Arts & EventsCanadian Museum of Nature presents EXTRAORDINARY ARCTIC: The Festival in April

Canadian Museum of Nature presents EXTRAORDINARY ARCTIC: The Festival in April

Canadian Museum of Nature presents EXTRAORDINARY ARCTIC: The Festival in April

The Canadian Museum of Nature is celebrating Canada’s Arctic in April with a festival exploring the region’s culture and science. From documentaries about the Inuit and presentations by Arctic explorers, to family activities and an Arctic-themed Nature Nocturne, Extraordinary Arctic: The Festival will provide a new perspective to experience the museum’s unique cultural, educational and social activities.

“The Museum has a long and distinguished history of scientific research in the Arctic dating to the first Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913,” says Meg Beckel, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. “To this day, our researchers continue to study the flora, fauna, and geological record of Canada’s northern regions. In collaboration with partners, our Extraordinary Arctic festival will celebrate this scientific legacy as well as the cultural ties to Canada’s Arctic through programs, activities and fascinating tales, past and present.”

One of the beautiful plant scans in the new Flora of the Canadian Arctic exhibition

Collaborating with the museum on this month-long festival are the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Students on Ice (an educational organization that takes students to the Arctic), the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre, the Nunavut Sivuniksavut training program and the National Arts Centre’s Northern Scene.

Among the highlights of the festival are screenings of films about the Arctic from the NFB, including the Ottawa premiere of the 2011 NFB film Vanishing Point, which documents the story of two Inuit communities in Canada and Greenland.

The feature-length documentary Vanishing Point, from the National Film Board, will be playing on April 11 at the Canadian Museum of Nature

A new exhibition, the Flora of the Canadian Arctic, features 16 large-format photographs of plant specimens, half collected 100 years ago in the first Canadian scientific expedition to the Arctic and half by Canadian Museum of Nature scientists who are still exploring the Arctic today. The colorful and eye-popping images can be appreciated for their scientific and artistic value. The exhibition is on view until November 2013.

Families will enjoy the weekend activities in April, when they can learn about Inuit culture, explore Arctic science and take part in arts, crafts and storytelling. Visitors can build an igloo in an interactive experience presented by the NFB, and see short films about Inuit life from the NFB series Unikkausivit: Sharing Our Stories. In partnership with the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre, the museum will lead games, storytelling, music, dance and Inuktutitut language lessons. And the museum’s scientific experts will be on hand each weekend to show off interesting specimens of minerals, fossils, plants and animals from Canada’s Arctic. All weekend activities are included with regular museum admission.

The Interactive igloo (open on weekends) surrounded by the new Flora of the Canadian Arctic exhibition

Thursday and Friday evenings in April are set for adults to explore the Arctic’s natural history through films and presentations by Arctic adventurers. The Arctic Armchair Adventures series on Fridays will feature experts speaking about botanical fieldwork, trekking to the North Pole and engaging youth during educational expeditions to the Arctic. Thursday evenings are movie nights, with feature films from the NFB series Unikkausivit: Sharing Our Stories. The museum will cap the festival with an Arctic-themed party on the evening of April 26, as the popular Nature Nocturne series winds up for the spring.

For more details about the Extraordinary Arctic Festival, visit Follow the Museum’s activities on Facebook as well as on Twitter (@MuseumofNature, hashtag #NatureArctic). The Canadian Museum of Nature is located at 240 McLeod Street in Ottawa. Admission to the museum is free on Earth Day, April 22. For hours and fees, visit nature.caor phone 613-566-4700


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