Meg Beckel.
Image: Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature

It’s been a little over one month since I arrived in Ottawa as the new President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. It is truly an honour and privilege to be part of the passionate, talented and committed team at this thriving museum enterprise. I have quickly come to know many of the staff, volunteers and partners that are so essential to realizing our vision to inspire understanding and respect for nature.

I encourage you to dig deep into our web site,, so that you too can experience the wonders of our collections, the knowledge being created by our research scientists and the information being made available through our public education offerings.

In addition to our web site, we have two buildings where great things happen. The magnificent Victoria Memorial Museum Building in Ottawa was recently renovated so that all our visitors can enjoy the museum as both a great civic destination and an engaging visitor destination. This was where I had the pleasure of opening our new summer blockbuster, Extreme Mammals, as one of my first official functions. Our café, boutique and Museum by Night programming enable all visitors to experience the museum as a social and retail destination as well. I am excited about the many new programmes, exhibitions and activities that will delight and engage you in the coming months.

Four people laugh together in an exhibition gallery.
Meg Beckel shares a laugh at the opening of Extreme Mammals with (l-r): David Loye, Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Museum of Civilization; Roger Baird, Director of Collection Services at the Canadian Museum of Nature; and Anne Breau, Chief of the museum's Canadian Centre for Biodiversity. Image: Martin Lipman © Canadian Museum of Nature

Our second building that you have likely seen only virtually is our Natural Heritage Building in Gatineau, Quebec. It houses our collection of 10 million specimens and objects, our research labs and the staff that care for, study and communicate the knowledge and understanding represented by our collections. I have already had the privilege of seeing what is inside our vaults! Truly amazing!

Our vision “to inspire understanding and respect for nature” is one we share with many other organizations across Canada and around the world. Our many collaborators and partners are key to the fulfillment of our mandate, and so I look forward to telling you about them in future blogs. Our mission is a daunting and critically important one.

The collective understanding and respect for the natural world we live in has never been more important and I hope that you see the Canadian Museum of Nature as your source of knowledge. I hope that you find our approach inspiring, engaging, reliable and relevant. Please visit us in whatever way works for you, in person or virtually, and then tell us how your visit impacts your understanding of the natural world. Until next time!