OTTAWA (ON), April 12, 2022 /CNW/ – The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) is honored to announce that Her Excellency the Right Honorable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, agreed to become Patron of the Society. In doing so, His Excellency maintains a tradition of viceregal patronage that dates back to 1929 with the Society’s founding patron, The Rt. Hon. Viscount Willingdon.

In 1998, the RCGS presented Simon with its Gold Medal and honorary membership in recognition of her accomplishments as an Inuit leader and Canadian diplomat. By extending his Patronage, His Excellency has in turn brought honor to the Society.

At Marie Simon’s historic appointment as Governor General will bring unique knowledge and guidance to Canadaand his RCGS sponsorship will do the same for the Society,” said John Geiger, CEO of RCGS and President of Canadian Geographic. “This is a great moment. On the eve of the United Nations Decade of Indigenous Languages, we are blessed to have His Excellency, as well as the Honorary Chief President of the RCGS Perry Bellegardeto guide us as we venture ever deeper on our journey of seeking truth and reconciliation.”

“I am pleased to welcome Her Excellency the Right Honorable Mary Simon as Honorary Patron of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society,” said Chief Perry Bellegarde. “Reconciliation can mean transforming long-standing institutions in Canada. This means that First Nations, Inuit and Métis people are in leadership positions where we can engage Canadians in our traditional worldviews. His Excellency brings such knowledge of the Inuit lands and language that the Royal Canadian Geographical Society wholeheartedly welcomes.”

Gavin FitchChairman of the RCGS Board of Trustees, spoke of the organization’s enthusiasm for being granted patronage: “Mary Simon is a great Canadian, someone who has given her whole life to the service of the country, we are deeply honored and grateful for this news.”


Editor of Canadian Geographicthe RCGS is dedicated to imparting a broader knowledge and deeper appreciation of Canada — its people and places, its natural and cultural heritage and its environmental, social and economic opportunities. The Company is one of from Canada largest nonprofit educational organizations, comprising more than 25,000 members from across the country. The RCGS is funded primarily by membership dues and donations. The Society’s Board of Directors and its program committees are made up entirely of volunteers.

Social media links: @RCGS_SGRC @CanGeo

SOURCE Royal Canadian Geographical Society

For further information: Media Contacts: Keegan Hoban, Communications Coordinator, Royal Canadian Geographical Society, [email protected] or (877)786-2376 ext. 138