About the RCGS Expedition Fund
“On August 22nd, 1994, I walked down the gang plank of the CCG Louis St. Laurent icebreaker and placed my right foot on the surface of the North Pole. A wave of childhood memories of my early fascination with Arctic and Antarctic exploration gripped me. I thought of Robert Peary, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Fridtjof Nansen, Robert Scott, Roald Amundsen and Sir John Franklin and his lost crew.
20 years later after hearing about the discovery of the wreck of HMS Erebus, I felt a sense of national pride and an integral inspiration to create an epic work depicting the Franklin Expedition. After researching the many notable classic paintings of that ill fated search for the northwest passage, I chose to depict Franklin’s ships when they first arrived at Beechey Island. A point of the expedition full of determination, gallantry and hope before the ships were beset in ice. Most historical paintings of the Franklin Expedition depicted a point of peril, hardship and suffering.
After 173 years since HMS Erebus and HMS Terror departed on one of maritime history’s most mysterious voyages, the Franklin legacy lives on thanks to the financial support from One Ocean Expeditions (partner of the RCGS).
After I was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2016, I decided to create a fund from the sales of my reproductions to lend financial support to the scientific, exploration and education programs of the RCGS. Witnessing scientists at work on the Arctic 94 Expedition made me realize the significance of field science regarding studying the effects of global climate change. 50% of all sales of selected reproductions will be donated to the RCGS.”
Dr. Sylvester Drabitt and Christopher Walker at the North Pole with icebreakers, Yamal (Russia), CCGS Louis St. Laurent and the USCGC Polar Sea on August 23, 1994.