utilising the power of social media.
For the hard-core collector and those aspiring to be hard-core, the ultimate quest for the BC Parks plate is obtaining all three bases with the equivalent number (such as the plates shown below - all of which are the 33rd issued for each design!). We hope the list above aids you in your quest, should you choose to accept it. For the uber hard-core player, try getting the same repeating number on your bases!
The design of the Parks plates stays consistent with the house-style established by ICBC with the Veterans plate in 2004, and which generally involves the use of a photo-realistic background in which the main element is situated to the left side of the plate (think the War Memorial on the Veteran's base or the location of the Silver Cross on the Memorial Cross base) with a continuous registration number (i.e. no separation between the first and last three characters) shifted to the right-side
Unlike the recent Memorial Cross plate (which displays Waldale's "Mississippi Dies"), the die type on the Parks plate is the standard one found on regular issue passenger plates. While the plates do not appear to incorporate the holographic security thread found on regular passenger plates, they are utilising a "high-definition retro-reflective background sheeting" that is supposed to improve the readability of the plates at night.
It is probably also safe to assume that the one-time requirement that all new license plate types incorporate the BC Mark (as opposed to the "Spirit Flag") is officially dead as none of the Parks plate designs display this rising-sun symbol (at right). In another interesting twist, the Corporation is allowing Commercial Trucks (i.e. pick-up trucks & motor-homes) to be issued Parks plates, despite usually being required to display AA-0000 format plates.
The photographer credited with the Kermode Bear and Purcell Mountain bases is John E. Marriott of Wildlife and Nature Photography.
The photographer credited with the Porteau Cove base is Gregory Simpson (shown below at right) who maintains the web-site Ultrasomething.com. Of interest, Simpson describes taking the photo in the summer of 2008 as follows:
It was late in the evening, and I could tell the sun would eventually set behind a nearby hillside. I knew, if I was lucky, that the sun’s rays would reflect off the sea mist and flare across the lens, rendering a “painterly” effect.
In spite of this, I nearly packed it in early. If I left before sunset, I’d be home by 10:30pm — a “short” 16 hour day. If I waited to take the sunset and twilight shots, I wouldn’t make it home until after midnight.
“Who really needs to see another hackneyed sunset photo?” I asked myself.
Nine times out of ten, I would probably have answered “no one,” packed up my gear, hiked back to the car and left for home. But today was different — I had a wicked, horrible migraine. I was actually in too much pain to drive; much less traipse a mile back to the car. If I waited and left after sunset, the soothing blanket of darkness would give me a tiny chance to better endure the drive. So, coiled in a fetal position around my tripod, remote shutter release in my hand, I decided I might as well go ahead and take that blasted photo.
And that blasted photo is now a license plate. I can’t really claim that I’m proud of this fact, but I’m certainly amused.
Following an incident where a sample of the Olympic base mades its way onto eBay, ICBC cracked down on its inventory controls about a decade ago to ensure that no samples or other prototypes intended for internal use made their way out into the wild. Which is why the posting of a prototype of the BC Parks plate that showed up on eBay in 2018 was such a surprise:
There is not much that distinguishes this design from the one that was ultimately used other than the choice of slogans. Specifically, the reference to "Explore" at the bottom-left corner of the plate (instead of "Discover") and the absence of a reference to "Beautiful" along the top of the plate - which appears to have allowed Waldale to make the image of the keremode bear larger on this version. Of interest, the date on the plate was August 25, 2016, which is about 5 months prior to the official announcement of their release.
First Plate(s) in the Series
This is a bit tricky as there are technically three "first" plates in the BC Parks series; one for each of the different designs. Thanks to social media, however, we know that Minister Todd Stone was able to nab the lowest of the low, being the first plate (i.e. "PA001A") on the Kermode base.
Minister Polak appears to have been less concerned with the number appearing on her plate as she has the 5,000th (approx.) plate on the Porteau Cove based affixed to her vehicle. As for who has the first plate on the Porteau base (i.e. "PW001A") and the Purcell base (i.e. PK001A"), they remain to be discovered!
Minister Todd Stone and plate No. PA001A (Kermode).
Minister Mary Polak and plate No. PW005F (Porteau).
At left is a short video put together by the folks at the CBC's Radio-Canada office in Vancouver (hence the French captions) on the day of the plates release!