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known to Canadians
and to the world.

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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 a long history of funding both major and modest expeditions across the country.

Beginning in 2018 we are pleased to announce our new partnership between the RCGS and the Mountain Equipment Co-operative (MEC). MEC actively funds and provides equipment to our five categories of grants, and is the Official Outfitter of the RCGS Expeditions Program.

Apply for funding

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!


To tell the story of the last of the Arctic’s sea ice, Stephen will lead a small team north to kayak its most dynamic strait, a narrow ice-choked passageway separating Canada and Greenland. Setting out five hundred miles from the North Pole, the paddlers explore and document the ice on their southbound navigation to the northernmost village of Greenland. Their goal is to investigate the breakdown of a frozen ocean; their vision is to make the Arctic tangible.

John Dunn will undertake a 70 day, 1100km south-north skiing and hiking traverse of the Boothia Peninsula and Somerset Island - from the mouth of the Back River to the shore of Lancaster Sound.

Using only human-powered transportation, Dianne Whelan will hike, bike, paddle and snow shoe the 23000km Trans Canada Trail. In completing her trek, she will be the first person to do the TC Trail including the 7000km of water routes.

The objective of Dave Pearson’s expedition is to explore the Monarch Icefield south of Bella Coola on skis in search of first descents and wide open spaces as he moves toward the transition point and descends to the head of the Talchako River. He will then navigate the Talchako to the Bella Coola River at the confluence with the Atnarko River, and then to the ocean port at Bella Coola, completing a 100km float from source to saltwater.


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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