The Royal Canadian Geographical Society held its annual awards ceremony and Fellows Dinner at the Canadian Museum of History on Wednesday, November 18. Here were some of the highlights of an evening filled with laughter, music and, of course, geography.
1. We honoured the best and brightest in the field of geography
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presided over the medal ceremony, which saw 15 awards presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of geography or to the mission of the Society.
- Polar Knowledge Canada Northern Science Award
Dr. Louis Fortier
- Innovation in Geography Teaching award
- Geographic Literacy Award
- 3M Environmental Innovation Award
- Martin Bergmann Medal
Dr. John Smol
- Ondaatje Medal
- Camsell Medal
- Burpee Medal
- Bernier Medal
- Gold Medal
Dr. Jacob Verhoef
- Massey Medal
Dr. Brian Osborne
2. We elected 65 new Fellows
3. The Hon. Kirsty Duncan brought science back
Duncan, Canada’s newly-minted Minister of Science and herself a geographer, received a huge cheer from the crowd for her opening remarks, which included this line:
4. We celebrated GIS Day
Could we have picked a more perfect day for an event honouring geographers?
5. We inked a new partnership with the Trans-Canada Trail
6. James Keelaghan performed — twice
No geography event would be complete without a rendition of Stan Rogers’ classic “Northwest Passage,” and Keelaghan delivered. The Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter also surprised Margaret Atwood with a special performance in honour of her birthday:
7. Margaret Atwood sang an Arrogant Worms song — in both official languages
We’ve hit Peak Canada.