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Virtual Open House: Video series reveals the diversity of Canada’s national natural-history collections

Pierre Poirier © Canadian Museum of Nature.

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October 28, 2020

An October tradition for the Canadian Museum of Nature that attracts thousands of nature enthusiasts has one gone online this year—through a video series that reveals the significance, diversity and beauty of Canada’s national natural history collections.

Fossils, animals, plants, minerals, nature art and more are all revealed through 3-minute episodes being shared on the museum’s Youtube channel over the next two months.

The museum’s annual open house of its national research and collections facility in Gatineau usually attracts more than 3,500 visitors for the free, one-day event. This year, due to precautions for the COVID pandemic, the doors remained closed for the behind-the-scenes tours of the collections that comprise more than 14.6 million specimens.

The solution? Go online! The stories kicked off October 17, and new videos are being posted on the museum’s Youtube channel and shared Wednesdays and Sundays through the museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts,.

The series started with an overview of the facilty itself—a scientific hub that covers an area equivalent to 5 NHL rinks. The videos introduce the curators, collections experts and scientists that bring alive the stories of the specimens and artifacts, labs and collections spaces that define the scientific legacy of the Canadian Museum of Nature. 

The Virtual Open House will even offer glimpses of areas not accessible during the open house. These include the bird collection with its eggs and nests, the rare book room, and the scanning electron-microscope lab.

For more information, visit nature.ca. The videos can be found at youtube.com/user/canadanaturemuseum. Follow the Virtual Open House on social media: Twitter.com/museumofnature, Facebook.com/Canadianmuseumofnature and Instagram.com/museumofnature.