NAC’s roots go back to 1919, when the Naval Officers Association of British Columbia was formed by naval veterans of World War I. After World War II, a number of similar associations sprang up across Canada, with the objective of capturing and maintaining the wardroom spirit so essential to the wartime success of the Royal Canadian Navy in both the Atlantic and Pacific. In 1950, the many associations banded together in a federation of branches, and a single “letters patent” incorporated the Naval Officers Association of Canada (NOAC). The Association served as a rallying opportunity for continued social interaction, plus as a means of providing coordinated advice to the government and Navy of the day.
In light of the way the modern Canadian Navy has vastly changed from the early days in terms of both personnel relationships and missions, in 2008-2010 the NOAC conducted an extensive re-think of its purpose and roles. As a direct result, in 2011 the name was changed to Naval Association of Canada. Membership was extended to all ranks as well as to those who may not have seen naval service but have a strong interest in seeing the newly re-named Royal Canadian Navy prosper and maintain its world-class capabilities. The fifteen branches maintain their independence, but have input into how the NAC operates and where it is going.