The Trebek Initiative celebrates first anniversary with nearly half a million in funding granted to-date

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In honour of late Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebek’s dedication to Canadian geography, the inaugural year of funding supports 11 unique projects

OTTAWA, ON, July 22, 2022 /CNW/ – Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Trebek Initiative, a fund developed jointly by the National Geographic Society (NGS) and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) with the goal of empowering the next generation of changemakers who illuminate and protect Canadian and Indigenous land, wildlife, water, culture and history. 

The Trebek Initiative logo (CNW Group/Royal Canadian Geographical Society)

“On what would have been Trebek’s 82nd birthday, the Trebek Initiative is incredibly proud to share updates on our first 11 grant recipients who have secured a combined total of nearly half a million in funding to support unique projects across Canada,” says David Court, Chair, Trebek Initiative. “Our initial grantees are made up of researchers, educators, photographers, conservationists and more, but what brings them together is that they each have an innate passion to preserve our country and planet.”

The Trebek Initiative pays tribute to Alex Trebek’s love of Canadian geography and aims to inspire a similar passion among other Canadians. In its first year, the Initiative funded the following 11 Grantees:

  • Kehkashan Basu, Founder and President of the Green Hope Foundation: Empowering Children And Youth As Environmental Stewards Through Education

    Kehkashan identified a lack of environmental education within her Ontario school curriculum. She’ll work to fill the gap through workshops and field trips highlighting local environmental and biodiversity challenges, culminating in a youth conference where attendees leverage learnings to present creative solutions. Kehkashan’s project is based in Ontario.
  • Shelly Elverum, Northern Coordinator, Ikaarvik: Exploring Inuit Identity And The Influence Of British Whalers

    In this project, Inuit youth on Baffin Island will explore the connections between their community and culture and 19th Century British arctic whaling, revealing the relationships with the crews that developed and continue to influence their lives today. This story and legacy continues to be shared through dance, food, music and terminology that have become cornerstones of modern Baffin Inuit identity. Shelly’s project is based in Pond Inlet (Baffin Island), Qikiqtaaluk, Nunavut.
  • TJ Watt, Photographer and Campaigner, Ancient Forest Alliance: Documenting B.C.’S Endangered Ancient Forest

    TJ’s focus is ancient forest preservation in British Columbia, which he showcases through his beautiful and tragic images. His mission is to explore and document endangered forests and highlight their incredible grandeur and unfortunate destruction to raise awareness among people around the globe to help ensure their protection. TJ’s project is based in Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
  • Anna Crawford, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University Of Edinburgh: The Stability Of Canada’s Last Intact Ice Shelf

    Ice shelves often help to moderate the flow of glaciers and therefore sea level rise (SLR), however, climate change has put these at risk. Anna’s team will visit the Milne Ice Shelf at Ellesmere Island this month where they’ll survey the shelf’s geometry and damage to collect critical data for stimulating the recent break-up with a 3D model in order to quantify the impact of sea-ice loss on the ice shelf’s stability. Anna will also establish critical links for global climate modeling efforts to constrain SLR projections. Anna’s project is based in Ellesmere Island, Nunavut.

Projects are ongoing and are at various stages of completion. The Trebek Initiative continues to fund Grantees twice per year. The next application deadline is October 12th, 2022 and selected recipients will be awarded in February 2023.

More information about the 11 inaugural Grantees, their projects, and how to apply for funding can be found at

About The Trebek Initiative

A joint venture between the National Geographic Society (NGS) and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), the Trebek Initiative named in honour of the late Alex Trebek, provides grants to emerging storytellers, educators, conservationists, innovators and researchers who are documenting Canadian and Indigenous land, wildlife, water, culture and history.

About The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Publisher of Canadian Geographic, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) is dedicated to making Canada better known to Canadians and the world — its people and places, its natural and cultural heritage and its environment. The Society is one of Canada’s largest non-profit educational organizations, comprising more than 25,000 members from across the country. The RCGS is funded primarily by membership fees and donations. The Society’s board of governors and its program committees are composed entirely of volunteers

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE Royal Canadian Geographical Society

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