Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada

Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada

September 24, 2007 11:30 ET

Preserving Our Natural Heritage: New Award and New Member Highlight Annual Meeting of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 24, 2007) - The presentation of a new national award and the welcoming of a new member (the Royal Ontario Museum) will be on the agenda as leaders of Canada's major natural history museums convene in Ottawa on September 24 and 25, 2007 for the annual meeting of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC). The network was created in 2003 to enhance collaborative work in the areas of research, collections development and education about the natural environment.

"By sharing knowledge and resources among member museums, we can improve our efforts in opening up the world of Canada's rich natural history to Canadians and educating them about important environmental issues," explains Johanne Landry, President of the ANHMC and Director of the Insectarium (part of the Montreal Nature Museums). "We have a strategic plan in place and have completed a survey of our combined collections. This meeting is an important opportunity for our representatives coast to coast to come together and identify our next steps."

A reception will be held September 25 on Parliament Hill, where the Alliance will present the first Gold Leaf Awards, recognizing a significant contribution to the study of natural history in Canada. The inaugural recipient is Dr. Francis Cook, a researcher emeritus at the Canadian Museum of Nature and editor of the Canadian Field Naturalist, as well as a leading expert on Canada's reptiles and amphibians. A posthumous award will also be presented to the family of Dr. Bruce Naylor, former director of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology and founding ANHMC president.

The ANHMC's 12 founding members (from west to east) are: the Royal B.C. Museum, Royal Alberta Museum, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Manitoba Museum, Canadian Museum of Nature, Montreal's Nature Museums (Biodome, Insectarium, Botanical Gardens and Planetarium), New Brunswick Museum, Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, and the Rooms, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Royal Ontario Museum joined this past summer.

These institutions are responsible for preserving millions of precious specimens that are the record of Canada's natural history through time. Together, member museums safeguard more than 19 million catalogued specimens of plants, animals, minerals and fossils collected over 150 years. The purpose of the national collections strategy is to ensure that this crucial record is complete and is maintained.

Other collaborative efforts for the ANHMC include the national tour of a European exhibition on animal courtship, Fatal Attraction. To date, this unique exhibition has been seen in Ottawa, Victoria and Montreal, and will open in Sudbury on October 1. In celebration of International Polar Year, the ANHMC and the organization, Students on Ice, are offering a national lecture series and student forums in 2008, with presentations at each member institution.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Museum of Nature
    Elizabeth McCrea
    613-566-4249
    613-808-5284 (cell)