The Historical Arms Collectors Society of BC was formed in June 1970 by Ron Tyson and Mike Gillespie. Both are still active members and Ron is our current president. The purpose of the society was to form a base where persons interested in historical arms could get together to exchange information and buy, sell and trade their wares between themselves and members of the general public who are interested in this type of activity.
The Society with a base of 24 members held one day shows every 3 months at Jubilee Hall in Burnaby. The first 2 day annual show was held in 1971 at Seaforth Armories with approx 100 participants from BC, Washington and Oregon.
The 2 day annual shows were held in various facilities including the Royal Towers in New Westminster, the Plaza 500 in Vancouver, the PNE, Trout Lake Community Center and in 1986 at the Sails in Vancouver which is now the Vancouver Convention Center. For the next several years the annual 2 day shows were held at the Sports Center in Coquitlam. The biggest problem at all of the locations was the congested parking areas for the general public wishing to take in the shows. Good parking for visitors is essential to good shows.
For this very reason in March 2007 we moved our 2 day annual gun and antique show to Heritage Park in Chilliwack. It was a tremendous success and we have not looked back since. The facility is ideal, the staff are great and the parking lot is large with provisions for RV parking. There are several hotels, motels and restaurants in the area. The show brings vendors from across Canada and parts of the USA. We currently have approx.. 600 vendor tables with a wide variety of antiques and collectibles, firearms, militaria, badges and buttons, fishing and hunting, coins and much more. We are becoming more and more selective in vendors attending the show as we do not want flea market items at our shows.
We try our best to put on a good show for the members and the public. Our annual membership fee for members is $40 which provides free access to all our shows. We have a separate lineup venue for HACS members inside the main entrance at Heritage Park. The regular lineup stretches right around the building and into the parking lot. It often rains in Chilliwack and it certainly is nice to line up inside rather than outside in pouring rain. We charge $5 per person admission to all of our shows. Kids under 12 get in free.
We have not raised our price of admission in the last 20 years. Our table rent is $50 per table at the 2 day annual show and $20 per table with a 2 table limit at our one day shows. To rent tables at our one day Gun Shows you must be a member of HACS. We support Sporting Goods Stores that sell firearms by not allowing commercial sales at our one day shows.
HACS as a Society provides substantial annual monetary donations to two Children’s Charities:
1. The Canadian Cancer Society’s “Camp Good Times”which is a summer camp for kids fighting cancer
2. The CKNW Orphans Fund
We also provide annual monetary donations to:
1. Canadian Shooting Sports CSSA/CILA
2. National Firearms Association NFA
3. Vancouver Police Museum
4. Canadian Military Museum
We held our regular monthly shows at the Operating Engineers Hall in Burnaby for several years. The parking was a bit tight but the show was regularly attended. We received notice to vacate the premises as of December 31st 2014. Ron Tyson and Art Hoivik set out to find a new home for our monthly shows. We made inquires at facilities throughout the lower mainland of BC. We spent several days exploring various sports centers and public halls in the Surrey, Langley area without finding a suitable facility.
We found our new home for the one day gun shows at the Evergreen Hall facility in downtown Chilliwack. The shows in Chilliwack commencing in January 2015 have been very successful. The crowds are getting better all the time. We used to have to set up and take down the tables at the hall in Burnaby. Now in Chilliwack the tables are all set up and taken down as part of the rental agreement we have with the City of Chilliwack. Management and staff are friendly and helpful. Parking is great for both the vendors and the public. The Cheam Lions Club have a small clubhouse/kitchen right behind the hall. They provide food service for the shows. The food is excellent and the coffee is always hot.
The Historical Arms Collectors Society of BC currently has over 350 active members. The 2 day Chilliwack Gun & Antique Show has something for everyone. Come and bring the family. There is a lot of history on display and we would really enjoy your company. There is a food concession on site. The 2 day Annual Show always takes place during the 3rd weekend in March every year. Setup is on the Friday with drive in unloading for the vendors commencing at PM. The show hours on Saturday are 9AM to 5PM and on Sunday from 9AM to 3PM. General Admission is $5.00. Members get free admission. Parking is by Donation.
Our one day gun shows take place on a monthly basis at Evergreen Hall in downtown Chilliwack on a Sunday morning. Vendors can set up their tables commencing at 6AM. The doors are open to the public from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM. Admission is $5 with HACS members free. Evergreen Hall is a great facility. The table layout is good, the vendors are a friendly bunch.
The aisles are nice and wide for the public and there are always good bargains on the tables for those interested in buying, selling or trading firearms or firearm related items, military buttons and badges. Hope to see you at our shows.