Sunday, January 10, 2016

JAN 21 An Evening of Sketching at the Canadian Museum of Nature

Source: KPMB Open Buildings
Join us on Thursday evening January 21, 2016 for an indoor evening sketch meetup at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) was the first purpose built museum in Canada! CMN is home to 10 million specimens gathered over 150 years.

To keep our sketch meetups free, we will be sketching at the museum Thursday January 21, 2016 in the evening between 5 and 8 pm.

NOTE: Some CMN galleries require an admission fee (see details below) but, if you want to see them for free, you can check out the OPL "Borrow A Pass" program (if you have an Ottawa library card)


If the weather permits, there is plenty to sketch on the exterior of this magnificent CMN building.

The impressive limestone building (built in 1905, and beautifully renovated in 2010) is known to locals as “the castle.” Canada's Parliament was held in this building from 1916 to 1920 after the Ottawa fire of 1916.

Canadian Museum of Nature
240 McLeod Street, Ottawa, Ontario
(At the corner of McLeod and Metcalfe)
Photo Source: PCL : Victoria Memorial Museum Building Rehabilitation
The original building – known as the Victoria Memorial Museum Building (VMMB) - has been described as Scottish Baronial in design.
"The museum is one of the first public buildings to incorporate into its design animals and plants that are found in Canada. These are found in windows, exterior walls and interior embellishments, in addition to the two carved moose heads that guard the main entrance." (Source: CMN)
A stylized fox head, oak leaves and acorns adorn the newel of the main staircase.
It is carved from Missisquoi grey-green marble.
The cap and base are carved in Missisquoi bolder grey marble.
(Photo Source: CNM)
Two mooseheads appearing at the main entrance to the CNM
Source: Building The Victoria Memorial Museum Building 

The architecture inside the CNM building is stunning and would be very interesting to sketch.

The Lantern at the Canadian Nature Museum
Click here for interactive photosphere

Don't forget to visit the recently installed arctic-inspired iceberg sculpture by artist Bill Lishman (!

Artist Bill Lishman in front of his sculpture at the CMN
(October 2015 Source CBC: All In A Day)

The Galleries

Two of the galleries (Birds and Animalium) are presently closed for renovations until June 2016 and two other galleries are special exhibits and require admission purchase even on the free Thursday night. 

There is a lot to sketch in three hours at the following open galleries:

Galleries excluded/unavailable:

Closed temporarily:

Not included in the free evening.
(Special exhibitions are excluded from free Thursdays) They will cost extra

The Details
  • When: Thursday, January21, 2016. Free Admission to the Permanent Galleries Thursday evenings: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. We will meet in the main lobby at 5 pm and sketch until 8 pm; (If work schedules prevent you from arriving at 5 - no worries - arrive whenever you can and look for other sketchers)
  • Admission Cost: Free Admission to the Permanent Galleries Thursday evenings: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Show and Tell: 8:30 pm The Lieutenant's Pump, 361 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 1M9 

  • How to get there: The following OC Transpo buses will take you to the Canadian Museum of Nature:  
    • Route 5, 6: Bus stop at the corner of Elgin and McLeod, one block from the museum 
    • Route 14: Bus stop at the corner of Gladstone and Metcalfe, one block from the museum 
    • Route 1, 7: Bus stop at the corner of Bank and McLeod, two blocks from the museum
  • Parking: Paid parking is available on the Canadian Museum of Nature grounds; evening flat rate: $5 (4:30 pm – 4:30 am); there is free evening street parking at night in centretown but there are special restrictions if there is snow.
  • Museum Rules: When asked about sketchers in the nature museum, the officer of Visitor Experience Guy Romain advises, "Thank you for your question.  The only thing we ask of artists is that they do not set up easels or tripods or lighting.  They need to be mindful that the museum is open to all visitors so they cannot block any exhibits, panels, doorways or stairways. Please let me know if you have any further questions or comments." We asked  a follow-up question about artists bringing portable, small sketch stools and the museum replied (Jan 14) that artists are welcome to bring small stools.
  • Official website:
  • Downloadable App: There is FREE Wi-Fi throughout the museum and there is a FREE android/iPhone app 

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