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Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant Applications 2024 · Sun. Jan. 1st, 2023 - Wed. Jan. 31st, 2024

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Organized by: Lucas Braun.

Start: Sunday, Jan. 1st
End: Wednesday, Jan. 31st, 11:59 pm


Neil Mackenzie, known to his close friends as ''Bell'', had a true passion for the outdoors and always had an eye out for adventure, whether it was skiing, surfing or climbing. The more obscure an alpine objective was, the greater it tickled his enthusiasm. From his youth's stomping grounds in the Scottish Highlands, he expanded outwards exploring the alpine regions of Europe, North America and Japan. On all of these trips he brought with him his infectious enthusiasm and friendly attitude. When the going got tough, Neil invariably took up the sharp end of the rope and found a passage through difficulties. He dreamt of exploring the endless wilderness of BC's Coast Ranges, and he inspired adventure and companionship wherever he went.

"We, his parents, want to keep Neil’s memory alive in the VOC by awarding a grant to suitable applicants or teams who can demonstrate a wish to seek adventure in physical outdoor activities, preferably in Scotland, and help them to achieve their objectives. The funding for an adventure will be divided - part funded by VOC fundraising, part by The Neil Mackenzie Trust, and part by the applicants themselves. We are delighted that we are able to help young people achieve their goals and we have enjoyed meeting recipients of The Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant both here in Scotland and in Vancouver.  Since The Neil Mackenzie Trust was set up in 2015 it has also funded expeditions throughout the world and given outdoor skills training grants in Scotland.” - Margaret and Angus Mackenzie

Adventure Grant

This award is founded in the memory of our past VOC member Neil Mackenzie. Awards of up to $2,000 will be awarded to individuals or members of a party to pursue an outdoor adventure of their choice. 

Applications are open to all members of the VOC. Applications will be judged based on:

  • Spirit of adventure

  • Quality and originality of trip plan

  • Feasibility (financial & logistic). For 2024 any lingering effects and restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered

  • Self-propelled travel is encouraged

  • Active contribution in the VOC community

  • Applicants must demonstrate sufficient technical experience and background to safely complete their proposed adventure (i.e. AST / Glacier School).

  • Preference for adventures held in Scotland

  • Adventures in any other location will be considered

It is important to note that an adventure in another country may be chosen over an adventure in Scotland if it expresses a stronger sense of adventure, self-propelledness and/or quality and originality. 

Applicants who choose to go to Scotland are encouraged to consider a variety of trip possibilities, including paying a visit to the Camasunary Bothy (also referred to as ''Bell's Bothy'', in honour of Neil), which has been renovated in Neil's memory. The Scottish Highlands and Sea offer a variety of exciting and challenging opportunities for outdoor pursuits, including kayaking, surfing, climbing, mountain biking, cycle-touring, trail running and bikepacking. Do some research and go explore!

The award deadline is January 31, 2024. Application forms should be emailed to [email protected]. Applications will be reviewed by the Neil Mackenzie Trust in cooperation with the VOC Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant Committee in February. Award recipients will be notified in March 2024. The applicants are responsible for their own insurance; the Trust and the VOC can take no responsibility for any claims or incidents arising out of the project.


Criteria & Conditions, 2024


  • Open to honorary, associate and student VOC members. 

  • Individual or small groups may apply.

  • Adventures should be executed in the upcoming year 03/2024 – 03/2025

  • Applications are due by 11:59 pm, Pacific Standard Time, January 31, 2024. 

  • Award winners are expected to complete a trip report and submit a version to the VOC Journal and to the Neil Mackenzie Trust ([email protected]). A VOC slideshow presentation following the trip is also expected.

  • This year we are also asking applicants to address how their trip fits into the current COVID-19 situation if travelling internationally.


  • Grants awarded are up to $2,000

  • Grants will cover up to 65% of the total project cost. You need to pitch in or secure secondary funding.  In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to apply directly to The Neil Mackenzie Trust for help with the secondary funding.

  • The Trust does not contribute towards the purchase of equipment or clothing (e.g. rock or ice climbing gear, backpacks, puffy jackets or winter clothing, backpacks, paniers, etc.)

Special Applications

Other applications may be considered, out of the main timescale, if money is available and the applicant is travelling to an academic course, conference or other activity. For example, if you have a research conference in Edinburgh, you may with shorter notice apply for supporting funds to combine an outdoor trip alongside your conference.


Application Form:

Posted: 2023-09-13 09:08:06
Last modified: 2023-09-13 09:11:00