OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - February 11, 2015) - Sudbury-born Alex Trebek, celebrity host of the long-running TV quiz show Jeopardy!, has donated US$100,000 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Geographic (CG) Challenge. Since 2003, Canada's geography whiz kids have competed online rather than in the same room. Trebek's generous contribution means our top grades 7 to 10 geography students will meet face-to-face in Ottawa.
Apart from his duties on Jeopardy!, Trebek has also hosted the National Geographic Bee, a program of the National Geographic Society, for 25 years. For Trebek friendly competition is the best way for students to really learn about our country and the world. "I wanted to do something for the Canadian Geographic Challenge, and thought it would be much better to reward the kids by bringing them to Ottawa and letting them compete in person," he said. "It would make them feel special and let them mix with other kids and talk about geography."
"It's an extraordinary thrill for Canadian geography students to return to the nation's capital to compete in a live final in a geography competition thanks to this generous donation," said Beth Dye, Chair, CG Challenge Committee, and Governor for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. "Mr. Trebek has been a champion of geographic learning and education since the launch of the CG Challenge in 1995. His generosity will allow young Canadians to compete against like minds and expand their geographic literacy."
The 20 students will arrive in Ottawa from across Canada for the National Championship in early May just as the city's world famous tulips begin blooming. The competition trials will be held in private until the top five students emerge. The public will then be invited to the final phase of the competition at the majestic Canadian Museum of Nature where one student will answer his, or her, way to being named National Champion.
"We are all honoured and humbled that Alex Trebek, a great Canadian and longstanding friend of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in fact one of our Fellows and Gold Medallists, has made an in-person National Championship possible," says John Geiger, Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. "Alex has done so much for geographic literacy over the course of his career. He has helped to inspire thousands of young people to learn more about our country and our planet."
For the first time, Google is also supporting the CG Challenge. The company is a keen supporter of geographic literacy and has enabled the Challenge to be refreshed and brought into line with current trends in the teaching of geography. The support of funders like Google and Alex Trebek will help ensure that Canada maintains its reputation as a geoliteracy powerhouse.
The RCGS is dedicated to imparting a broader knowledge and deeper appreciation of Canada -- its people and places, its natural and cultural heritage and its environmental, social and economic challenges. The Society is one of Canada's largest non-profit educational organizations and is funded primarily by membership fees and donations. The Society's Board of Governors and its program committees are comprised entirely of volunteers.
For more information, please contact:
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society
O (613) 613-745-4629 ext. 160
C (613) 299-8995