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Bill Mason Scholarship Recipient 2021

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In honour of Paddle Canada’s 50 Anniversary, we increased the amount of our scholarship award to $2000. While we had many great applicants, one stood out, and we are pleased to introduce you to Carter Burtlake, currently studying at the University of British Columbia.

“I am extremely grateful to be the recipient of the 2021/2022 Bill Mason Scholarship Award. This award reflects both my academic and personal interests in the outdoors, and being its recipient is incredibly validating and invites me to continue pursuing both passions for academic study and outdoor recreation and exploring. In many ways, my passion and inspiration for the environment run parallel to Bill Mason’s philosophies regarding environmental learning as I think getting inspired and educated through outdoor exploration and fieldwork forms the strongest connection and learning experience for individuals. Throughout my life, I have had the privilege of living in close proximity to the ocean. As a result, access to the water through kayaking was easy and I have spent countless hours exploring intertidal and subtidal environments in the Pacific Northwest. This lifestyle inspired me at a young age to work at Deep Cove Kayak in North Vancouver, BC which furthered my ability to be in the outdoors surrounded by nature and paddling. Through instructing and guiding with the company I was able to inform the many clients that I took out on the water about the beautiful environment that we paddled in and how diverse and intricate these marine environments are. During this time, I began my studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) studying Biology, and as such, this provided me with an abundance of information that I could pass on and use when teaching and guiding out on the water. The ability to identify the intertidal and subtidal organisms, explain ecologically relevant and sustainable processes, and educate on environmental topics like climate change enhanced my teaching ability, and supplemented my work environment perfectly. Through this work, I became particularly passionate about teaching youth, inspiring and encouraging sustainable practices through the beauty of the natural world, and the sport of sea kayaking. The opportunities I’ve received from working in nature at Deep Cove Kayak have inspired me to continue pursuing work in the field of marine science and environmental education. I would like to give a shout out to both Mike Gill and Seth Putnam-Rea, of the Deep
Cove Kayak Paddling School, for being incredible paddling mentors and developing my paddling and teaching skills to help me share and explore the extreme environments the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I also wanted to give a special thank you to the Bill Mason Scholarship
Committee for selecting me as the 2021/22 recipient and supporting passionate young paddlers in their journey to inspire others about the environment.”