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Gold Medal

Award Recipients since its inception in 1972

The information given below shows the place of employment of the individual at the time of the award.

2013
Michael Palin
For his contribution to geographical literacy.

Robert Bateman
For his work to make the RCGS a leading educational force in Canada.

Mapping Information Branch of Natural Resources Canada
For the completion of the topographic mapping of Canada at the 1:50 000 scale.

2012
Philip Currie

2011
Sir Christopher Ondaatje
For his long abiding support for geography.

NASA Astronaut Jerry Linenger
For his outstanding contribution to furthering geographic education around the world.

Parks Canada, the Dehcho First Nations and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
For their collaborative efforts to protect the Nahanni Wilderness Reserve.

2010
Alex Trebek
For his outstanding contribution to popularizing geographic education.

Canadian International Polar Year National Committee
For its guidance and vital role in ensuring the success of Canada’s IPY 2007-2008 program.

2009
Wade Davis
For his extensive ethnographic fieldwork and his contribution to our knowledge of indigenous cultures.

2007
The Nature of Québec/Le Québec au naturel
The first of a four-volume series, The Nature of Québec/Le Québec au naturel is an ambitious bilingual coffee-table book and DVD on the geography of Quebec.

2006
The Atlas of Canada
The Atlas of Canada, a program of the Earth Observation and GeoSolutions Division (EOGD) of Natural Resources Canada in Ottawa, continues to chart Canada’s ever-changing physical, economic and social landscape.

2004
Jean Lemire, Îles de la Madeleine, Québec
For his “Arctic Mission” expedition through the Northwest Passage collecting scientific data and documenting on film the impact of climate change in the Arctic.

Edryd Shaw, Ottawa, Ontario
For the development of RADARSAT, Canada’s first remote sensing satellite.

2003
Roger F. Tomlinson, Ottawa, Ontario
For his leadership role in the development of Geographic Information Systems.

2002
Gordon Slade, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador
For his initiative and leadership in the restoration and preservation of the historical fishing village of Battle Harbour, Labrador.

2001
Norman Hallendy, Carp, Ontario
For his dedicated years of work to preserve the oral histories of the Inuit ands in recording the significance of the inukshuk to northern life.

2000
Bernard Voyer, Montréal, Quebec
For his achievement in being the first Canadian to reach all ’three poles’: the North Pole, South Pole and the summit of Mt Everest.

1998
Mary May Simon, Ottawa
For her pivotal contribution to the creation of the Arctic Council and her leadership in building institutions to promote the well-being of Arctic peoples and environments.

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1997
Peter Gzowski, Toronto
For his ability to disseminate information about the cultures and peoples of Canada through his CBC radio show Morningside.

1996
Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Washington, D.C.
For his strategic support in establishing the Canadian Council for Geographic Education and promoting geographic education in Canada

1995
Harold K. Eidsvik, Ottawa
In recognition of his outstanding leadership in championing the application of natural and social sciences to the identification and management of nationally significant ecological areas in Canada.

Dr. Lawrence W. Morley, Owen Sound, Ontario
For his outstanding achievements in advancing the remote sensing sciences and their applications to expanding the knowledge of Canada’s geography.

Dr. Victor K. Prest, Ottawa
Presented in recognition of his contributions to the knowledge of Canada’s physical geography and glaciation through his numerous publications.

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1994
The Historical Atlas of Canada, volumes II and III
Presented to Dr. R. Louis Gentilcore (Toronto), Editor of Volume II, and to Dr. Deryck W. Holdsworth (Toronto) and Dr. Donald Kerr (Toronto), editors of Volume III, as representatives of the team of talented individuals who successfully brought ’this remarkable masterpiece of geographical scholarship to fruition.’

1988
The Historical Atlas of Canada, Volume I
William G. Dean, Toronto
For his vision of the concept, for his dedication to the fulfillment of the Atlas and for his rigorous leadership as the administrator of the Project.
R. Colebrook Harris, Vancouver
For his scholarly and thoughtful approach to this innovative exercise in historical interpretation and for his adherence to excellence in presentation.
Geoffrey J. Matthews, Toronto
For his imagination and skill in refining the historical research material and transforming it into elegantly and clearly displayed cartographic form.

1986
Dr. Derek C. Ford, Hamilton
For his research in geomorphology, especially karst landforms and in radiometric dating methodology of calcite cave deposits; and in particular his leadership in the exploration and analysis of the Castleguard Caves.

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1980
Selma Barkham, Ottawa
For her work on the 16th-Century voyages of Basque whalers to Labrador, ‘a classic piece of historical-geographical research’.

1978
Dr. J. Tuzo Wilson, C.C., Toronto
For his outstanding contributions to the geosciences, which have been many, most notably his world leadership in promoting the theory of drifting continents, but including contributions to geography, including his pioneer work in the use of aerial photography and the first map of the features of Canada left by the last Ice Age.

1976
National Atlas of Canada (1974 Edition)
The original Gold Medal was presented to the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa, the sponsoring arm of the Government of Canada in this enterprise, as an award to the team of more than forty individuals responsible for the production of the atlas. (Replicas of the medal were given to each of these individuals identified by the Department as contributing significantly to its realization, and to the Macmillan Co. of Canada, which organized and created the finished volume.)

1973
Maj. Gen. William J. Megill, Kingston, Ont.
For his services as executive secretary of the Society and as editor of its magazine, 1959 to 1973.

1972
Dr. Stanislaw Lesczychki, of Poland
For his achievements as a geographer in his own country and as president of the International Geographical Union, and to honour the IGU for choosing Canada as the site of its 22nd International Congress (Montreal, August, 1972).

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The Summits of Canada – an expedition to climb the highest peaks in all provinces and territories. “Welcome to an historic expedition to tell Canadians and the world about Canada. The legacy of this quest is not the footprints we will leave on the mountains, but the impact on people’s lives. Together we can make a difference, one step at a time.”

— James Coleridge, Expedition Leader,
Summits of Canada




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