TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, long-time champion of scientific research in the Arctic and partner in the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition, joined the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, in the reveal today of the ship's bell retrieved from the Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus. A ship's bell is a prized possession as it often provides a positive means of identification in the case of a shipwreck.
"Today's unveiling of the HMS Erebus' bell is a touchstone to the past reminding us of the importance of the Arctic and the history of the Franklin Expedition. This moment underscores the significance of continued support for exploration and science based research in this region as a means to shape decision and policy making," said Geordie Dalglish, Chair, Northern Committee, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.
The Foundation enabled the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to assemble a unique alliance of private and non-profit organizations in support of the One Ocean Voyager, which transported Parks Canada's state of the art underwater surveyor, the Investigator. Mr. Dalglish, four of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation-supported researchers and world-leading Arctic scientist John Smol, the 2013 Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research recipient, joined the ship's crew.
Knowledge sharing and the opportunity for exchange among researchers is core to the Foundation's mandate and was part of the onboard experience during this year's expedition. Foundation supported scientists including Adrienne White, a University of Ottawa doctoral candidate studying the disappearing ice shelves in the high Arctic and Emily Cho, a University of Manitoba PhD student investigating beluga populations in the Beaufort Sea delivered lectures and exchanged updates with other experts during the voyage.
"The Foundation is committed to ensuring Canadians learn about this special and fragile part of the country by supporting scientific research and initiatives like this year's expedition, which has brought a new level of excitement and awareness about the Arctic nationally and abroad," said Dalglish.
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation enables leading Canadian scientists to pursue rigorous exploration of Canada's North. Since 2007, over 130 scholarships have been awarded to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from 27 different Universities.
The Foundation is partnering with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to create a national public and classroom educational program on the Canadian Arctic. The initiative includes the historical significance of the Franklin Expedition and introduces issues such as climate change and northern science. The Foundation has also funded programs with Earth Rangers and the Canadian Association of Science Centres.
Read more information about The W. Garfield Weston Foundation's Northern Committee at: www.westonfoundation.org/our-initiatives/science-in-canadas-north
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private Canadian family foundation, established in the 1950's by Willard Garfield Weston, his wife Reta and their children. For three generations, the Foundation has maintained a family tradition of supporting charitable organizations across Canada, with resources directed to projects in the fields of land conservation, education, and neuroscience. In addition, the organization is the largest private supporter of scientific research in northern Canada. Through its Northern Committee, the Foundation supports leading scientists and fosters innovative collaborations. Most recently, it enabled private partners to join the Victoria Strait Expedition, which contributed to the successful discovery of one of the lost Franklin ships, HMS Erebus.
SOURCE: The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
For further information: Julija Hunter, [email protected], 416-721-8790