Welcome to the Outer Rim Garrison, home of the 501st Legion in British Columbia, Canada.
Who We Are
The British Columbia members of the 501st Legion first formed a squad in 2006 under the Ontario-based Canadian Garrison.
In 2007, we transferred as a squad to the Badlands Garrison (western Canada) and in 2014 we officially became a Garrison in the 501st Legion with 32 official members. As of the summer of 2016, we have 80 active members across the province and growing!
While the majority of our members are based in the lower mainland, the Garrison has troopers stationed throughout the island and the interior of the province.
Why We Do What We Do
A lot fans ask why 501st Legion members why they “do what they do.”
The fact is – we are all fans of Star Wars, regardless if we are members of the 501st Legion or not. In our case, we express our fandom through the use of costumes for charity. We enjoy giving back, whether that means visiting hospitals, supporting charities with fundraisers, or participating in community events.
Most importantly, we enjoy putting smiles on peoples’ faces. Whether they are young, or the young at heart! If you are interested in joining the 501st Legion or simply have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
While the 501st was initially founded to unite costumers with a penchant for Star Wars villainy, one of our real-world missions is to bring good to our communities through volunteer charity work. The 501st is always looking for opportunities to brighten the lives of the less fortunate and to bring awareness to positive causes on both a local and global scale.
While we do not charge a fee for appearances (public or private), we enthusiastically welcome donations made to a charitable organization in the name of the 501st Legion. If you do not have a charity of choice, please ask the participating local 501st members for their favorite cause.
With over 67 garrisons in the Legion, we have accumulated some impressive totals over the years.
Each year the 501st Legion members volunteer their time to attend a number of charity related events. In 2013 Legion members helped to raise $262,328 through our own fundraising efforts, and attended events that helped to raise over $32 Million Dollars for charity. Our members donated over 28,946 ‘man hours’ wearing our Imperial Costumes all in the name of fundraising and charity!
Giving back to the community is the cornerstone of everything we do. The Outer Rim Garrison works with many charities in British Columbia. We are very proud to support these charities!
Featured Trooper: Spencer Schachtel
What is your background / what do you do for a living? What are your hobbies?
Unlike a number of my fellow Garrison members, I don’t come from an art or creative background. I come from a Social Sciences background. After University I spent a few years working in group homes with developmentally delayed and behavioral youth and adults. After doing that for a few years I ended up getting a position with government and have been doing that since. I’ve sort have been into all the nerdy stuff since as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved most things Sci-fi/fantasy related. I spend a good portion of my free time reading various books, building random things, playing video games. I also spend a good portion of my free time outdoors as I live in the interior of BC and have some beautiful trails and paths around where I live.
When did you see Star Wars for the first time and where?
The first time I saw Star Wars was at home with my parents. I think I was 6 or 7 at the time. I remember it was on an old VHS tape that my parents taped when it was playing on cable. I’m not even sure how many times I watched it on those tapes, but it felt like hundreds of times before I was given a VHS box set for my birthday.
What is your favourite Star Wars movie?
This is really hard for me to answer as the all of the OT movies have always been important to me, it’s like having to choose between three things that are all equally awesome. If I absolutely have to make a choice I think it would have to be ROTJ. For me ROTJ always has stood out. I think it is a mixture of the costumes, space battles and the completion of the story that started with ANH. I think whenever I read, or watch anything related to Star Wars I seem to default compare it to ROTJ
What is your favourite costume and or prop (any franchise)?
Well this one is sort of easy for me. I would have to break it down into favorite costume I own, and favorite costume that I don’t. I don’t think it’s going to be any surprise to my fellow Outer Rim Garrison members, but my favorite costume I own has to be my Bith (Cantina Band) Musician. Every time I look at it, wear it, or even think about it, I start to laugh. It’s just a very fun costume. For favourite costume out of any franchise, I think it would have to be the Master Chief from the Halo Universe.
What costumes (SW related or otherwise) have you made before?
Since joining the 501st, I’ve managed to get 4 costumes approved. So far I’ve got a Stormtrooper, Tie Pilot, Bith Musician and a Tie Reserve. I’m currently working on a Sandtrooper, Revan, and Scout trooper. My first Star Wars costume I ever made was a Jawa when I was in high school. I remember buying a black balaclava and tucking in two flashlights on the side of my head to act as the glowing eyes.
What inspires you creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
I’ve never really been good at conceptualizing my own unique things art or otherwise. For me the biggest thing is seeing other peoples’ amazing work which puts the biggest creative fire under me. Every time I read/see someones build threads, or completed costumes, or props I just get the urge to build and create. I’ve always enjoyed building things, and what I love the most about this hobby is using everyday items to make something which has nothing to do with its original purpose. For example, for my Bith Musician, I used a bunch of random plumbing parts, shower curtain rings and black hair elastics to make a musical instrument prop. Every time I go to a hardware store, I’m constantly thinking on how I can use each item in a way that it originally wasn’t intended.
How did you first find out about the 501st Legion?
I can’t really remember about how I first heard about the 501st Legion. I’ve always been a huge Star Wars fan, and I had heard about them through various websites and articles I had seen online. It wasn’t until I was bored one day and was looking around for Stormtrooper costumes that I stumbled across the First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment (FISD). Once I came across the FISD, I really started looking into what the 501st was and the things that they do. The more I read, the more I wanted to be a part of it.
What drives you to stay trooping in the 501st Legion?
For me, it’s not just a single thing, but a combination of things. From the reactions of fans young and old, the work we do on behalf of some amazing charities, and my fellow 501st members. I don’t get to make it out to many events due to where I live and my work schedule, but every time I make it out I always have such great time. Knowing that dressing up as a plastic spaceman can make someone happy and raise funds for charity is just a really great feeling. The work we do with the charities is super important. My very first troop was the Children’s Hospital Miracle Weekend – it meant a lot to me as I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when I was 2 years old and spent a lot of time when I was a child at the children’s hospital.