The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
Heraldry Today

Malaspina University-College

Nanaimo, British Columbia
Grant of Arms, Supporters, Flag and Badge
May 20, 1995
Vol. III, p. 11

Arms of Malaspina University-College

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Blazon

Arms

Or over three barrulets wavy Azure in base a representation of a Spanish corbeta tempore 1790 Azure sails Argent edged Gules on a chief dancetty Azure four open books Argent bound Or;

Crest

Issuant from a Salish canoe Gules a demi-sun in splendour Or;

Supporters

On a grassy mount set with fir trees Vert in front of mountains proper crested Argent all rising above barry wavy Argent and Azure two eagles Or heads Argent wings elevated and addorsed Azure;

Motto

DISCOVERIES IN EDUCATION;


Symbolism

Arms

The late 18th century Spanish sailing vessel is the type used by Captain Alejandro Malaspina who sailed the waters off Vancouver Island in 1791 in search of the Northwest Passage. The vessel thus recalls this academic institution’s namesake and honours the tradition of exploration. The upper jagged line refers to the mountain range across the Strait of Georgia as seen from the main campus. Active learning is depicted through the open books and highlights the University-College’s central mission. The gold binding symbolizes the value of pursuing an education and the wealth of knowledge. The four books stand for the main campus and the three regional campuses of Malaspina University-College.

Crest

The principal element of the crest is a red sea-going Salish canoe. Out of it rises a yellow demi-sun, emblem of enlightenment, life and aspiration for learning. This crest pays homage to the First Nations, whose heritage is an important element in Malaspina’s programs, and especially to the members of the Salish Nation who live in each of the regions now served by the University-College.

Supporters

The eagles signify inspiration and striving. For the First Nations, the eagle plays a prominent role in symbolizing wisdom and power. The eagles stand on a base that consists of three natural elements: vegetation, mountains and water. The evergreens and lush greenery are in abundance in the Vancouver Island region. The majestic mountains recall the vista accessible from all of Malaspina’s four campuses and are unique to the western part of Canada. The alternating white and blue wavy bars refer to the presence of water at each of the campuses’ location.

Motto

This motto was adopted by Malaspina University-College when it was inaugurated in 1969. It also provides a connection with one of Captain Alejandro Malaspina’s ship, the Descubierta, which means “discovery”.