Behind the scenes at the Botanical Gardens!

This Friday the Redpath Museum Club was given the opportunity to have a complimentary visit and behind the scenes tour at the Montreal Jardin Botanique. We had a wonderful time with our very knowledgable guide, Marie-France, and experienced a little bit of summer in the midst of a long winter! Our tour took us through several climates and plant varieties, from the amazonian rainforest to the bonsai gardens of Japan. We even had a chance to drop by the temporary butterfly exhibit at the gardens (held until April), where our group vied to have a butterfly land on outstretched hands. The tour then took us to the working side of the gardens, giving us a unique opportunity to see what it takes to run an oasis in a Canadian winter (plenty of gloves and good music, apparently). We would like to thank Marie-France and the Jardins for a wonderful trip, and hope to make this an annual event!

– Jane


Come to the Redpath Museum this weekend to purchase and nibble on some baked goods lovingly made by the RMC Executive!

Come to the Redpath Museum this weekend for a chance to nibble on baked goods made lovingly by the RMC Executive!

This Sunday, March 16th, the Redpath Museum Club will be stationed in the lobby of the Redpath Museum selling delicious baked treats to raise funds for the club! If you didn’t already have a reason to come see our wonderful exhibits, you have one now! We will be serving from 11am until we sell out (fingers crossed)! Hope to see you there.

Nuit Blanche at the Redpath Museum

Nuit Blanche at the Redpath Museum

It turns out that it is hard to take a good photo in the Museum with all the lights out! Regardless, you can feel the magic! We want to give a huge thank you to all the volunteers and all those who came out to spend a bit of time with our RMC guides. We had almost 1800 visitors come out and brave the cold to see our exhibits by flashlight, and could not be happier about that turn out.

RMC Trip to the Biodome!

Today a small group of RMC members and some animal-loving friends adventured east of campus to the Biodome! And what a time was had! Upon entering the strange structure that was the Olympic velodrome in 1976, we realized that we had not accounted for the crowds, and thus hopped in the long line after a quick energizing snack.

The first area we passed through mimicked a rainforest habitat, and we welcomed the moist air and warmer temperature. Some of the animals that we saw included the adorable Golden lion tamarin, Scarlet macaws, Military macaws, a Capybara, bats, two Callimicos (looked like the tamarins, but were black, and supposedly have a repertoire of 40 different vocalizations)! There were also three very sedentary Caïmans paying no mind to the tortoise wandering around their swimming pool. As we were about to enter another ‘ecosystem’, we were fortunate enough to spot the Two toed sloth high up in the tree tops, although it only looked like a furry lump from such a distance. It was still a small victory for our very sloth-loving group.

We moved onto the other exhibits, and saw a Beaver paddling about before he hopped ashore to nibble on a twig, as well as a Porcupine doing absolutely nothing in his tree. Also in this area were the three baby – although they have grown quite a bit since their June birth – Lynxes. We were able to see all three of them wake up from their naps, and give us a yawn, a blink, and then settle back down. The crowd was fawning over these little ones, and I must admit that I was emitting high-pitched squeals of joy every time one of them moved.

The last leg of the visit brought us to the Puffin and Penguin habitats. What adorable little creatures Puffins are, they sort of seem like bumbling little old men in the most wonderful of ways. The penguins were a huge attraction, especially for the younger children and the RMC’s VP Communications, Jane. At the Biodome, they house four different species, and it really is striking to see the differences in form and plumage! We were also wondering why a large portion of the Penguins seemed to be staring at the back wall of the enclosure with their backs to the audience…perhaps they were on a food strike?

When we were tired of watching the Penguins flit in and out of the water, we took our leave of the Biodome and returned to our respective abodes. All in all, it was a real treat to see all the animals (especially the sloth), and to discover that the Biodome is both easily accessible by metro and very inexpensive for a leisurely afternoon activity (talking to all the students out there)!

If you want to know what fun excursion the Redpath Museum Club will be going on next, make sure to request membership on our Facebook page!

– Kathleen

Upcoming Documentary Nights at the Redpath Museum

If you are looking for a cinematic experience with a bit of political-environmental kick, join the Redpath Museum this month for two documentaries that train a critical eye on today’s ecological issues.

Both films are free of charge, and held in room 200 of the Redpath Museum.

February 9: Wiebo’s War (2011)

Big Oil calls convicted 1990s oilpatch saboteur Reverend Wiebo Ludwig an eco-terrorist and portrays him as a patriarchal cult leader. He calls himself a devout Christian driven to defend his Trickle Creek farm from the deadly effects of toxic sour gas wells. David York takes his camera into the heart of Ludwig’s Christian community to create a powerful film about two decades of conflict. Their footage of confrontations with gas workers and police, and its stark contrast with media reports, raises a critical issue: when politicians and police become sock puppets for private interests, is vigilante action justified?


February 16: Vanishing of the Bees (2010)

Colony Collapse Disorder has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, cherries, almonds and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. This documentary follows two commercial beekeepers as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfull pollination contracts across the U.S. They plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.

The Redpath Museum Journal

As the balmy days of spring and summer approach, pleasant thoughts about summer reading are beginning to flit into my mind. One thing that recently landed on my desk and has me very excited, is the Redpath Research Journal, Vol. 2. It is my great pleasure to be able to present the PDF version of the new Redpath Museum Research Journal here. Hopefully it will entertain and educate you as the lazy, hazy days of summer roll by!