I'm using Manifold GIS. Maps i see from offices using ESRI products have maps showing contour lines. It appears these are vectors as different offices apply different colour schemes for contour lnes ( some white, some grey some brown). If received as raster, you wouldn't have the ability to change colours. The provincial WMS server http://www.data.gov....nect/index.page offers contours using this URL http://openmaps.gov....s&version=1.1.1 (layer ID #179). However Manifold doesn't play nicely with WMS servers.
I've searched the data warehouse https://apps.gov.bc....ub/dwds/home.so (needs an ID to enter the site) for contours as vectors or raster but none. The closest I can find and use are hillshades, but these don't have contours or elevation labels.
So, wondering how or where you folks using ESRI products in BC get your basemap layers with (vector) contours? Are you buying the DEM packages instead of using free data?