Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada

Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada

October 25, 2005 08:00 ET

Canada's Natural History Museums Meet in the Nation's Capital

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 25, 2005) - Leaders of Canada's natural history and natural science museums from coast to coast are holding their annual meeting in Ottawa from October 26 to 29, 2005, to review the progress of their unique network and discuss future collaborations in the areas of research, collections development and public education.

The Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC) was created in 2003, to preserve and promote the understanding of our country's remarkable natural heritage. Natural history museums are repositories and guardians of invaluable collections, which tell the story of the Earth and the evolution of life. The ANHMC, with members from British Columbia to Newfoundland, strives to increase the visibility of natural history museums in Canada and internationally, build capacity in the areas of scientific research, natural history collections and environmental education, influence public policy and decision-making, and facilitate national access to collections information.

"Sharing knowledge and access to collections helps scientists better understand relevant issues concerning us today, from invasive species to climate change," says Dr. Bruce Naylor, President of the ANHMC and Director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology. "This knowledge, in turn, increases the ability to discuss and make decisions about the environmental issues critical to our future."

The meeting will take place at the Canadian Museum of Nature's research and collections facility in Gatineau, Quebec. Events include an October 26 reception on Parliament Hill, with invited MPs and Senators.

Key ANHMC initiatives include the ongoing development of a National Collections Strategy, and currently the Collections Committee is conducting an inventory of member collections, practices and taxonomic expertise. The Alliance has a collective responsibility for over 13.7 million natural history specimens representing the flora and fauna and geological record of Canadian and international collections.

Other joint efforts include a partnership with the National Film Board of Canada to launch the documentary series Miracle Planet in natural history museums across Canada. This October, six ANHMC members are screening episodes of this five-part series about the history of life on Earth. Next year, the ANHMC will be presenting Fatal Attraction, an exhibition produced by CASTex, a European consortium of natural history museums from Brussels (Belgium), Paris (France) and Leiden (the Netherlands). The exhibition will premiere in Ottawa in May 2006 at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

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