Edible Arctic Festival Ready for the Final Sprint!

We’re almost there! D-day is in a few days. Is it on your agenda? The Edible Arctic Festival opens on April 3 at the museum and just thinking about it gets me in a frenzy!

The festival team spent months preparing for this—meeting partners, planning activities, finding sponsors, following up with participants, reaching out to all targeted groups… Wow! The engine is running full steam ahead, thanks to the help of many people from the museum and elsewhere—and soon, it will be time to celebrate!

Four women standing before a geographic map of the Arctic hanging on the wall.

Museum educators in charge of the Edible Arctic Festival stand before a map of the Canadian Arctic. From left to right: Nathalie (in front), Laurel, Melinda and Olivia. Image: Tara Conroy © Canadian Museum of Nature

Wow! For an event that lasts only a few days, this looks like quite an operation. Indeed, organizing an event aimed at students, families and adults alike requires help from many people.

Melinda is editing a text for a scavenger hunt, a museum activity designed to guide you through your Arctic explorations. Laurel is with a partner discussing the igloo construction activity, while Nathalie sees to the food-fair preparations with Chef William. You’ll have a chance to actually taste Arctic flavours by sampling muskox, caribou and bannock, while taking in cultural fare such as Inuit tattoos and throat singing.

Outside the museum, a man wearing a chef's hat and holding a plate in one hand tastes food with a woman.

Because the festival is showcasing Arctic flavours, Chef William Carter from Gourmet Cuisine has prepared a special menu for visitors to taste at the food fair and the museum’s Nature Café from April 3 to 6. Here, the chef gives educator Nathalie Rodrigue a taste of smoked Atlantic Salmon with cloudberry sauce. Image: Richard Lussier © Canadian Museum of Nature

Busy bees look after the tiniest details, from checking the grammar in the festival programme to working out the logistics for the outdoor activities. Let’s hope Mother Nature cooperates! If not, we need to implement plan B right away!

Preparations are progressing smoothly, thanks to the help and enthusiasm of everyone concerned. Olivia is taking care of setting up the craft fair, while Nathalie is networking for partner ITK’s media launch. ITK will be closing the festival on April 7 with its Taste of the Arctic event at the National Arts Centre.

An Arctic Festival at the museum would not be complete without our Arctic experts. Our scientists are taking this opportunity to show off their fascinating discoveries, from zooplankton that live in the Arctic Ocean to dinosaur fossils. Young scientists be advised! This is your opportunity to exchange with them!

A man sits at a table preparing a herbarium specimen.

Our scientists are taking this opportunity to share discoveries that they made in the Arctic. Here, we see botanist Jeff Saarela preparing plant specimens for a herbarium. Jeff took part in several expeditions in Canada’s Arctic region to study local plants in greater detail. Image: Jeff Betz © Canadian Museum of Nature

Organizing workshops and demonstrations with partners from Ottawa’s Inuit community was a real pleasure and a good learning opportunity for me. I’m hoping that by chatting with Arctic explorers, a storyteller from Nunavut, a bush pilot and Inuit youth and craftspeople, you will get as much out of these activities as I did.

After weeks of emotional rollercoaster rides, feelings of frustration and uncertainty, and the occasional surprise and unexpected joy, the festival team is now ready to launch this second edition. Excitement is now replacing the initial frenzy.

Come celebrate the arrival of spring with us and get a taste for the Arctic!

Translated from French.

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