Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society

The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society supports post-secondary education by providing scholarships for students attending public post-secondary institutions in BC.

Our Impact Why We Exist

The Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society believes that a vibrant democracy requires an educated citizenry and that all British Columbians benefit from programs that improve access to education. Our province-wide scholarship and award programs help reduce financial barriers to post-secondary education.

Life as a university or college student can be incredibly rewarding, but it isn’t always easy. Between writing term papers, volunteering in their communities, and pursuing personal development opportunities like travel, many students worry about how they will finance their education. That’s where we come in. The Society provides scholarships to three categories of students in BC: students transferring from one post-secondary institution to another to complete their degree; Aboriginal students pursuing higher education; and students completing part of their studies abroad.

With funds from the Society, BC’s post-secondary students are better equipped to make our province the best it can be. They are improving their communities, becoming leaders in their fields, and acting as ambassadors for BC and Canada around the world.

Our Story What We Do

The Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society provides awards and scholarships to students pursuing post-secondary education in BC. The Society was created in 2004 following the establishment of a permanent endowment by the Province of British Columbia. The Society is named after the late philanthropist Irving K. Barber, who was well known for his long-standing support of public education. Since its inception, the Society has granted over $7 million in scholarships and awards to thousands of students across the province.

A volunteer Board of Directors provides leadership, oversight and guidance to the Society. The Board includes both members-at-large and representatives appointed by the Province of BC who bring particular expertise in post-secondary education. The Victoria Foundation administers the Society’s various scholarship and award programs.

“My sister and I are the first in our family to not only finish high school, but to continue in our post-secondary path. Your support has helped to change the rest of my life in a positive way.” – Dixie Smeeton, 2013 BC Aboriginal Student Award recipient

Our Programs How We Do It

The Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society manages three scholarship and award programs:

1. Aboriginal Student Award/Aboriginal Teacher Education Award

The BC Aboriginal Student Award aims to reduce barriers to post-secondary education for Aboriginal students across the province. Awards from $1,000 to $5,000 are available for students in programs ranging from trades apprenticeships to doctoral-level study. In 2012, an award program for Aboriginal students studying to become teachers was launched, and in 2013, a special fund was created to augment the Society’s support for Aboriginal students pursuing masters and doctoral degrees.

2. Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship

Ike Barber Transfer Scholarships, each valued at $5,000, are awarded to undergraduate students who have begun their study at one BC post-secondary institution but need to transfer to another institution to complete their degree.

3. International Scholarships

The Society’s international scholarships are for students who are enrolled at a BC public post-secondary institution who wish to include an international learning experience as part of their studies. One World and Pacific Horizons scholarships, from $1,000 to $3,500, are available for study-abroad programs. Premier’s International Scholarships, from $6,000 to $10,000, are awarded to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and community involvement.

What You Can Do

A gift to the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society is a commitment to the future of education in our province. It might take the form of a donation of cash or it might be a planned gift such as a bequest in your will, securities or an insurance policy naming the Society as beneficiary. Either way, your generosity will make a difference.

To make a donation or for information about arranging one, please contact us.


Rory Grewar
Program Director
844.478.4645 x(toll free)
Charitable Number: 823422142RR0001

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