Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August 24th - The Canadian Museum of Nature

The last time that the Ottawa Urban Sketchers visited the Museum of Nature was January 2016 and you can see photos from that visit here:

Ottawa Urban Sketchers January 2016 at the Museum of Nature

It has been a long time since our last visit and Ottawa Urban Sketchers have requested to go back while the weather is warm so that we can sketch this beautiful museum from the outside (or the inside if you prefer)

We have also been contacted and  invited by the coordinator of, to sketch the incredibly beautiful ceramic installation on the east side park of the Museum of Nature!

Populace 2017 (Photo credit
The installation of 9000 handmade sculptures provides a stunning view of ceramic art made by 2000 people over 10 months. The installation is open 24/7 until September 4th.

Join Us Thursday Evening on August 24, 2017

Source: KPMB Open Buildings
So much to sketch so PLEASE join us on Thursday evening August 24, 2017 for an indoor/outdoor 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 August 24, 2017 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

There is a NEW Permanent Gallery Now open! The Canada Goose Arctic Gallery just opened this summer! For more information visit:

Screenshot from the Canadian Museum of Nature website

There is a also a lot to sketch in three hours at the following open galleries:
    Screenshot from the Canadian Museum of Nature website

    The Details
    • When: Thursday, August 24, 2017. Free Admission to the Permanent Galleries Thursday evenings: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. We will meet at the main entrance 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: 8:00 pm outside the main doors of the museum.
      • 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.
    • Museum Rules: When asked about sketchers in the nature museum, we were previously advised.  "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 and artists are welcome to bring small stools."
    • Official website:

    All of our sketching events are free and open to sketchers of all ages and all skill levels.
    Help us to spread the word! Hope to see you there!

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