The UELAC mandate includes the understanding of the role and impact of the Loyalists on the development of Canada. Providing Loyalist education resource materials and encouraging research through scholarship support is integral to our mission to preserve, promote and celebrate the history and traditions of the United Empire Loyalists.

To promote and reward such scholarship, the UELAC Loyalist Scholarship is available to Masters and PhD students who are undertaking a program in relevant research. This topic should further an understanding of the Loyalists – colonists in the Thirteen Colonies who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War and appreciation of their subsequent influence on Canada, or other places these political refugees settled. Upon completion, a copy of the thesis should be presented to the Association in print or digital format.

When possible, scholarship recipients are encouraged to accept an invitation as guest speaker at a UELAC branch meeting either in person or via Zoom. They may also be requested to write an article for the Loyalist Gazette. With permission, contact information would be made available to the appropriate person for either purpose.



Visit Scholars Wanted for eligibility details and application requirements.


UELAC Scholars

The UELAC Loyalist Scholarship recipients are listed below, with biographies posted where available.



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Scholarship Challenge

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History of the Scholarship

The establishment of a scholarship to be awarded to post-graduate students of Loyalist Studies at a Canadian university was voted on and approved by delegates at the 1998 annual meeting of the UELAC in Kingston, Ontario.

In February of 1999, a Scholarship fund was approved by Dominion Council in the form of a President’s Grant to honour past presidents of the Association. This fund was established to accept donations to assist in the financing of the scholarship project. The original grant was made available to members of the Association with an undergraduate degree from a Canadian university and a commitment to pursue graduate studies in Canadian history, the Loyalist period 1783 – 1800. Inquiries were to be directed to Elizabeth Richardson, Dominion Historian/Archivist.

At the October 16, 1999 Dominion Council meeting, the scholarship fund was given a new name in recognition of Bernice Wood Flett, Dominion President (1996 – 1998) and Chair of the Education Committee. As a dedicated member of UELAC, Bernice worked tirelessly in support of Loyalist studies and Loyalist education. Through her leadership as Education Committee Chair, activities were created for UEL Day in Ontario and resources for the schools of Ontario and the Maritimes. She advised in the development of similar educational materials for regions across Canada.

From reports in the May 6, 2000 Council News, the scholarship fund was growing. Doris Lemon agreed to chair a search committee for individuals to work together to determine the terms of the newly created Bernice Wood Flett Loyalist Scholarship.

Dominion President C. William Terry (2000–2002) established an ad hoc Loyalist Scholarship committee under the chairmanship of Irene MacCrimmon, President of Grand River Branch UELAC (1989 – 1991). Committee members were Neil Sullivan, Joanne Sullivan, Jim Runions, Nadene Smith, the late Ronald Smith, George Anderson, and Beverly Craig, with advice from Rev. Fr. Marc Smith.

Based on recommendations presented by the BWFS ad hoc committee, Dominion Council supported the establishment of the Bernice Wood Flett Loyalist Scholarship Committee and the new standing committee was approved at the 2001 annual conference in Cornwall, Ontario. The former committee members continued under the chairmanship of Irene MacCrimmon. Members were urged to financially support the scholarship fund through donations to UELAC.

The following year, attention was given to ways and means of fundraising to expand the Bernice Wood Flett Loyalist Scholarship fund. In March of 2002, a generous donation in the amount of $1300.00 was received from the Millenium Committee’s Mohawk Valley Tour. In 2003, scholarship funds were again boosted through a donation from the Forts and Battlefields Tour – Chambly, Quebec to Saratoga, New York.

Promotion of the Bernice Wood Flett Scholarship first appeared in the Loyalist Gazette in the spring of 2004. At the October 2004 Council meeting the President confirmed that the Bernice Wood Flett Scholarship application would appear in every issue of the Loyalist Gazette.

The original application limited study to 4 chosen universities – University of New Brunswick, Queens University, York University and the University of Toronto. To be eligible the student must have taken Canadian History courses in an undergraduate program.

Kathryn Hilder, retired librarian, Harriet Irving Library, University of New Brunswick reviewed the criteria for the scholarship and recommended that the Association broaden the scope and make the scholarship more open. In 2004, Irene MacCrimmon reported that changes to the application form would allow for post-graduate study at any accredited university, with two scholarships of CAD$2,500.00 available each year.

The Bernice Wood Flett Scholarship was first awarded in 2005 to Ms. Kelly Bennett, Queen’s University. Under the supervision of Dr. Jane Errington, Kelly’s research toward a Master of Arts degree focused on the experiences of Loyalist refugee women in Upper Canada. Kelly completed her MA in June 2006.

