Rules and Regulations

1. Challenge Scope: The Canadian Geographic Challenge (“Can Geo Challenge” or "Challenge") is a national bilingual competition for Canadian students in grades 4-6 for Level 1, grades 7-10 for Level 2, and students ages 16-19 who have not yet started their post-secondary studies for Level 3. The competition is open to all schools and home-schools in Canada.

a. A school is defined as any educational establishment registered in their provincial or territorial jurisdiction.

b. A home school is any organization that is registered as such on the Canadian Geographic Education website (cangeoeducation.ca)

c. Students who wish to participate but are not able to do so through their school must submit a letter to [email protected] stating that their school is not participating. Permission to participate will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

2. Challenge Details: The Challenge has three levels: Level 1 is open to students in grades 4-6, Level 2 is open to students in grades 7-10, and Level 3 is open to students who are 16 to 19 years of age and have not started post-secondary studies. All three levels are offered in both official languages (English and French).

a. Students who are in grades lower than those specified for Level 2 are eligible to participate at Level 2 (i.e. a student in grade 5 may participate in Level 2 if they choose). Students in grades higher than those specified may participate in lower levels but are not eligible for prizes, including attending the National Final.

b. There are no age limits within Levels 1 and 2 as long as students are registered in the grade levels outlined above.

c. There is an age limit of 16 to 19 years of age for Level 3 along with the requirement of not having started post-secondary studies. Level 3 is open to all students in Canada who meet the age requirements by June 30, 2021 and reside within Canada.

d. Level 1 begins with the Classroom round (“Classroom Challenge”) and progresses to the School round (“School Championship”). Level 1 ends with the naming of a School Champion.

e. Level 2 begins with the Classroom round (“Classroom Challenge”), then progresses through to the School round (“School Championship”), then to the Provincial/Territorial round (“Provincial/Territorial Challenge”), and finally to the National round (“National Final”). Level 2 ends with the naming of a National Champion.

f. Level 3 is completed online in three phases and ends with the naming of the top four students as Team Canada.

3. Organization:

a. The Can Geo Challenge is run by Canadian Geographic (Can Geo) Education. Can Geo Education is the standing educational committee of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

4. Challenge Period:

a. The Can Geo Challenge Levels 1 and 2 open in November 2020.

b. Schools participating in Level 1 must register, complete the Classroom and School rounds, and enter their School Champion’s name in the appropriate field on their account before 11:59:59 p.m. EST on April 30, 2021. In the event of a tie, school coordinators are to use the tiebreaker quizzes available in their account to break the tie before April 30, 2021. School winners entered into the online system after April 30, 2021 will not be eligible to receive prizes.

c. Schools participating in Level 2 must register, complete the Can Geo Challenge Classroom and School rounds, and enter their School Champion’s name in the appropriate field on their account before 11:59:59 p.m. EST on March 19, 2021. In the event of a tie, school coordinators are to use the tiebreaker quizzes available in their account to break the tie and name their school winner before March 19, 2021. Only one winner per school may be submitted. School winners that are not entered into the online system by this date may receive their prize but will not be eligible to participate in the Provincial/Territorial or National rounds of the competition. School winners entered into the online system after April 30, 2021 will not be eligible to receive prizes. Level 2 concludes with the National Final in Ottawa, Ont., in May 2021. The format of the National Final may be changed to a virtual event in consideration of COVID-19 safety measures. The format will be announced closer to the date of the National Final.

d. Students participating in Level 3 must register and complete the written competition of Phase 1 before 11:11:59:59 p.m. EST on February 28, 2021. The top 20 finalists will be emailed instructions for Phase 2 on March 5, 2021 and must submit Phase 2 online by 11:59:59 p.m. EST on April 9, 2021. The top six finalists will be emailed instructions on April 16, 2021 for Phase 3, an interview with the Team Canada leaders. 

5. Eligibility:

a. Compliance with Rules: All schools and participants in the Can Geo Challenge must adhere to these official rules (“Rules”). Can Geo Education reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any school or participant that does not comply with the Rules or with any subsequent instructions provided as part of the Can Geo Challenge.

b. A participant’s or school’s failure to adhere to any of the Rules, as determined by Can Geo Education in its sole discretion, will also render the school or participant ineligible to participate in any future Can Geo Challenge and ineligible for any Can Geo Challenge rewards, prizes or compensation of any kind.

c. Level 1

i. All registered Canadian schools are eligible to participate in the Can Geo Challenge. There is no limit to the number of classes and students that can participate in one school.
ii. Home-schooled students are eligible to participate as long as they have registered as a home school with Can Geo Education.

d. Level 2

i. All registered Canadian schools are eligible to participate in the Can Geo Challenge. There is no limit to the number of classes and students that can participate in one school.
ii. Home-schooled students are eligible to participate as long as they have registered as a home school with Can Geo Education.
iii. Each school that participates in Level 2 may enter only one School Champion into its online account to participate in the Provincial/Territorial round of the competition.

