The Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society is part of a national society dedicated to bringing information about astronomy to the general public.


Open to everyone with an interest in astronomy. Membership in the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada does not require any knowledge of astronomy. We enjoy helping beginners!

Joining the Victoria Centre of the Canada-wide RASC is easy – Join Now

Primary Contacts

President – Dr. Chris Gainor – email

Membership Coordinator – Chris Purse – email

Victoria Centre Directors

President – Dr. Chris Gainor, FRASC – email

Overall responsibility for Victoria Centre, its members and Council & public relations

First Vice President – Dan Posey – email

Monthly meeting & speakers, major events

Second Vice President – Kirsten Pedersen – email

Special projects, observing events, volunteers

Treasurer – Doug Hardy – email

Financial recording and reporting

Secretary – Oliver Robinow – email

Minutes, official records, correspondence

Past President – Randy Enkin- email

Business continuity, special projects, nominating committee

Directors at Large – David Lee, Myles Morrison, Jeff Pivnick, Lauri Roche, Alex Schmid

Assist in the operation of the Centre

Victoria Centre Officers

Computer Applications – vacant

Server, Email, Online Services Coordination

Librarian – Alex Schmid – email

Lending library – periodicals, books, CDs, DVDs & other media in our library

Membership Coordinator – Chris Purse – email

Enquiries from the public & new members, membership roster, email lists

National Representatives – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman & Bill Weir

National RASC representation and liaison

Observing Chair – Jim Stilburn- email

Vested with authority by the National Observing Committee to review and approve observing certificate applications

Progressive Lighting Policies – Dave Robinson

Liaison and education about effective use of lighting

Schools Programs – Lauri Roche – email

School visit and education program

SkyNews Editor – Randy Enkin – email

Editor of SkyNews, our monthly newsletter

Telescope Loans – Sid Sidhu – email

Lending Centre-owned telescopes to members

Victoria Centre Observatory – Reg Dunkley – email

Victoria Centre Observatory operations

Webmaster – Joe Carr – email

Website content

Advisors and Liaisons

  • James Di Francesco (Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, National Research Council)
  • Jim Hesser
  • John McDonald
  • Jim Nemec (Camosun College)
  • Lauri Roche (Friends of the DAO)
  • Alex Schmid (University of Victoria)
  • Bill Weir (Pearson College)

RASC Roots

In 1868 a small group of amateur astronomers formed the Toronto Astronomy Club. In 1903, King Edward VII gave his permission for “Royal” to be included in the title and the Society became the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. There are now around 5,000 members in 30 Centres, found in most major Canadian cities.

The Victoria Centre was formed in 1914 and quickly developed into one of the largest centres in the country. There are currently over 250 members. Most are amateurs with some being professionals from the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, the University of Victoria, and Camosun College. Professional astronomers frequently appear as guest speakers at RASC monthly meetings.

Victoria Centre members have a long history of offering public observing sessions to residents of Victoria.