|Opening ceremony||16 August|
|Closing ceremony||23 August|
|Officially opened by||Lord Willingdon|
|Athlete's Oath||Percy Williams|
The games were organized by Hamilton Spectator sportswriter Bobby Robinson after he attended the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam as manager of the Canadian track and field team and was inspired to create a similar event for the British Empire. After campaigning for the idea among contacts he met at the Olympics, he was asked to organise the first British Empire Games in Hamilton.
The events included athletics, boxing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming, and wrestling. Women competed only in aquatic events. The opening ceremonies and many events were held at Civic Stadium (later renamed Ivor Wynne Stadium) in east Hamilton.
The games were opened by the Governor General of Canada, Lord Willingdon on 16 August. Canadian triple jumper Gordon Smallacombe won the first ever gold medal in the history of the Games a few hours later.
There were 11 teams participating in these first British Empire Games:
|Totals (9 nations)||59||57||49||165|
Notable venues include: