Medals on wooden table

Past Gold Medal winners


Students On Ice Canada C3

In recognition of the organization’s leadership, engagement and inspiration of youth in polar education.

Sara Seager

In recognition of her incredible work exploring the frontiers of our universe. Seager is a global leader in the study of exoplanets — the planets lying beyond the realm of our own solar system. She may well be “the woman who might find us another Earth,” according to the New York Times. 

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons

Sidey-Gibbons is the third Canadian woman and youngest Canadian to become a NASA astronaut. While studying in the U.K., she co-founded the Cambridge chapter of Robogals, an international organization to encourage young women to get involved in STEM subjects reaching over 3,000 girls in that country.

William Shatner

An internationally recognized philanthropist, actor, author, musician, director and producer, Shatner received the Gold Medal for his body of work.


Richard Boudreault

Richard Boudreault is an internationally recognized leader in Arctic science and research.

Adrienne Clarkson

Adrienne Clarkson, journalist, author, honorary chief, and co-founder of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, has played an inestimable role in fashioning an understanding of Canadian identity.

Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall, anthropologist, primatologist, author, educator and environmentalist, is known internationally for her ground-breaking research with wild chimpanzees in Africa and for her indefatigable advocacy on behalf of the environment.


Trans Canada Trail

The Great Trail has been called the contemporary equivalent of the national dream, connecting millions of Canadians and exposing them to their natural heritage and remarkable geography, to new people and communities.

Perry Bellegarde

National Chief Bellegarde is a strong advocate for honouring and implementing inherent rights and Treaty rights, title and jurisdiction. Drawing on the strong beliefs and traditions instilled in him by the many Chiefs and Elders he has known, National Chief Bellegarde is passionate about creating real, measurable progress on priorities that matter most to First Nations and that will close the gap in the quality of life between First Nations and the rest of Canada.

Clément Chartier

Clément Chartier is a lawyer, writer, activist, lecturer, and leader who has served in both political and administrative capacities with Indigenous Peoples’ organizations in Canada and abroad.

Natan Obed

Natan Obed has devoted his career to working with Inuit representational organizations to improve the well-being of Inuit in Canada. He has been instrumental in working towards a renewed relationship with the Government of Canada based on mutual respect.

Ry Moran

As the founding director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Ry Moran has worked tirelessly to build a vibrant, dynamic and effective organization that generates awareness and understanding among all Canadians about Indigenous issues, past, present and future.

Roberta Jamieson

Roberta Jamieson is an inspirational leader who has garnered national acclaim and recognition for her role in shaping public policy and good governance in Canada and for her successful efforts to advance the educational outcomes of Indigenous students nationwide.


Sir David Attenborough

Presented in recognition of his lifelong contributions to advancing public awareness of the natural world.

Gordon Lightfoot

Lightfoot is a singer-songwriter and prolific Canadian cultural ambassador with more than 20 bestselling albums.

John Turner 

John Turner is Canada’s 17th Prime Minister; served for decades as a public servant and has travelled extensively in the Arctic.


Marc R. St-Onge

Paul F. Hoffman

Denis St-Onge

Geological Survey of Canada


Jacob Verhof

The society is pleased to award the 2015 medal to Dr. Jacob Verhoef. As Director of the Geological Survey of Canada, Atlantic, Dr. Verhoef recognized the unique role of Natural Resources Canada in this endeavor and spearheaded Canadian efforts for the UNCLOS Extended Continental Shelf mapping program.

Graeme Gibson

A tireless advocate for Canadian writers, Graeme Gibson has been instrumental in the foundation and the development of major writers’ organizations.

Margaret Atwood 

Her contribution to literature through a remarkable and globally celebrated body of work, Margaret Atwood has deepened our understanding of the relationship between literature and geography.


Canada’s Astronauts and the Canadian Space Agency 

From brain surgeons to rocket scientists, each one of the eight former and current Canadian astronauts honoured with this medal has made achievements in the broad field of geography and been a part of important national and international events.


Michael Palin

For his contribution to geographical literacy.

Robert Bateman 

For his work to make the RCGS a leading educational force in Canada.

Yvan Desy and Sylvain Lemay of Natural Resources Canada 

For the completion of the topographic mapping of Canada at the 1:50 000 scale.


Dr. Phillip Currie


Sir Christopher Ondaatje

For his long abiding support for geography.

Dr. Jerry Linenger

For his outstanding contribution to furthering geographic education around the world.

Parks Canada, the Dehcho First Nations and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

For their collaborative efforts to protect the Nahanni Wilderness Reserve.


Alex Trebek

For his outstanding contribution to popularizing geographic education.

Canadian International Polar Year National Committee

For its guidance and vital role in ensuring the success of Canada’s IPY 2007-2008 program


Dr. Wade Davis


The Nature of Québec/Le Québec au naturel


The Atlas of Canada 


Jean Lemire

Edryd Shaw


Roger F. Tomlinson


Gordon Slade


Norman Hallendy


Bernard Voyer


Mary Simon


Peter Gzowski


Gilbert M. Grosvenor


Harold K. Eidsvik

Dr. Lawrence W. Morley

Dr. Victor K. Prest


The Historical Atlas of Canada, volumes II and III


The Historical Atlas of Canada, Volume I

William G. Dean

Richard Colebrook Harris

Geoffrey J. Matthews


Dr. Derek C. Ford


Selma Barkham


Dr. J. Tuzo Wilson


National Atlas of Canada


Maj. Gen. William J. Megill


Dr. Stainislaw Lesczychki