a peek inside the fishbowl

12 Apr, 2012

Welcome to a new patron: the Museum of Nature

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Fishbowl patrons|Ottawa

I’m so pleased to be writing about the Museum of Nature today. They are a long-standing member of the Ottawa community, and I’m very proud that they’ve chosen to come on board with me!

Is it weird to love a museum, or a building? The place has been a big part of our lives ever since the girls were small, and we still go there, and we still love it just as much. I still feel there is so much to see and learn here.

Have you been to the Museum since the rebuild? I wrote about it in May 2010.

The Victoria Memorial Museum Building, which houses the Canadian Museum of Nature’s exhibitions, was completed in 1910. She celebrated their 100th birthday last year, and although she’s had some nips and tucks she remains a beauty:

Canadian Museum of Nature

I wanted to use this opportunity to fill you in on a few things that you may not have known about the Museum of Nature.

It seems trite to say there’s something for everyone here, but I have to say it because it’s true.

Blockbuster exhibitions!

Whales Tohora (which I wrote about here) is the Museum’s current blockbuster exhibition which runs until September 3, 2012. It was developed by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and features two huge sperm whale skeletons (AWESOME), 20 whale skulls, precious Maori artifacts made from whalebone, many fun interactive exhibits… and Logan the whale:

Whale in the lantern ...

The next big exhibition after Whales Tohora will be Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters. The exhibition and tour were developed by The Field Museum in Chicago and will open September 28 – May 5, 2013.

Art exhibitions!

The Museum also presents many art shows throughout the year. It’s the perfect setting for it. On display right now is Unrequited Death which features paintings by Helen Gregory, who depicts natural specimens in colourful, Victorianesque settings. This exhibition runs until September 3, 2012.

Also currently on view is Awesome Arctic: Images of Our Research in the North. This is a collection of 50 photographs showing the diverse nature of the Museum’s arctic research.

Permanent galleries!

In 2010, the Museum’s massive renovation project was completed. Opened that year were the RBC Blue Water Gallery, Vale Earth Gallery, and Animalium. The Vale Earth Gallery is being expanded in 2012 and will be completed at the end of November/early December.

Did you know that the Museum’s research and collections facility safeguards the 10.5-million-specimen collection is located in Gatineau, Quebec. (I’ve been there, but haven’t seen very much of it. Someday I will find a way!)

Adult programming!

Upcoming programmes for adult audiences include the Best of Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival (April 18-21, 2012), a film festival wrap-up party on April 21, café scientifique discussions (April 27 and May 25), and Whales Trivia Night on June 7.

Birthday parties!

The Museum is once again offering birthday parties for kids ages 4-8. I think this is a fantastic way to celebrate that special day. (Think: dinosaur birthday!) You can read more about that here.

I’ve worked with folks from the Museum of Nature and I know they are extremely passionate about what they do. They are good people, they promote awareness of Canada’s natural heritage through travelling exhibitions, public education and school programmes, on-going scientific research, and they have dynamic website too.

Anyway, yes! I am so happy to be partnering with the Museum of Nature in this way. Welcome aboard!

4 Responses to "Welcome to a new patron: the Museum of Nature"

1 | Diana

April 12th, 2012 at 7:31 am


Congratulations on your new partnership with the Museum of Nature!! We love going there too (and are card-carrying members, even). What a wonderful patron and, my dear, it’s well-deserved! Congratulations again! :)

2 | Valerie

April 12th, 2012 at 8:35 am


Excellent! I’m embarrased to say I haven’t been since the reno! Hoping you’ll be giving away a free pass soon? ;)

3 | Anne Boys

April 12th, 2012 at 11:38 am


Great post! Reminds me it’s time to go back and visit.

It’s too bad that outside the museum, the neighbourhood is losing their beloved park for a parking lot!

4 | Cathy

April 12th, 2012 at 12:23 pm


I am heading to Ottawa in May so this is on my list of must sees for this visit. Love your city, I try and get there at least 3 times a year to visit my son. He attends Carlton. Again what a great city, I would move there in a heart beat.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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