RCGS Polar Plunge 2022

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Canadian Geographic are excited to be joined by some of Canada’s most notable leaders and adventurers for our first ever #RCGSPolarPlunge. We’re working together to raise money to make Canada better known to Canadians and the world! 

For over 90 years, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, publisher of Canadian Geographic, has been exploring the critical relationship between our people and places and the pressing issues facing our country. Canadian Geographic is a leader in storytelling, photography and cartography, and each issue of the magazine aims to take readers on a visually stunning voyage of discovery.

As the media landscape continues its rapid evolution, we are constantly looking for new ways to deliver impactful stories about topics that matter the most to Canadians. In 2019, Canadian Geographic launched the Explore Podcast to further the development of cutting-edge broadcast content, reaching new audiences in Canada and around the world. Explore, hosted by David McGuffin and now in its third season, is a half hour bi-weekly conversation with Canadians from diverse backgrounds talking about their adventures and how Canada and its landscapes have shaped their understanding of the world around us. 

To date, we have released over 30 episodes, interviewing exemplary Canadians including: 

  • Dr. Roberta Bondar – the first Canadian woman in space
  • Alanna Mitchell – bestselling author and acclaimed scientific journalist
  • Perry Bellegarde – Honorary President of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and former Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
  • Adam Shoalts – Westaway Explorer-in-Residence

and many more!

Help us continue to expand Canadians’ knowledge of our country’s diverse human and physical landscapes through storytelling and exploration by donating today. With every goal reached, another volunteer must take the plunge!

The setting

If we reach our fundraising goals, our plungers will be jumping into this picturesque and very cold lake near Ottawa in early March. It will all be captured on video by RCGS Explorer-in-Residence and experienced cold-water diver Jill Heinerth

The plungers

David McGuffin
Goal: $2,000

David McGuffin is a broadcast journalist, podcast host and producer who, as a foreign correspondent, reported for CBC, NPR and NBC from bureaus in Washington, Moscow, Beijing, Nairobi and Rome. He is the host of Canadian Geographic’s Explore Podcast, now in its third season, and has recently embraced the health benefits of cold water swimming.


Andrew Lovesey
Goal: $4,000

Andrew is the Director of Digital and Video for Canadian Geographic and a co-producer of the award-winning Returning Home, Can Geo Films’ first feature-length documentary. He is based in Toronto and is therefore a stranger to winter.

Alexandra Pope
Goal: $6,000

Alexandra is the Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Geographic. She is reasonably outdoors-y but has, until now, drawn the line at jumping into frigid bodies of water in the wintertime. 

Catherine McKenna
Goal: $8,000

Catherine is a former federal cabinet minister and Honorary Fellow of the RCGS. She is an avid open water swimmer and recently celebrated a milestone birthday by swimming each of the coasts of Canada — including the Arctic — in support of Swim Drink Fish.

Perry Bellegarde
Goal: $10,000

Perry is the Honorary President of the RCGS and the former Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He most recently hosted a special virtual event to kick off the Society’s participation in the International Decade of Indigenous Languages