The Royal Canadian Geographical Society held its 2015 medal ceremony and College of Fellows Annual Dinner at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., on Nov. 18. What follows are six of the evening’s many highlights.
1. We honoured the best and brightest in the field of geography
Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the lieutenant-governor of Ontario, presided over the medal ceremony, which saw 13 awards presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of geography or to the Society’s mission.
2. We elected 65 new Fellows
They hail from Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United States and Sweden, and include an astronaut, an Inuit oral historian and a former prime minister of Canada.
3. Kirsty Duncan brought science back
Duncan, Canada’s newly minted science minister and herself a geographer, received a huge cheer from the crowd for her opening remarks, which touted the new government’s commitment to supporting Canadian science.
4. We celebrated GIS Day
November 18, 2015, was international GIS Day, celebrating the power of GIS systems to educate and entertain. Could we have picked a more perfect day to honour geographers?
5. Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter James Keelaghan performed — twice
No geography event would be complete without a rendition of Stan Rogers’ classic “Northwest Passage,” and Keelaghan delivered, but he also surprised 2015 Gold Medallist and keynote speaker Margaret Atwood with a performance in honour of her birthday.
6. Margaret Atwood sang an Arrogant Worms song — in both official languages
It was quite possibly the most Canadian thing that’s ever happened. Watch the video below: