For the tenth consecutive year, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia is inviting nominations for the 2021 SS Beaver Medals, an award that recognizes outstanding achievements in and contributions to B.C.’s marine sector. The nominations’ deadline is June 4, 2021.
Members of the public are invited to nominate outstanding contributors to our Province’s maritime community. The award is bestowed on living people who have made noteworthy contributions to BC’s marine interests in the areas of science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills, nautical heritage and culture, art, and academic contributions. An additional medal annually recognizes a significant organization, vessel or technological project.
The Maritime Museum sponsors the SS Beaver award to raise awareness about our Province’s highly diversified marine sector and to recognize outstanding individuals who support the industry. “Our wide span of maritime activities generates about eight percent of B.C.’s GDP,” said Jan Drent, a member of the medal steering committee. “Past medal winners include entrepreneurs, naval architects, boatbuilders, technology innovators, publishers, authors, historians, a hydrographer, a marine artist and museum curators.“
Former Ambassador and retired Admiral John Anderson added that, “to our knowledge, no other award encompasses all aspects of our coastal industry, history, technology, or practical application of skills. What a fitting namesake—the Beaver—or Castor Canadensis.”
The gold-plated medal is struck from machinery salvaged from the pioneering paddlewheel steamship SS Beaver, built in England in 1835 for the Hudson’s Bay Company. After rounding the treacherous Cape Horn, Beaver reached the northwest coast where she served for 53 years. The Beaver initiated commercial navigation on the BC coast, serving as a floating trading post, hydrographic survey ship and towboat. She grounded near Vancouver in 1888. Some of her machinery was later recovered providing the metal for the Beaver Medal.
An awards committee with members from the Chamber of Shipping of BC, BC Ferries, a former Coast Guard captain, a distinguished marine historian, a well-known marine writer, and a past president of the Maritime Museum choose Beaver medal recipients from among the nominees.
Nominations for 2021 close on Friday, June 4, 2021.