• RCGS holiday party at Roots

    The Royal Canadian Geographical Society celebrated the 2019 holiday season — and a new collaboration with clothier Roots — at Roots' flagship Toronto store on Dec. 19. (Photo: Staff)

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society celebrated the holidays in style last night — literally. About 100 of the Society’s Fellows and staff gathered in Toronto at the upscale Yorkville neighbourhood store of iconic Canadian clothier Roots to fête the festive season and a range of new co-branded clothing items.

Guests included renowned anthropologist, author, photographer and Society Honorary Vice-President Wade Davis, author and RCGS Fellow Margaret Atwood, RCGS Explorers-in-Residence Jill Heinerth, George Kourounis and Adam Shoalts and Society CEO John Geiger.

Up-and-coming classical singer Julien Brody, 14, also performed. He has just released his third album, a collection of Christmas songs.

Most notable among the new co-branded clothing offerings featured was the limited-edition RCGS 90th anniversary expedition jacket, which is adorned with expedition patches recognizing Canada’s greatest exploration adventures. Only 90 of the custom-made jackets are available for $750 each, with proceeds going to support the Society’s programs.

The evening's impromptu highlight saw RCGS Explorers-in-Residence Jill Heinerth and Adam Shoalts present one of the jackets to Atwood, who then modelled it for the crowd.

“These jackets, designed by the iconic apparel brand Roots, essentially tell the history of Canadian exploration since 1929,” says RCGS CEO John Geiger. “At the same time, funds raised from the sale of the jackets helps support the Society’s vital educational, expedition and research programs, prompting interest and knowledge in our country and inspiring a new generation of Canadian geographers, scientists and explorers.”

The evening also saw the unveiling of three new RCGS/Roots-branded t-shirts, one featuring the Society’s compass rose logo, another boasting a replica of the expedition patch from RCGS honorary Vice-President Roberta Bondar’s first space flight and the third with the expedition patch for Wade Davis’ “The Circle of Life: Journey Through the Ethnosphere” project.

The t-shirts will be available through the Society’s online store soon and proceeds from sales will similarly support the Society's programs.