This past year has been a busy one at the Canadian Museum of Nature—Canada’s national natural history museum located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario.
To mark Canada’s 150th anniversary, the museum opened a new permanent gallery. The Canada Goose Arctic Gallery provides a unique and spectacular window to a region where most will never set foot. It presents the Arctic’s rich natural diversity and its important connections to humans through four broad themes: climate, geography, sustainability and ecosystems.
Each section features specimens and artifacts, interactive games and videos. Look for a bowhead whale skull; real specimens of a polar bear, a caribou, and a muskox with its calf; a live Arctic cod aquarium; a prominent 3-D circumpolar map—and much more.
A popular component is the Beyond Ice installation, co-created with the National Film Board of Canada. It presents stunning video and images projected on surfaces made of real ice. Visitors of all ages have left their mark (handprint) in the ice!
Another impressive artistic feature is the colorful mural, Ilurqusivut (Our Ways), by indigenous artist Nancy Saunders. In the Northern Voices Gallery, discover the history and culture of northern indigenous peoples. Check out the programming zone, Arctic Connexions, with its interactive giant floor map, specimens and other great learning materials.
New Arctic-themed workshops will be available as of January 2018.
If you prefer a tropical escape, visit Butterflies in Flight, on at the Museum from December 16, 2017, to April 2, 2018. You will experience the thrill of having hundreds of live butterflies fly around you and learn all kinds of cool facts. (For example: Did you know that butterflies taste through their feet, a group is called a flutter, and that they can be found everywhere on Earth except Antarctica?
Photo courtesy of Martin Lipman© Canadian Museum of Nature