Delivered by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in partnership with MEC

The Exploration Film Grant

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society has championed exploration since its inception more than 90 years ago. Through its award-winning publication Canadian Geographic and the Society’s well-established grant programs, the Society has celebrated the diverse stories and histories of Canada’s peoples, places and cultures. This year, we embark on a new journey of discovery — in the world of film. With the generous support of Mountain Equipment Company (MEC), the Society is pleased to announce its new Exploration Film Grant Program. 

The Exploration Film Grant aims to support Canadian filmmakers with emerging visions that inform, inspire, capture or reveal a personal journey related to connecting with Canada’s majestic landscapes. The grant program is open to submissions from independent filmmakers, production companies or groups. 

Key Criteria 

The Exploration Film Grant program is delivered in partnership with MEC. We believe in living life to the fullest, with a spirit of adventure, a thirst for challenge and a desire to learn. With this program, we hope to find stories that offer original ideas and fresh ways of looking at the natural world. Stories that minimize ecological impact, that promote the preservation of wild places. Stories that foster a common movement toward truth and reconciliation. We are looking for great stories that seek to motivate others to act for people and the planet. It is within these great stories that we will discover great people, explorers in their own right. 

Considering submitting a project? 

There are two entry streams through which you can apply for funding. Regardless of the avenue, we are looking for films that amplify one or more of the following priority areas:

  • Lifelong Learning 
  • Healthier Planet 
  • Belonging 
  • Discovering 
  • Truth and Reconciliation


Applications open: 9 a.m. ET January 10, 2022 

Deadline for applications: 5 p.m ET February 25, 2022 

Successful grant recipients will be notified in May 2022.

Film delivery deadline: September 30, 2022 

Grant Funding Details 

Exploration Feature: Documentary Production Grant 

Three (3) principal grant contributions of $5,000 (CDN) each by the RCGS, on behalf of MEC, to independent producers, production companies or groups looking to create a film (40 minutes or more) during their expedition. Applicant projects must already be in pre-production. Entrants must: 

  • Indicate how the funds are being allocated to their overall production budget 
  • Illustrate how their film amplifies one or more of our key priority areas 
  • Agree to include the MEC and Can Geo Films acknowledgement 
  • Agree to provide Can Geo Films with the right to share the completed film through its own media channels, promotions and distribution streams after the film is completed 
  • Agree to participate in associated promotional activities connected to the film, inclusive of in-store programming at MEC locations across the country 

Exploration Short: Post-Production Grant 

Five (5) grant contributions of $2,500 (CDN) each will be provided to films 30 minutes or less, who entered post-production between Jan. 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021. Entrants must: 

  • Indicate how funds will be used to propel the post-production process 
  • Illustrate how their film amplifies one or more of our key priority areas 
  • Acknowledge the sponsorship of MEC and Can Geo Films through logo placement in the credits 
  • Allow Can Geo Films to share the completed film through its own media channels, promotions and distribution streams 
  • Permit MEC to showcase film in retail environment should opportunity exist 

All entrants to the RCGS/MEC Expedition Film Grant Program, in either stream, must also agree to provide Can Geo/RCGS/MEC with: 

  • Up to 10 photos related to the respective Exploration Film Grant film (“film” or “films”) and answer three to five interview questions. 
  • The full license to: (i) screen the film(s) in-store or online; (ii) post the film(s) or excerpts of the film(s) on MEC social media accounts; and (iii) feature the film(s) on the MEC blog. This license will continue for a minimum of three years after each film is completed 

Grant Disbursement 

Prior to grant disbursement selected entrants will be required to enter into a grant disbursement agreement confirming the terms and conditions of the grant as outlined above.

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