Bruce Amos, who is being awarded with a Camsell medal this year for his outstanding service to The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, spent his career at Parks Canada founding new parks and marine conservation areas before joining the board of the Society.
“Whether it’s wilderness issues, an interest in the north, cultural heritage, travel and tourism, maps and photography, all of those things were part of my career,” Amos says about his time at Parks Canada. “So when I was about to retire and I was invited to get involved in The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, I thought it was the perfect fit.”
Amos, 68, was instrumental in helping to guide the magazine through the tumultuous early 2000s, when print publications of all kinds were folding due to lack of advertising revenue.
“Those were exciting times we lived through,” Amos says. “I don’t come from a publishing background, so I had to learn to keep up as a member and then chair of the management board. It’s an example of how an organization can rethink its path without sacrificing its mission. The whole idea was: how can we do what we’re supposed to do in new ways that will generate revenue and make our business more sustainable? And Canadian Geographic has succeeded in that.”
Amos also brought his photography chops to the Society by helping to establish the Photoclub and grow it to 8,000 members. “I’ve always been a photographer,” Amos says. “When I retired I decided to make my hobby more professional, so I brought my interest in photography with my to my roles at the RCGS.”
While Amos says one doesn’t volunteer at the RCGS to win a medal, it is nevertheless an honour that he is “quietly very happy” about.
“My reward for working with the society is the people I’ve met, the things we’ve accomplished and the things I’ve learned. The Society is a set a values, a mission I agree with. It’s a bunch of products I’m proud to be associated with, and it’s a family a people many of whom I’m proud to call close friends.”