Canadian Museum of Nature

Canadian Museum of Nature

December 27, 2006 08:00 ET

Canadian Museum of Nature's New Bird Gallery Takes Flight

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 27, 2006) - On December 26, the Canadian Museum of Nature revealed the newest addition to the slate of modern, attractive galleries now open in its newly renovated West Wing. Nesting on the top floor of the historic "castle-like" Victoria Memorial Museum Building in downtown Ottawa is the bright and appealing new Bird Gallery.

"Every species of bird found in Canada is depicted in this gallery," says Joanne DiCosimo, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. "With hundreds of specimens, it presents one of the largest collections of Canadian birds on display anywhere."

The gallery serves as an interactive field guide - a kind of indoor bird-watching adventure. Visitors will learn to distinguish birds through their physical characteristics, understand aspects of their behaviours, as well as obtain tips for birdwatching. The official birds for each province and territory are also on display. With touch-screen computers and a children's area where kids can learn how to care for injured birds, the exhibition is highly interactive.

Wildlife Habitat Canada is contributing $50,000 to the new Bird Gallery through the Museum's Natural Partnerships fundraising Campaign, which supports the development of content for new galleries, national educational programmes and associated activities on nature-related themes. The Canadian Wildlife Service is also supporting the gallery through a $25,000 gift. To date, the Campaign has raised about 70% of its initial $10 million goal for new galleries and projects.

The renovations are transforming the Victoria Memorial Museum Building into a contemporary science museum with new infrastructure, improved environmental/conservation controls and better visitor amenities. The Museum also has a new South Wing that greatly improves its capacity for "back-of-house" activities, such as shipping and receiving, live animal care, exhibition workshops, and mechanical and electrical maintenance.

On October 20, the Museum's Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery, refurbished Mammal Gallery, special temporary exhibition on Einstein and new Discovery Zone made their grand debut in the new West Wing. The East Wing closed in early November for the next phase of the comprehensive Renewal project which will be completed in 2009-10.

The opening of the new Bird Gallery comes at the end of the Museum's 150th anniversary year. In 1856, the Geological Survey of Canada, from which the Museum of Nature originates, received a mandate from Parliament to publicly display its growing natural science collections. The resulting museum was first in Montreal, moving to Ottawa in the 1880s. The Victoria Memorial Museum Building opened to the public in 1912.

The Canadian Museum of Nature is a Crown corporation and Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. It promotes awareness of Canada's natural heritage through permanent and travelling exhibitions, public education programmes, active scientific research, a dynamic Web site, and the maintenance of a 10-million-specimen collection. A founding member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, the Museum is working with partners to enhance its national role and to develop national programmes and activities on themes of environmental change over time.

Contact Information

  • Media contacts:
    Canadian Museum of Nature
    Laura Sutin
    Media Relations/Communications Officer
    Canadian Museum of Nature
    Dan Smythe
    Senior Media Relations Officer