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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-op (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!



RECENTLY FUNDED EXPEDITIONS

Near Fernie, B.C., a remote karst plateau was finally investigated in July 2012 using a helicopter for access. Between 2013–2017, one cave — Bisaro Anima — was explored in successive expeditions to a new Canadian depth record of -670 metres and a mapped length of 5.3 kilometres. Jeremy Bruns, Christian Stenner, Kathleen Graham and a large Canadian caving team will return to this challenging cave system in 2018 to continue exploration using both underground camps and cave diving. 

This major canoe expedition will take six adventurers in the heart of Quebec and Labrador’s great northern wildlife. This group — brought together by Nicolas Roulx, a secondary school geography teacher and Geography Master Applicant — will travel 1,500 km in 3 months to connect George River, Ungava Bay, Mount Iberville and the steep coasts of Labrador Sea.

Tom Gross and his team will make a documentary of the search for the burial vault of Sir John Franklin and possibly the documents of his 1845–1848 Expedition. The proponent has been conducting surveys of Cape Felix, King William Island for the past 23 years and has made a discovery that could be the source of The Peter Bayne / Pat Coleman story.

Brian Thompson and a team of alpinists will explore the Waddington Range of Western B.C. in the same way it was done by the first party to attempt to climb Mt. Waddington led by Don and Phyllis Munday in 1926. A film crew will accompany the re-enactors and make a documentary film of the expedition, which will be entered into various film festivals across Canada and the world.

Mt. Lucania, Canada’s third tallest peak at 5,226 metres, is brutally cold in January. Nestled deep in the Yukon’s Kluane National Park, this seldom visited peak has never been climbed in the winter. A two-person team, Marceau-Dupre, made an epic attempt to do so in January 2018.

Justin Barbour's expedition will travel approximately 1,700 kilometres across the Labrador Peninsula from the old Hudson Bay Trading Post of North West River, Labrador to the Inuit community of Kuujjuarapik, Quebec. This route will take him — east to west – from the Labrador Sea to Hudson Bay. Justin will travel by foot, canoe and pack raft with his Cape Shore water dog, Saku.

This canoe expedition will venture from the headwaters of the Wind River, to the Peel River, ending at Ft. McPherson. This three-week trip will follow the route of the first formal mapping expedition of the Peel River basin by RCGS founder Charles Camsell and his brother Fred in 1905. Team leaders David McGuffin and Terry Camsell are the great-grandson and grandson respectively of Charles and Fred.

Between 1901 and 1958, Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum sponsored 25 expeditions in northern Quebec and Labrador. This obscure institution established ecological baselines long before Canada invested any research in the area. Conor Mihell's team will embark on an eight-week canoe journey that retraces the 1938 Carnegie expedition.


APPLY FOR FUNDING

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

LISTING OF RECIPIENTS

Expeditions listed by year
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