Canadian Museum of Nature

Canadian Museum of Nature

June 07, 2006 10:00 ET

Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Nature Meet in Regina to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 7, 2006) - From June 7-9, the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Nature - Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences - will meet in Regina. The Trustees, who come from across Canada and meet quarterly, were invited to Regina by Saskatchewan's Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Recreation to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

"I am pleased to showcase our capital and the province of Saskatchewan to my colleagues," says Museum of Nature Trustee Anne Wallace, a lawyer based in Saskatoon and recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Medal. "Each of us is tremendously proud of our communities and the opportunity to guide the national Museum and ensure its service and value across Canada."

A Crown corporation, the Canadian Museum of Nature is also celebrating a significant birthday this year - its 150th anniversary. The Museum's origins date to the 1856 mandate given to the Geological Survey of Canada to establish a Geological Museum to showcase the collections acquired in the course of their explorations of Canada. A permanent national museum building was built in the early 1900s and this stately Victoria Memorial Museum Building in downtown Ottawa continues to be the home of the Canadian Museum of Nature.

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum opened in 1906 and is celebrating its centennial year with special events throughout the year. Of special note is its Centennial Week from July 15-22, which will include field trips, a parade, film screenings and behind-the-scenes tours of galleries and the building.

"The Canadian Museum of Nature's President and CEO, Joanne DiCosimo, and I are very pleased to be holding this meeting in Regina. With Board members from across the country, this event provides a wonderful opportunity for our Trustees to explore this beautiful part of Canada" states Ken Armstrong, Chair of the Museum of Nature's Board of Trustees.

The Canadian Museum of Nature safeguards a collection of more than 10 million specimens. The flora and fauna of Saskatchewan are well represented, with more than 14,000 catalogued specimens. These include about 3,600 birds, 440 fish, 1,180 amphibians and reptiles, and 3,900 plant specimens carefully preserved in the National Herbarium. Some of these plants were collected by the Canadian government's first botanist, John Macoun, as he surveyed land for the Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk Railways in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Minerals from Saskatchewan include numerous uranium ore samples from Beaver Creek, salt crystals from the Esterhazy region, and quartz and dolomite specimens from the Rabbit Lake region.

There are also some unique fossil specimens, including a triceratops from Morgan Creek, which will be on display in the Museum's new fossil gallery that opens this October. The gallery will also feature other specimens from Saskatchewan's past, including some prehistoric mammals, a turtle and even a replica of T-rex dino poop from Eastend. Topping off the fossil gallery's Saskatchewan connection will be a life-like diorama representing the Cypress Hills region as it would have appeared 35 million years ago.

The Canadian Museum of Nature and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum collaborated on a number of joint projects over the decades. Since 1991, Canadian Museum of Nature paleontologists have collaborated with counterparts from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum to collect fossils from the Pasquia Hills region, which has rich marine deposits from the 80-million-year-old Western Interior Seaway. As well, experts from both museums helped co-ordinate a three-year, community-led biodiversity survey of the Frenchman River watershed in southwest Saskatchewan. The last round of fieldwork is taking place this summer. And both the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and the Canadian Museum of Nature are founding members of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, a network formed two years ago to enhance service and increase the museums' abilities to help Canadians understand and appreciate their natural environment.

In addition to attending regular committee and board meetings, the Museum Trustees will tour a number of Regina's cultural attractions. One highlight will be a reception on Thursday and guided tour of the galleries at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. The Trustees will also visit the Wascana Centre, Government House, the MacKenzie Art Gallery, the Saskatchewan Science Centre and the RCMP Museum and Depot (with a viewing of the Sergeant Major's Parade).In addition to these events, they look forward to meeting with people from a variety of education, business and cultural organizations in the region.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Museum of Nature
    Dan Smythe
    Senior Media Relations Officer
    (613) 566-4781 or 1 800-263-4433
    dsmythe@mus-nature.ca