The Entomological Society of Canada is one of the largest and oldest professional societies in Canada. Founded in Toronto on 16 April 1863, the Society was open to “all students and lovers of Entomology”. The first officers were Prof. H. Croft, President; W. Saunders, Secretary Treasurer; and Rev. J. Hubbert, Curator. The organization flourished as interested collectors of insects showed their acquisitions at meetings, discussed the natural history of their favourite species, exchanged specimens, described and named new species, and started museum collections of Canadian insects.
The Society obtained legal status in 1871 and was incorporated under a new section of the Agricultural Arts Act as “The Entomological Society of Ontario”. The headquarters of this Society was moved to London, Ontario in 1873, and then to Guelph, Ontario in 1906.
The Entomological Society of Canada, as it is known today, was founded by members of the Entomological Society of Ontario on 3 November 1950. The founding officers were W.A. Ross, President; A.W. Baker, Vice President; W.R. Thompson, Editor; R.H. Wigmore, Secretary; A.B. Baird, Treasurer; plus seven Directors. The headquarters of the national Society then moved to Ottawa.
Roles of the Entomological Society of Canada
The Entomological Society of Canada represents hundreds of entomologists from all parts of Canada and around the world. The Society is a dynamic force in promoting research, disseminating knowledge of insects, and encouraging the continued participation of all “students and lovers of Entomology” in the most fascinating of all natural sciences. It is especially well known for its widely distributed and used publications.
The Society also advises government departments and agencies, and publishes briefs to highlight matters of particular interest. In this capacity, the Society has mobilized many of its members to use their skills and expertise to review and advise on a wide variety of entomological problems ranging from crop losses caused by insects and biological surveys of Canadian insects to reports on education and resources for entomology in Canada.
The Society’s activist approach has provided entomologists with a strong and credible voice on entomological research priorities in Canada. The Biological Survey of Canada has become a long-term programme for national coordination of work on the Canadian fauna, and is now jointly administered by the Society and the Canadian Museum of Nature.