50 Sussex Drive to become Centre for Geography and Exploration

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(press release)

The National Capital Commission and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society today announced the creation of Canada’s Centre for Geography and Exploration at 50 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. The Centre is scheduled to open its doors in 2017 as a Confederation Pavilion during Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The Centre’s location on Confederation Boulevard, the Capital’s ceremonial and discovery route, and next to Rideau Falls—overlooking the confluence of two great rivers navigated by First Nations and charted by European explorers—enables a sensitive use of a landmark building within a rich geographic setting.

“Canada’s Centre for Geography and Exploration on Confederation Boulevard will create a dynamic new platform to engage Canadians in celebrating their incredible physical and human geography,” said Alex Trebek, Honorary President of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

“The National Capital Commission is proud to partner with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to bring a new long-term vocation to one of the Capital’s signature properties,” added Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the National Capital Commission. “We look forward to opening it to the public next year with exhibits celebrating Canada’s sesquicentennial.”

The new centre will feature two exhibition spaces and a 210-seat auditorium with multiple screens to serve as a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose venue for lectures, film screenings, conferences and similar events. It will celebrate the physical and human geography of Canada, with a particular emphasis on the geography of Canada’s Capital Region.

“The 50 Sussex Drive property will rank with the iconic landmarks that are home to the Royal Geographical Society in London and the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C, as one of the most recognized geographical centres in the world,” said John Geiger, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Canadian Geographic Enterprises.

The fully refurbished building will open in April 2018 as the headquarters of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In rehabilitating an existing building, the Centre also gives a sustainable purpose to a prominent Capital landmark.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish to congratulate the National Capital Commission and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society on their partnership, which will bring new life to 50 Sussex Drive, and allow the public to once again enjoy this magnificent space in the heart of our great capital,” said LGen (Retd) the Honourable Andrew Leslie, Member of Parliament for Orléans and Chief Government Whip.

As the new headquarters, the Centre will also be the public face of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a non-profit organization founded in 1929 that aims to make Canada better known to Canadians and the world. The Society publishes Canadian Geographic and Géographica magazines, and its educational program, Canadian Geographic Education, has more than 18,000 educator-members.

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Follow the Royal Canadian Geographical Society on Twitter and Facebook.


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