The Trans-Canada (McKee) Trophy

The Trans-Canada Trophy, generally known as the McKee Trophy, is the oldest aviation award in Canada having been established in 1927 by Captain J. Dalzell McKee. In 1926 McKee, of Pittsburgh, Penn. accompanied by Squadron Leader Earl Godfrey of the RCAF, flew from Montreal to Vancouver in a Douglas MO-2B seaplane. McKee was so impressed by the services provided by the RCAF and the Ontario Provincial Air Service that he established an endowment by means of which the greatly coveted McKee Trophy is awarded to the Canadian whose achievements were most outstanding in promoting aviation in Canada.

The Trophy was deeded to the Crown in the person of the Minister of National Defence – in the days when the Department of National Defence controlled all flying, military and civil. It was retired in 1964 and reinstated in 1966, and in 1971 administration of the Trophy was transferred to the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute. From 1964 until its move to Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983, the Trophy was on display at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa.

The Trophy is awarded for outstanding achievement in the field of air operations. The achievement for which the Trophy is awarded may be a single brilliant exploit within the past year, or a sustained high-level performance in recent years; pioneering of new areas of air operations and advancement of the use of aviation shall receive consideration over achievements serving no useful end. Qualifications as aircrew shall be a prior claim to consideration. The recipient shall have been a Canadian citizen at the time of the achievement.

2017 McKee Trophy winners Andy Litavniks and Chuck Ellis

2017 McKee Trophy winners Andy Litavniks and Chuck Ellis (photo: MJMendes)

Nomination Form