1. All School Champions in Level 2 are eligible to compete in the Provincial/Territorial round as long as all required fields are completed online no later than March 19, 2021.

2. All teacher accounts with a school winner entered by that deadline will be contacted with instructions for the Provincial/Territorial round by March 22, 2021 .

iv. National Final – The 13 provincial and territorial champions, who receive 50 per cent or higher in the Provincial/Territorial round, along with the seven other highest-scoring students in that round, will be asked to participate in the National Final held in May 2021.

1. Teachers with students who have advanced to the National Final will be notified by email by April 30, 2021.

2. If a student is unable to attend the National Final or they are unable to confirm their participation by May 7, 2021, their spot will be offered to the next eligible participant.

3. If confirmation of participation is not received by deadlines specified in email communication, participants forfeit their spot. This is a non-negotiable decision.

4. The top three finishers in the National Final will be named: National Champion, first runner-up, and second runner-up. They will receive prizes from The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

5. Students who have won first place in the National Final are not eligible to return to the National Final.

e. Level 3

i. All Canadian students ages 16 to 19, who meet the age requirements by June 30, 2021 and who reside in Canada are eligible to compete.

1. Participants who compete in Level 3 are not eligible to compete at other levels of the Challenge for prizes.

2. Participants who qualify for Team Canada and are unavailable to attend the International Geography Olympiad in summer 2021 must notify Can Geo Education at [email protected] before April 30, 2021. Note: Due to COVID-19, changes to the format of the International Geography Olympiad may be made and the competition may be cancelled for safety reasons.

3. Student participants in Level 3 must acknowledge that although they may complete the three phases of Level 3 in French, the International Geography Olympiad, in which Team Canada competes, is an English-only competition. Therefore, the top four students that form Team Canada are required to be proficient in completing geography skill-testing questions in English.

6. How to Enter:

a. For Levels 1 and 2, one in-school coordinator must register a school online on the Can Geo Challenge website. In-school coordinators who have previously participated in the Can Geo Challenge can use their previous account information and update their account. In-school coordinators sign into their account to access the questions.

b. For Level 3, the test proctor (must be an unrelated person to participants) must register the participating students on the Can Geo Challenge website.

7. Questions:

a. All questions are written by Fellows of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), geography educators from across Canada, or RCGS staff. They are then fact-checked and verified by RCGS staff. The questions in the Classroom and School rounds are written for Level 1 and 2 respectively (i.e., the rounds are tailored to each age group).

b. Questions can be completed online or in written form for all of Level 1. 

c. Questions can be completed online or in written form for the Classroom round and School round of Level 2, but the Provincial/Territorial round is online. The National Final is done in-person (written and orally) or online (orally) depending on circumstances. 

d. Questions for for Level 3 are completed exclusively online.

e. Teachers who complete the rounds in written form are responsible for marking their students’ tests and submitting their school winner’s information online.

f. Any concerns or inquiries about the competition should be raised before you begin the Classroom and School rounds of Levels 1 and 2 by contacting [email protected].

g. Any concerns about the Provincial/Territorial round questions should be raised immediately after its completion.

h. For Level 3, any concerns or inquiries about the Phase 1 questions and/or answers should be raised immediately after its completion. Any concerns received more than one day after completion will not be reviewed. Any concerns or inquiries about Phase 2 should be submitted by email to [email protected] no later than one week after participants receive instructions.

i. Judging decisions made by members of the organizing committee and The Royal Canadian Geographical Society are final.

8. Prizes:

a. All Level 1 and Level 2 winners of the School round (“School Champions”) will receive a certificate, a medal and a free one-year magazine subscription to Canadian Geographic. In order to receive their prize, all required information fields must be entered into the in-school coordinator’s online account no later than April 30, 2021.

b. The Provincial/Territorial champions (the top 20 that move on to the National Final) receive a prize package. 

c. National Final prizes for first, second and third place are subject to change on a year-by-year basis. The Can Geo Challenge Committee reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value for any of the contest prizes.

d. For Level 3, all participants will receive a free one-year magazine subscription to Canadian Geographic. The top 20 finalists who move on to Phase 2 will receive a prize pack from Can Geo Education. The top four students will be given the opportunity to represent Canada on the world stage at the 2021 International Geography Olympiad. This will include an all-expenses-paid trip to the country chosen for that year's competition. More information will be provided to participants closer to the date. This may be subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety concerns and The Royal Canadian Geographical Society will communicate any changes or prize substitutions closer to the date.