In 2007, at the request of Bernice Wood Flett, the scholarship became known as the UELAC Loyalist Scholarship.

Since its inception in 1998, the UELAC Loyalist Scholarship has been sponsored by the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada and supported through the generous donations of members and friends. Donations to UELAC marked Loyalist Scholarship Fund or Scholarship Endowment Fund will receive a tax receipt.


Committee Chairs

The Chair is appointed by the President subject to the approval of Dominion Council for such term as Dominion Council shall determine.

  • 2001-2008: Irene MacCrimmon, Grand River
  • 2008-2012: Jim Taylor, Grand River
  • 2012-2014: Arnold Weirmeir, Kawartha
  • 2014-2015: Ray Cummins, Hamilton
  • 2015-2020: Bonnie Schepers, Bicentennial/Heritage
  • 2021-2022: Dr. Taylor Størmer, New Brunswick Branch
  • 2022- : Christine Manzer, Vancouver Branch


UELAC Branch Scholarships

Calgary Branch – United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada History Prize

Established in 1966. University of Calgary, History Department. Awarded to an undergraduate student with the highest standing in any Canadian History course (minimum grade of A- required). The university controls and invests the original principle amount from which $200.00 is paid annually.

Colonel Edward Jessup Branch – Colonel Edward Jessup United Empire Loyalist Bursary

($250) Four bursaries awarded each year awarded to a graduating student who is pursuing post-secondary education and has shown interest and demonstrated high achievement in history.

Col. John Butler (Niagara) Branch – Loyalist History Award

This award is given in conjunction with the District School Board of Niagara’s Annual Heritage Fair using the following criteria: “In recognition of Loyalist history, settlers, monarchy and related significance to Canadian history from 1775 to the present and the impact on Canada today”. The winner is presented with a framed certificate and $50.

Governor Simcoe Branch

For many years, Gov. Simcoe Branch has participated in each of up to three Toronto Heritage Fairs with a book prize to each participant in the project judged to be the best Loyalist project. The Branch presence includes a display at each event, at most events one or more classroom style presentations about the Loyalists to groups of students, and a subsequent visit to the winning school to present the prize(s), which is usually done at another presentation about Loyalists to the student’s class, or group of classes.

Hamilton Branch – The United Empire Loyalists (Hamilton Branch) Scholarship

McMaster University Scholarship Fund. Established in 2004 to support research in Canadian History. The award is made by the School of Graduate Studies at McMaster University on the recommendation of the Department of History to a graduate student conducting archival research in Canadian History for the period 1750 to 1850.

Kawartha Branch

Kawartha Branch supports research in the Loyalist era at Trent University and the Conservator & Museum Management / Curator Programmes at Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario.

Nova Scotia Branch

University of King’s College, Halifax NS. Nova Scotia Branch sponsors a bursary awarded each year to a student studying for their Bachelor of Arts degree. In 2016, the award was valued at $600.00.

Sir Guy Carleton Branch

Established in 1998. Originally known as the United Empire Loyalists Scholarship in Canadian Studies. Undergraduate Scholarship/Undergraduate Bursary, Donor Endowed Student Support (OTSS). Now known as the John Ruch Memorial Bursary in Canadian Studies.

Awarded annually, on the recommendation of the Director of the School of Canadian Studies, to students proceeding from Second to Third year enrolled in the Canadian studies program. Recipients will have demonstrated financial need, must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada (landed immigrants or protected persons), and must meet OSAP’s Ontario residency requirements. Endowed in 2008 by the Sir Guy Carleton Branch of the United Loyalists’ Association of Canada in memory of their late honorary president, John Ruch.

Toronto Branch – The United Empire Loyalists’ Award

at York University. Awarded to a student in the Master’s or Doctoral program whose research is on a topic devoted to the study of the United Empire Loyalists during the period of 1760-1841, their descendants and their legacy. Such research may focus on the history of loyalists in the 13 colonies, Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, or PEI.

Vancouver Branch

During the years 2010 to 2023, the Vancouver Branch of the UELAC was a proud participant and supporter of the BC Heritage Fairs Program. As such, we created an award that was presented to a project at many Regional Heritage Fairs: the Vancouver Branch UELAC Award, bestowed in recognition of outstanding achievement in highlighting the history of the settlement and growth of Canada prior to Confederation (1867) in particular, the United Empire Loyalists or their descendants and their contribution to the development of Canada.

Victoria Branch

UEL Victoria Branch Alvin Huffman Scholarship in Canadian History (2014) UELAC Victoria Branch Scholarship awarded at University of Victoria, Department of History.