The earliest records of what has become the BCHPA date back to 1975 and earlier. At that time the association was registered as the Hang Gliding Association of British Columbia. In the 1970s the sport of hang gliding was in its infancy in British Columbia with many new sites being explored and secured for the first time. The HGABC was instrumental in this early development.
In about 1990 the sport of paragliding came on the scene in British Columbia. Initially there was an effort to form a separate association, the Brtish Columbia Paragliding Association, but soon it became clear that paragliding and hang gliding enthusiasts needed to work together. In 1993 the HGABC started to refer to itself as the British Columbia Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association as it welcomed paraglider pilots into its ranks, even though it was still registered as the Hang Gliding Association of British Columbia.
Over the years the association has had a relatively stable membership base of between 200 and 300. This is very comparable with the modern membership counts of 300-350 members at any given time.
To secure sites and develop the sport, the HGABC for a good number of years was able to utilize available funding from Sport BC funding for its activities until that Funding became no longer available. For a time the association also provided third-party liability insurance coverage for its members, until the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association assumed that role in order to make insurance more affordable for all pilots in Canada.
In 2001, the old association was dissolved and a new association, registered as the British Columbia Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BCHPA), was formed, with the assets of the former association.
While local clubs manage all aspects of their sport at the local level, and HPAC is responsible for the national certification and insurance program for the sport in Canada, the mandate of the BCHPA is the protection, development and maintenance of flying sites in British Columbia. To that end, the BCHPA acts as a foundation that financially assists local clubs and pilot groups throughout British Colmbia to protect their most valuable assets: flying sites.