The Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Making Canada better
known to Canadians
and to the world.

Publishers of Canadian Geographic Magazine Publishers of géographica


Expeditions - How to Apply

Please read completely before filling out the application form

Next Deadline: January 7

The goal of the RCGS Expedition Program is to enhance the appreciation, understanding and knowledge of the physical, environmental and cultural geography of Canada by recognizing and encouraging the spirit of discovery and adventure through expeditions taking place largely within Canada.

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.”

Expeditions supported by the RCGS must have:

  • A well-defined purpose or objective that contributes to geographic appreciation, understanding and/or knowledge of Canada and therefore fulfills the mandate of the RCGS: “To make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world.”
  • A clear element of physical challenge, adventure and exploration taking into account:
    • remoteness;
    • physical challenges;
    • terrain and elements;
  • A clear and well developed outreach component incorporating one or more of web, social media, video, print, community and/or school engagement.

Expeditions supported by the RCGS must take place largely within Canada.

The RCGS encourages all residents of Canada, including community organizations and clubs, as well as individuals to apply for expedition support.

While the RCGS will, in exceptional circumstances, support applicants from outside of Canada, preference will be given to Canadians and residents of Canada.

Expeditions supported by the RCGS do not have to be “a Canadian first” but instead provide a new lens through which to understand the landscape, people and environment of Canada.

Expedition Grants

There are five levels of expedition grants. Not all grants may be awarded in a given year.

Expedition of the Year (one only): Up to $15,000; normal range $10,000 - $15,000
Awarded to a project considered to have an exceptional combination of adventure, enhancement to geographic appreciation of Canada and its people, and a broad outreach component

Major Grants: Up to $5,000; normal range $3,000 - $5,000
Awarded to projects that are deemed to have a strong combination of adventure, enhancement to geographic appreciation of Canada and its people, and a solid outreach component

Seed Grants: Up to $3,000; normal range $500 - $3,000
Awarded to projects deemed to qualify for support where the funding is seen to be able to encourage projects to proceed

Women’s Expedition Grant: Up to $5,000
For expeditions with female leadership and participation;
Awarded to projects where all participants are women;
Intended to encourage leadership and participation by women on expeditions in Canada

Aboriginal Expedition Grant: Up to $5,000
For expeditions with aboriginal leadership and participation;
Awarded to projects undertaken by aboriginal groups, organizations or individuals from any of Canada’s diverse aboriginal communities.

Expeditions undertaken by “professional adventurers”:

  • Expeditions led by amateurs will be considered equally with expeditions led by “professionals”;
  • In order to be supported by the RCGS, expeditions whose leadership and/or majority of participants/proponents are “professional adventurers” will require:
    • A high level of physical challenges;
    • Enhanced gain of knowledge (in the broad sense of the word as opposed to “scientific” discoveries);
    • An enhanced and significant outreach component

What will NOT be funded:

  • Proposals from commercial or for-profit entities;
  • Guided expeditions
  • Salaries, professional and/or consulting fees.
  • Proposals raising funds for, or in support of, the work of non-profit, charitable or advocacy organizations;
  • Capital works projects or major capital purchases;
  • Administrative overhead, infrastructure or membership fees;
  • Conference, workshop or tuition fees.

Funding for proposals from academic institutions are limited to activities that are strictly outside the curriculum and not what usually would be termed scientific or institutional field trips.

Scientific research projects are encouraged to apply to the RCGS Research and Grants Program.


In reviewing an application for expedition funding the following are considered:

  • The objectives of the expedition;
  • The level of adventure, physical effort, challenges and anticipated accomplishments;
  • The extent to which the appreciation of the landscape, people and environment of Canada will be enhanced;
  • Planned communication and outreach strategy to ensure the expedition reaches out to Canadians and the world;
  • Whether the project is consistent with the aim of the RCGS “to make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world.”
  • Applicant and team member's citizenship and residency.
  • Project Location (e.g. does the majority of the project occur in Canada)
  • Partnerships and co-sponsors
  • Status of required permits
  • References
  • Detailed budget and schedule / project plan

Successful Applicants:

Will be contacted by the RCGS and:

  • Advised of level of grant;
  • Advised of conditions surrounding use of RCGS/ Canadian Geographic logos, etc.;
  • Advised of expedition requirements pertaining to:
    • Development of media content for Canadian Geographic/RCGS web site;
    • Submission of photos, video, written material, etc.;
    • Other as required;
  • Review and signature of contract, at which point funds will be released.


Any tips for submitting my application?

  • Complete the application form, even if the information is available in that amazing portfolio or website you put together. We do not look for missing information!
  • Be concise — we review a lot of proposals; well written, catchy proposals have a much higher rate of success
  • Stick to the word limits
  • Detailed budgets tell us you have done your homework and, most importantly, tell us how you are going to spend the funds
  • The folks reviewing the applications have a broad range of knowledge and expertise (we do background checks) and may have even been where you want to go. Make sure you have done your homework!
  • Why not get someone to review your application for you, preferably someone who is not part of your project?

What type of grant should I apply for?

  • Be honest in your self-assessment of what you are hoping to do
  • A seed grant from the RCGS may open other doors for you
  • We will slide you into another category if we think it is appropriate

Still have a question? Then please contact us and we’ll help you out!

For further assistance please contact:

Kendra Stieler
Manager, RCGS Programs

Apply online

Share this page

   Copyright © 2019 The Royal Canadian Geographical Society SITEMAP  |   CONTACT  |   PRIVACY POLICY  |   TERMS OF USE  |   FRANÇAIS