A contemporary take on Canada’s Arctic, as seen through its rich natural diversity and connections to people, is ready to open June 21 at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The permanent Canada Goose Arctic Gallery represents the museum’s legacy project to the mark Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Upon entering the 8,000-sq.-ft. gallery, a unique multimedia installation called Beyond Ice transports visitors to the Arctic with a sensory experience of the region’s sounds, light, sights, and even touch—through real ice! Developed as a co-creation with the National Film Board of Canada, Beyond Ice features Arctic scenes and animation by Inuit artists projected on the ice, which bring the installation to life as visitors walk around it and explore the ice up close.
Visitors then enter the Wing, where four themed zones covering climate, geography, sustainability and ecosystems immerse visitors in the Arctic’s diversity and human connections with the land. Each zone features specimens or artifacts, interactive games and activities, videos and infographics. Timeframes range from the deep geological past, when the Arctic was much warmer than today, to the present, where animals and humans are facing the challenges of climate change.
Highlights include an assortment of “star” objects that represent the themes in each of the four zones. A 3-D circumpolar map anchors the geography zone, for example. A bowhead whale skull leads into the sustainability zone, which examines how Arctic peoples have used, and continue to use natural resources—from interactions with animals and plants for food, clothing, and tools, to the extraction of energy resources, to the continuing connections to the land.
Entry to the Canada Goose Arctic Gallery will be included with general museum admission. The Canadian Museum of Nature is located at 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa. Follow the museum on Twitter or on Facebook. For more information, visit nature.ca.