Established by Paddle Canada in 1990, with the permission and input of the Mason Family, the scholarship is intended to incorporate some of the characteristics that made Bill Mason unique and to help ensure that the memory, spirit, and ideals that he represented are kept fresh in the minds of Canadians.
Paddle Canada is proud to award this annual scholarship of $2000 to assist with the education of tomorrow’s environmental stewards – those people who help make a difference in the kind of world we live in today and pass on to future generations.
We have partnered with the Canadian Canoe Foundation to collect tax-deductible donations to the
Bill Mason Memorial Scholarship Fund
About Bill Mason: Artist, Paddler, Environmentalist, Inspired Filmmaker
Few people have had the influence that Bill had in shaping the Canadian identity. His films, produced at the National Film Board, have been “mainstays in Canadian schools for the last 40 years,” says his friend, cameraman, and biographer Ken Buck.
Born in Winnipeg in 1929, Bill Mason showed an early interest in both art and canoeing. As a youth, he was a Manitoba Pioneer Camp guide and instructor. After he graduated from the Manitoba School of Art with a Diploma in Commercial Art, he worked as a commercial artist in Winnipeg, taking the summers off to go canoeing. Bill’s strong Christian beliefs helped develop his views on environmental responsibility.
Later, as a film animator with Crawley Films in Chelsea, Quebec, and then as a filmmaker with the National Film Board of Canada (1962-1984), Bill was able to combine his skills in art, photography, and animation to write, produce, direct, and act in his own films.
Many of his 19 films received nominations for nearly 70 different international awards and were recognized with five Canadian Film Awards, four Golden Sheaf Awards (Yorkton Film Festival), three British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTA) and two OSCAR nominations.
Bill married Joyce Ferguson in 1959. “She was his touchstone with reality, tempering his manic work ethic,” according to Ken Buck. Their children, Paul and Becky are themselves accomplished artists and internationally recognized canoeists.
How to Apply
We are pleased to offer an online application process again this year. Please ensure you have all the required documents ready to upload.
Applications open: May 1, 2023
Applications close: September 30, 2023
Past Recipients of the Bill Mason Memorial Scholarship Fund
|2022-2023||Robin Pollard, University of Victoria, Environmental Studies and Indigenous Studies|
|2021-2022-||Carter Burtlake, University of British Columbia, Biology|
|2020-2021||Evan Sullivan, University of Northern British Columbia, Wildland Conservation and Recreation program.|
|2019–2020||Sarah Wiley, University of Calgary, Bachelor of Science in Zoology|
|2018–2019||Olivia Mater, Trent University, Geography and Indigenous Studies|
|2016–2017||Maeve MacDonald, Laurentian University, McEwen School of Architecture|
|2015–2016||Amber Dyck, University of Ottawa, Environmental Science|
|2014–2015||Gabriel Rivest, Yukon College, Wildlife Ecology Management|
|2013–2014||Lindsey Haist, University of Waterloo, Bachelor of Environmental Studies|
|2012–2013||Kevin Amirault, Laurentian University, Bachelor of Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program|
|2011–2012||Emma Drudge, University of King’s College, Halifax, NS, Combined Degree in Journalism and Environment & Sustainability.|
|2010–2011||Allison Bray, University of Northern British Columbia, Bachelor of Planning in Natural Resources Planning and Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management (Double Major)|
|2009–2010||Daniel Kilburn, Lakehead University (Ontario), School of Outdoor Recreation, Leadership, Parks and Tourism|
|2008–2009||Shandell Susin, University of Victoria (British Columbia), Bachelor of Arts, Environmental & Gender Studies|
|2007–2008||Sarah Champagne, University of Northern British Columbia (British Columbia), Bachelor of Science, Honours Biology|
|2006–2007||Erin Rechsteiner, Malaspina University College (British Columbia), Bachelor of Science, Honours Geography and Biology|
|2005–2006||Dan Thompson, McMaster University (Ontario), Honours Earth & Environmental Sciences: Hydroscience|
|2004–2005||Shandell Susin, University of Victoria (British Columbia), Bachelor of Arts,Environmental & Gender Studies|
|2003–2004||Erick Pay, University of Manitoba (Manitoba), Recreation Studies|
|2002–2003||Lyle Wood, Wilfrid Laurier University (Ontario), Honours Geography, emphasis on Recreation|
|2001–2002||Nicole Koshur, University of British Columbia (British Columbia), Environmental Science|
|2000–2001||Kirsty MacDonald, University of British Columbia (British Columbia), Agricultural and Environmental Sciences|
|1999–2000||No information available.|
|1998–1999||Colin Alexander, Lakehead University (Ontario), Outdoor Recreation Parks & Tourism, Honours|
|1997–1998||William Talbot, University College of the Cariboo (British Columbia), Adventure Travel Guide Diploma Program|
|1996–1997||Amanda Thompson, Lakehead University (Ontario), Outdoor Recreation Parks & Tourism, Honours|
|1995–1996||Teresa Johnston, York University (Ontario), Environmental Sciences|
|1994–1995||J Andrew Whitehead, University of Guelph (Ontario)|
|1993–1994||Timothy Shuff, Lakehead University (Ontario), Outdoor Recreation, Honours|
|1992–1993||Jason Merry, Acadia University (Nova Scotia)|
|1991–1992||Morten Asfeldt, University of Alberta (Alberta)|