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Expeditions Program

For many, the terms “geography” and “expedition” are synonymous. In fact, most Canadians are introduced to the discipline of geography through exposure to “geographic expeditions”, as presented in popular and academic publications. Through expeditions, geographic appreciation, understanding and knowledge expand. To promote this tradition, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) supports an Expeditions Program to encourage and support geographic expeditions taking place largely within Canada, by Canadians.

Extending our current knowledge of Canada’s geography through exploration and scientific expeditions, the RCGS has funded some major expeditions across the country.

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The greatest explorers today are astronauts, deep-sea divers and polar adventurers. But then they’re also paleontologists, historians, conservationists and photographers.

Check out Canadian Geographic’s list of 100 great Canadian explorers!


The 2015 Malerualik Expedition is a unique, RCGS flag expedition through the Simpson Strait, designed to capture and record the transference of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge regarding Franklin to the next generation.  Led by celebrated Inuit historian and Polar Medal winner, Louie Kamookak, the student expedition team were taught Inuit stories and place names related to Franklin, and how they connected to their own heritage. As these stories were shared, the expedition team traveled to key Franklin and Inuit sites, including Todd Island, Peddle Point and Douglas Bay, to experience them first-hand. 

This canoe camping adventure will see six travelers realize a dream to cross Canada via lakes and rivers. The expedition will begin on the icy waters of Lake of Two Mountains, Montreal, and will conclude nearly 7,000 miles from its starting point in Inuvik on the snowy banks of the Mackenzie River.

Traveling with their young son, the Gendreau-Berthiaume family hopes to inspire others, including families with young children, to plan their own adventures and discover what Canada has to offer. During this expedition they will paddle approximately 5000km through 5 provinces, including four rivers that are part of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System to help raise awareness about the current and historical importance of these bodies of water to our country.

This expedition will explore waterways of ages past in Canada’s least populated biome. Following the journals of Back, Pike and Seaton, the circuit starts in Yellowknife along Great Slave Lake and passes through the proposed Thaydene Nene National Park on the historic Pike’s Portage route. By paddling through the transition from Boreal forest to tundra they aim to better understand the richness and diversity of the tundra, and communicate this to Canadians.

A multi-generational, multi-cultural team of Tahltan and non-Tahltan alike took on this 12-day backpacking trip; this journey was recorded through film, photography, and art. The vision of the project is to foster a world in unity through leadership and respect for each other and the land. The project will share their experiences through a feature film to be broadly distributed. It features Tahltan stories, artistic works and live speaking engagements.

On June 1st 2015, Dana Meise plans to depart to complete his solo hike to all three of Canada's Oceans via the Trans Canada Trail. To date, he has completed the over 16,000km journey from Cape Spear Newfoundland to Clover Point Victoria B.C., being the first to do so on the worlds longest recreational trail.


RCGS expedition support is awarded to individuals and teams undertaking expeditions in Canada that complement the mandate of the RCGS to “make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world.”

Information on application guidelines and procedures are available online.

Deadline for applications: January 21st of each year


Expeditions listed by year
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