I often find myself wondering if our student groups like museums. I think back to when I was a teenager, and I remember the thought of spending time at any museum seemed very unappealing. The idea of wandering aimlessly from weird-looking art to even weirder fossils, world war exhibits or even a display featuring aircraft propellers, would have appeared to be no fun at all. Now I as an adult, I definitely have a different perspective. I have learned museums visits don’t have to be boring; in fact, I found many museums cater to students with excellent guided tours, workshops and special exhibits.
If your school is heading out on an excursion this month, I hope a museum or two is on your itinerary. Exploring the many special interest exhibits and permanent collections available in these museums will definitely enhance your group’s visit.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at these TOP 4 OTTAWA MUSEUMS, which were outlined by our students groups as “enjoyed most” over the past year.
Canadian War Museum
Royal Canadian Legion Poster and Literacy Contest Winners
Each year, students across the country submit artwork, poetry and essays to The Royal Canadian Legion Annual Literary and Poster Remembrance Contests. The Canadian War Museum proudly exhibits the winning entries. This year, there are eight winning posters and two literary pieces. Special exhibit – available until June 2015
The LeBreton Gallery - The Military Technology Collection
The Canadian War Museum's Military Technology Collection is a diverse collection of vehicles, artillery and other large artifacts that tell the personal stories of war, from the 18th century to the present.
What you notice most are that the concrete walls, grooved with large, offset rectangles, reminiscent of the rows of white grave markers in allied war cemeteries. The lone artifact is the headstone from the grave of Canada's Unknown Soldier and a simple bench the only furniture.
The highest point in the museum is called Regeneration Hall. This strikingly narrow space features angled walls that tower dramatically over visitors. Rising up with a tightly framed view of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, Regeneration Hall is a physical representation of hope for a better future.
National Gallery of Canada
Colville Exhibition - A fresh perspective on the work of one of Canada’s most celebrated artists. This exhibition connects Colville’s work with that of filmmakers, authors, artists, graphic novelists and composers, celebrating the artist’s legacy and attesting to the continued relevance of his work.
Special exhibit – available until September 2015 (additional cost)
Mary Pratt’s Red Currant Jelly
Mary Pratt’s 1972 painting Red Currant Jelly has long held a pride of place in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada where it has been on near permanent view for over two decades. This exhibition tells the story behind the oil on Masonite production affectionately referred to by the artist as "this little painting." Special exhibit – available until January 2016
Chagall: Daphnis and Chloé
A pioneer of modernism, Marc Chagall formulated his own symbolic system in which reverie and playfulness often reigned, presenting an ethereal, richly-coloured vision of the world. The set of lithographs titled Daphnis & Chloé is considered Chagall’s most important graphic work. Special exhibit – available until September 2015
Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Exhibition - Life in Orbit – The International Space Station What is it like to live in space? This new exhibition tells the story of daily life aboard the marvel of technology that is the International Space Station (ISS). Discover how the space station stays up in space. Learn how the ISS works -- through the eyes of the astronauts who’ve lived there -- and see some of the items from the space station like a space toilet and exercise equipment.
Exhibition -"On the Trail of the Monarch Butterfly"
Stunning micro-photographic images and aerial photographs depicting the monarch’s amazing journey from Montreal to the mountains of central Mexico are on display. Join Francisco Gutiérre on his 72-day adventure to raise awareness about butterfly habitat conservation.
Exhibition - Green Skies Ahead
This exhibit showcases the innovative technologies that may help shape commercial aviation over the next 50 years. These include:
• high-efficiency jet engines
• super-light, super-strong composite materials
• innovative wing designs
• cutting-edge navigation systems
Canadian Museum of Nature
Animal Inside Out - An Exhibition by Body Worlds - Presented for the first time in Canada, this unforgettable exhibition gives you a close-up perspective of what lies beneath the surface of many amazing animals, large and small. Among the full body plastinates you will see are a giraffe, camel, ostrich, octopus, giant squid and many other creatures. With more than 100 specimens, this is the most fascinating anatomy lesson imaginable! Special exhibit – available until September 2015 (additional cost).
Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery - This gallery presents a unique look at the dramatic events that led to the extinction of dinosaurs and the rise of mammals approximately 85 to 35 million years ago.
The RBC Blue Water Gallery - This gallery is all about our greatest and most precious natural resources. Observe live specimens and participate in hands-on activities. Learn about tides, what it's like aboard an Arctic research vessel, why some deep-sea creatures glow in the dark, and much more. Meet their star attraction: a real skeleton of a blue whale—the largest animal ever to live on our great blue planet.
On a final note, Ottawa Tourism is running a photo and video contest, Picture Yourself In Ottawa. The deadline for entries is June 22nd, details and some submissions can be seen in the link below.