Maritime Awards Society of Canada


The Maritime Awards Society of Canada’s vision is to be recognized as the premier organization in Canada for the promotion of public awareness, education, and debate regarding ocean-related issues as well as the dissemination of information on maritime affairs to all Canadians. The Society is dedicated to enhancing its reputation as a valued, apolitical, national, non-profit, charitable organization by hosting public forums and workshops that address Canadian maritime concerns. A parallel goal has been the establishment of a highly successful MASC scholarship programme for graduate students in ocean studies at four Canadian universities. It is MASC’s intention to keep expanding the number of these scholarships as the Society’s financial resources grow.

MASC is a registered national charity and is registered as a Society in British Columbia. It’s Constitution and By-laws are available here.


The Maritime Awards Society of Canada (MASC) is a non-partisan, non-profit foundation dedicated to enhancing public awareness of maritime issues. It was established in 1987 as a fund-raising initiative of the Naval Officers Association of Vancouver Island (NOAVI). The Society’s objective was to offer graduate scholarships to students researching and writing in the broad field of ocean studies. The first MASC scholarship was made available at the University of Victoria and was followed in the 1990s with similar scholarships for master’s and doctoral candidates at three other Canadian universities: Memorial in Newfoundland, Dalhousie in Nova Scotia, and Calgary in Alberta. By March 2005, the total value of MASC scholarships that had been awarded amounted to $275,000 while MASC endowment funds at the four universities amounted to a further $311,000.

Initially, the Society was a registered charitable organization in British Columbia, but over the years it evolved into a nation-wide network of citizens and specialists with close interests in maritime affairs. In keeping with this evolution, MASC began in the mid-1990s to organize and/or host a series of public and private forums and workshops in Victoria and elsewhere. The first of these meetings entailed a critical examination of off-shore and coastal fisheries on Canada’s West Coast. Since this successful conference, MASC has worked diligently to maintain its reputation as a disinterested organization, the members of which are willing to donate their services in the public interest to raise scholarship funds and realize the Society’s programmatic responsibilities.

A new phase in MASC’s organizational history began in 2000 when it organized a private, non-partisan workshop on the possible development of hydrocarbon resources off the coast of Northern British Columbia. Over forty federal and provincial officials, scientists, and other experts attended this workshop at Dunsmuir Lodge north of Victoria. A ground-breaking report of proceedings — “BC-Offshore Hydrocarbon Development: Issues and Prospects” — was circulated to interested organizations and institutions. A high-level, follow-on meeting examined the legal dimensions of exploring and exploiting off-shore hydrocarbon resources. More recently, MASC served as the secretarial agency for a study of Canadian ports and is currently organizing an experts meeting on the Canadian Arctic on behalf of Foreign Affairs Canada.

Thus, over the years, MASC has played a vital leadership role, supporting graduate students across Canada and developing broad public awareness of the importance of maritime issues.