The history of the "Imperial Courts" is a long one, and dates back to 1958 when Sam Campbell was declared the first "Rose Queen" of Portland Oregon.
After having spent several years visiting portland the concept of creating a court in Canada was born between Rose Empress Mame and ted northe. In 1964 the Rose Court declared ted northe the "Empress of Canada" a title that he held for 50 years before his death in 2014.
Mr. northe was later quoted as saying that it was the "crowns and gowns" and the intense sense of community that attracted him to the court of Portland and inspired him to bring the concept of a court to Canada.
In March of 1972 Vancouver held its first Coronation at the Commodore Ballroom and crowned its first elected Empress, the late Charity I. In the following years Vancouver mentored other Canadian courts into fruition and as a result holds the honorary title of The Mother Court of Canada.
On January 6th, 1976 The Dogwood Monarchist Society was constituted under the Provincial Societies Act as a not-for profit organization tasked with providing social interaction within Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community and upholding the principles of a democratic monarchy.
The constitution was presented as a gift from Emperor III Little Ray to his Empress Bobbi Blake IV at their step down in March of 1976. Although not mandated to do so, the DMS has, from its earliest days, displayed a charitable leaning by providing funds in times of disaster or hardship for community members.
By the early 1980’s, with the advent of the HIV crisis, the DMS became, for all intents and purposes, a charitable organization. The bylaws of the Society were eventually amended to mandate the support of three local charities, to be chosen by the reigning monarchs, one of which must be dedicated to the support of people living with HIV.
Over the past decades the DMS has streamlined its operating costs, focusing on profit driven functions and proudly funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into the community through their Majesties’ chosen charities.