• Robert Bateman

    Robert Bateman (Photo: Birgit Freybe Bateman)

He’s best known as the world-renowned artist who’s spent a lifetime capturing Canada’s natural beauty through his paintings.

But Robert Bateman is also an environmentalist, naturalist and former teacher, and the 83-year-old will touch on all four of his careers when he makes the keynote speech during The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s annual College of Fellows dinner at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que., on Nov. 13.

“It’s a wonderful, amazing honour,” says Bateman. “I’m looking forward to being in the same room as a bunch of smart people who care about the same things.”

The dinner, which celebrates the Society’s award winners and the tireless efforts of Fellows to make Canada better known to Canadians and the world, has in the past attracted more than 400 people. Bateman, who’s a Fellow himself, will be awarded the Gold Medal, which recognizes achievements in geography. Among the other awards being presented are the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration, the Martin Bergmann Medal for Excellence in Arctic Leadership and Science and the 3M Environmental Innovation Award.

George Kourounis, another Society Fellow and host of the television series Angry Planet, will emcee the event, which also includes a silent auction.