• Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces a large donation to The Royal Canadian Geographical Society as his wife Laureen Harper, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover look on. (Photo: PMO photo by Jason Ransom)

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society has received a special gift from Prime Minister Stephen Harper on behalf of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, who wrapped up their Canadian tour yesterday in Winnipeg.

A government official stated that the RCGS would receive a $75,000 donation from the royal couple. The Society was chosen because its programs, including Canadian Geographic Education with its network of 11,000 classrooms across Canada, align with the Prince’s commitment to youth and education.

The Prince noted that the generous gift will help “inspire young Canadians to learn more about the geography and history of this great country.” The Prime Minister and his wife joined the Prince and Duchess on the last stop on the royal tour, at Manitoba’s Aerospace and Aviation Day, where the couples met school children learning about flight.

Paul Ruest, president of the RCGS, was at the event and thanked the Prince “for recognizing the role that our Society plays in fostering a love and understanding of Canada’s rich cultural and environmental history.” He said the donation would be used to help the Society continue to make Canada better known, not only to Canadians, but also to the rest of the world. “Our geography has shaped us. With this funding more Canadians will learn more about this land and the places that are still to be explored.”

John Geiger, chief executive officer of the RCGS, said the gift recognizes the link between Canada’s youth and the Society. “It illustrates how the Canadian Crown is interwoven and relevant, and will directly benefit Canadian youth, and indeed all Canadians, as it allows the Society to provide Canadians with the tools they need to better understand their country and their place in the world.”