The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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1. The following definitions apply in these Regulations.

“Bar” means the Bar described in subsection 2(2). (barrette)

“Committee” means the Polar Medal Advisory Committee established under subsection 5(1). (Conseil)

“Director” means the Director of Honours, Chancellery of Honours. (directeur)

“Medal” means the Polar Medal described in subsection 2(1). (médaille)

“Northern Canada” means the regions of Canada where northern conditions prevail, including

(a) Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut; and

(b) parts of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador. (nord du Canada)

“polar region” means the following regions where the rigours of the polar climate prevail:

(a) the regions north of 67° N parallel of latitude; and

(b) the regions south of 60° S parallel of latitude. (région polaire)

“recognized expedition” means any expedition in a polar region that is led by a Canadian citizen or Canadian entity or led or recognized by the Government of Canada. (expédition reconnue)

“Sovereign” means “Her Majesty”, “His Majesty”, “the Queen”, “the King” or “the Crown” as defined in subsection 35(1) of the Interpretation Act. (souverain)


2. (1) The Polar Medal

(a) shall consist of a silver octagonal medal that is 36 mm in diameter with a suspension bar adorned with a representation of the North Star, with limbs evoking strong winds, water currents and the aurora borealis;

(b) shall bear

  1. on the obverse, a contemporary effigy of the Sovereign, circumscribed with the inscription in capital letters of the Canadian Royal Title and the word “CANADA”, separated by two maple leaves; the edge of the obverse shall be decorated with small denticles,

  2. on the reverse, a representation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Schooner St. Roch depicted in the Arctic near a tall iceberg and two crew members standing on the ice, and

  3. on the rim, the name of the recipient; and

(c) shall be suspended from a watered white ribbon that is 32 mm in width.

(2) Each subsequent award of the Medal to the same person shall be indicated by a Bar, which shall be in silver with raised edges and shall bear a centred silver maple leaf.


3. (1) A person, whether or not they are a Canadian citizen, is eligible to be awarded the Medal or the Bar if the person

(a) has, by their participation in or contribution to a recognized expedition,

  1. made a significant contribution to the knowledge or exploration of a polar region,

  2. made a significant scientific contribution relating to a polar region,

  3. made a significant contribution to securing Canada’s northern sovereignty, or

  4. given outstanding service in support of any of the contributions referred to in subparagraphs (i) to (iii); or

(b) has, on or after August 1, 2009,

  1. made an outstanding contribution to a community in Northern Canada, or

  2. strengthened Canada’s awareness and understanding of Northern Canada and its peoples.

(2) The Medal and the Bar may not be awarded under paragraph (1)(a),

(a) except in exceptional circumstances, to a person who has spent a cumulative period of less than 180 days in a polar region, on or after August 1, 2009, in the course of or in connection with a recognized expedition; or

(b) to a person who has been awarded another Canadian honour with respect to the same contribution.

(3) A Medal or Bar may only be awarded under paragraph (1)(b) to a person who is alive on the day on which the Governor General signs the instrument of award.


4. Any person may submit to the Director a nomination of a person who is eligible to be awarded the Medal or Bar under section 3, and the Director shall transmit the nomination to the Committee for consideration.


5. (1) The Polar Medal Advisory Committee is established and shall be composed of

(a) the Director, who shall be the Chairperson of the Committee; and

(b) not more than four other persons who shall be appointed as members of the Committee by the Governor General.

(2) The Governor General shall appoint a member of the Committee under paragraph (1)(b) for a term of one year and may renew their term for a maximum period of three years for each reappointment.

6. The Committee shall

(a) consider the nominations transmitted by the Director under section 4 and determine the eligibility of the nominees;

(b) submit to the Governor General a list of the nominees who, in the opinion of the Committee, meet the criteria for eligibility; and

(c) advise the Governor General on any matters concerning the award of the Medal or Bar that the Governor General may refer to the Committee for its consideration.


7. An award of the Medal or Bar shall be made, on the recommendation of the Committee, by the Governor General, who signs an instrument of award.


8. Despite section 3, the Governor General may award the Medal or Bar in exceptional circumstances.


9. Unless the Governor General directs otherwise, the Medal or the Bar shall be presented to the recipient as arranged by the Director.


10. The Medal shall be worn on the left breast, suspended from the ribbon described in paragraph 2(1)(c), in accordance with the order of precedence determined by the Governor in Council.

11. The Bar shall be worn centred on the ribbon described in paragraph 2(1)(c) and, in the case where more than one Bar is worn, they shall be spaced evenly on the ribbon.

12. A person to whom the Medal has been awarded may wear a miniature of the Medal on all occasions when the wearing of miniatures is customary.


13. The Director shall

(a) prepare the instruments of award for signature by the Governor General;

(b) acquire the Medals and Bars and have the name of the recipients engraved on the Medals;

(c) maintain a register containing the names of the recipients of the Medals and Bars and any other records relating to an award that the Director considers necessary;

(d) arrange for the presentations of the Medals and Bars; and

(e) perform any other functions in respect of awards of the Medal or Bar that the Governor General may require.


14. (1) The Governor General may, on the recommendation of the Chancellery of Honours,

(a) cancel the award of a Medal or Bar to any person; or

(b) reinstate the award of the Medal or Bar that has been cancelled under paragraph (a).

(2) If the award of a Medal or Bar is cancelled, the name of the person to whom the Medal or Bar was awarded shall be deleted from the register referred to in paragraph 13(c).


15. Nothing in these Regulations limits the right of the Governor General to exercise all of the powers and authorities of the Sovereign in respect of the Medal or Bar.

16. The Governor General may make ordinances respecting the Medal or Bar.

Date modified: August 28, 2015