A Canadian Heraldic Primer


Heraldry is now. Heraldry is fun. And most of all, heraldry is Canadian! A Canadian Heraldic Primer dispels, once and for all, the myth that coats of arms are boring, snobbish, mediaeval holdovers that have no relevance today.

Using cartoons, humour, and not a little irreverence (in which is concealed a surprising amount of information), Kevin Greaves explains the history behind heraldry’s unique conventions and language, and explores its creative possibilities. He shows heraldry as part of the fabric of Canada’s past, present, and future, and illustrates how this lively art has become livelier since Canada became master of its own heraldic system in 1988.


A Canadian Heraldic Primer achieves much in its slim 56 pages. The subject matter ... is well covered, described and outlined.

The Journal of Heraldry Australia (July, 2001)

Greaves, a retired physician, has long been an active member of the Canadian heraldic community. His entertaining book is a great place to start if you think you'd like to design a coat of arms for your own family.

Victoria Times Colonist

A Canadian Heraldic Primer is a new, witty, well illustrated and delightful introduction to heraldry in this country. It answers precisely the questions Her Excellency raises.

The National Post (January, 2001)

About the Authors

Kevin Greaves

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Kevin Greaves

Dr. Kevin Greaves, a retired physician living in Hamilton, Ontario, is well known in the Canadian heraldic community. Cartoonist Bruce Patterson is a high school teacher in Toronto, and the editor of the popular quarterly magazine Hogtown Heraldry.