A uniquely Canadian tradition since 1922, Canadian students in the graduating year of their engineering program gather for a ceremony to mark their entry into the profession, called the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer. Camp XIII carries out this Obligation Ceremony in Hamilton, Ontario, helping to direct new Canadian engineers toward a consciousness of their profession and its social significance, on behalf of the Corporation of the Seven Wardens.

The idea of a ceremony for the Obligation of Canadian Engineers dates back to 1922, where seven past presidents of the Engineering Institute of Canada attended a meeting in Montreal, and became what is now called the Corporation of the Seven Wardens. The Corporation is responsible for administering and maintaining the Ritual, which is carried out by Camps across Canada. 

The Obligation Ceremony is not connected to any other engineering organization nor to any university, although many organizations and universities support the idea of the Obligation and may participate in the administration of the Ceremonies. McMaster University and its faculty have been instrumental in helping Camp XIII continue to administer and maintain the Ritual in Hamilton.

The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer is a unique and meaningful experience for all new Engineers.  Camp XIII is committed to ensuring that Candidates have an opportunity to have their Iron Ring presented in a meaningful way that captures the spirit of the ceremony:

“The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer has been instituted with the simple end of directing the young engineer towards a consciousness of this profession and its significance, and indicating to older engineers their responsibilities in receiving, welcoming and supporting the younger engineers in their beginnings”.


There are two main elements of the ritual, the briefing session and the ceremony itself.  

Briefing Session:  The briefing session is held prior to the ceremony and is a mandatory element that all candidates must attend.  This session provides  background information about the ceremony, a brief explanation of the elements of the ceremony and what is expected of the candidates during the ceremony.  This year the Camp will be hosting virtual briefing sessions via a zoom meeting. You must attend one of these sessions.  If you do not attend a briefing session, you will NOT be permitted to participate in the actual ceremony and you will NOT be eligible to receive your iron ring. 


Ceremony:  This year we will be hosting two in-person ceremonies at McMaster University in the Burridge Gymnasium, due to the large number of expected candidates, presenters and guests that will be attending.   


The inaugural Obligation Ceremony was held in Montréal on April 25, 1925, with the first ceremony conducted on May 1, 1925 by Camp 1, Toronto. 2025 marks the 100th Anniversary of this Canadian tradition.