Larger-than-life bugs, world-class minerals and more!

What’s new at the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2024

OTTAWA, Feb. 15, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canadian Museum of Nature will be buzzing with activity this year with many exciting offerings, starting with the incomparable touring exhibition, Bug Adventure, opening March 15.

Bug Adventure was developed and is presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, working with Weta Workshop (the design team involved in Avatar and The Lord of the Rings). Colourful displays in a dramatic, fantastical space invite people to experience the world as bugs do.

There are immersive bug chambers, larger-than-life bugs, and interactive surprises around every corner. The amazing superpowers of bugs are revealed —from fast flight to powerful exoskeletons, camouflage, swarms and more. Visitors can also discover how these tiny wonders are inspiring human innovation. On until October 14, 2024, Bug Adventure will be the museum’s summer blockbuster show (a special exhibition fee in addition to museum admission applies).

Some star mineral specimens from one of the most mineralogically diverse places on the planet are coming to the Earth Gallery. Opening on April 26 is a special permanent display about Mont Saint-Hilaire, a small area just east of Montreal where more than a whopping 440 mineral species have been discovered (over 30 of which haven’t been found anywhere else). This new section will showcase more than 50 specimens, and feature rotating stories, with the first one focused on collector Gilles Haineault. From the mid-1980s to 2007, Haineault and his wife assembled the finest collection of minerals from Mont Saint-Hilaire, which the museum acquired in 2020.

Programs and events

March Break:
The museum is a great school-break destination for families, with the museum open daily from March 2 to 17 until 5 pm (Thursdays until 8 pm). Visitors can discover some of our science interpreters’ “Favourite Things” at a special specimen cart in the museum’s atrium.

Nature Nocturne:
Adults aged 19 and up can look forward to more Nature Nocturne events in 2024, with a new season beginning in April. Arguably Ottawa’s coolest night out, Nature Nocturne offers a different lens on the museum from 8 p.m. to midnight, with special programming including artists, novel themes, music, dancing, food and drink. Nature Nocturne offers a unique alternative for a Friday night out as well as a different way to connect with nature through artistic, scientific and cultural programming. Each of the 2023-24 season’s four events sold out rapidly. Full details, including dates, themes and tickets for the new season will be announced on February 29.

Annual Open House:
October 5 is the date for the museum’s popular behind-the-scenes visit at its huge research and collections facility in Gatineau, Quebec—home to 14.6 million scientific specimens. This is a once-a-year opportunity to visit labs, collection rooms and to speak with museum experts at the Natural Heritage Campus at 1740 Pink Road.

Special programming with partners
The museum is pleased again to partner with other science and nature-based organizations to offer special events and programs at different times of the year. Among them will be activities for Oceans Week Canada in June, Science Odyssey Week in May and Science Literacy Week in September. Details will be shared on the museum’s web site,, closer to the date.

Ongoing favourites

The Pacific Discovery Tank in the Water Gallery is home to live creatures that thrive in west coast tide-pool environments, such as sea cucumbers, urchins, anemones, sea stars and more.

And, of course, the dinosaurs, dazzling minerals, awe-inspiring mammals and other great favourites of the museum’s permanent galleries continue to amaze and delight visitors, young and old.

Leaving this year

The last day for Owls Rendez-vous is April 1, 2024. This temporary outdoor exhibition, which has delighted visitors for almost three years, is presented in partnership with Little Ray’s Nature Centres. In April the owls and bald eagle will return to their permanent home at the Little Ray’s facility.

September 2, 2024 is the last day for Wolves! Shape-shifters in a changing world. This exhibition explores wolf evolution and adaptations through specimens, cultural stories, video and scientific research that highlights studies by museum experts Kamal Khidas, Ph.D., and Danielle Fraser, Ph.D. Eleven stunning, large images by the renowned wildlife and landscape photographer, Michelle Valberg, feature wolves from the Pacific coast and Yellowstone National Park.

The museum is located at 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa, Ontario. Admission to the museum’s permanent galleries is free on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (supported by Canada Life). The museum is closed on Tuesdays until May, after which it will be open seven days a week until Labour Day.

For more information, visit Check out the museum’s social media channels: X (@museumofnature, formerly Twitter), Instagram (museumofnature), Facebook and YouTube.

Information for media, or to request high-res images:

Laura McEwen
Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Nature

Dan Smythe
Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Nature