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  6. Canadian Museum of Nature welcomes new Board of Trustees Chair and thanks outgoing Chair

Canadian Museum of Nature welcomes new Board of Trustees Chair and thanks outgoing Chair

Ottawa, December 22, 2017 – The Canadian Museum of Nature welcomes the appointment, announced yesterday by the Honourable Melanie Joly, of Ms. Judith Larocque as the new Chairperson of its Board of Trustees, and thanks outgoing Chair Stephen Henley for his years of service.

Ms. LaRocque has extensive and diverse work experience within the Government of Canada. In 2000, she was appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Canadian Heritage, and became Deputy Minister in 2002. She subsequently served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.  She currently serves as a board member for The Banff Centre and the Hawkesbury General Hospital. 

Ms. LaRocque takes over as chair after four years of operational transformation at the Canadian Museum of Nature, during which enterprise sustainability has been a central theme in guiding the museum’s mission and mandate. The museum’s progress in this regard, aligned with the strategic plan moving forward, has placed the museum on a path to playing a vital role in creating a sustainable natural future for Canada and the world.

“Museum boards today are called upon to draw on a variety of skills sets, from executive leadership to governance to fundraising,” says Meg Beckel, the museum’s President and CEO. “Stephen Henley has been a leader in all these areas and we thank him for his devotion to the museum and in setting us on a sustainable path. I look forward to harnessing the diverse skills and energy of our Board under the direction of Ms. Larocque to enable continued growth for the Museum as a respected cultural and scientific institution.”

“It has been an honour to serve as the Chair of the museum’s Board, during which time I have witnessed the museum transform into an institution of international first rank, increasingly known for excellence in Arctic knowledge, global influence in species discovery and national leadership in inspiration and public engagement,” says Stephen Henley. “It takes courage and creativity to transform people’s expectations of a natural history museum within a 21st century global context, and the museum has done exactly that. I wish the new chair all the best as she leads a group of trustees committed to governing, giving and galvanizing support for the museum.”

Between 2013 and 2017, the museum achieved some significant results related to fulfillment of its mission and mandate. These include:

·         External Investment: Cash and in-kind funds raised over the past four years.   $27 million

·         Engagement: Cumulative visitation at the museum’s public exhibitions site:  1,800,000

·         Outreach: travelling exhibits and attendance - 166 venues and 3,496,000 visitors

·         Research impact:  88 species identified or classified, 128 graduate students trained, 237 publications

·         Global access: 325 million digital downloads of collections knowledge

·         Board philanthropy and sponsorship:  $369,863

The Canadian Museum of Nature conducts research to create knowledge that has direct relevance to understanding environmental change. And, through the national natural history collection, it maintains a scientific body of evidence that is vital to environmental management. To continue this important research, the museum is becoming a sustainable museum enterprise, which, to be relevant, must be clear in the value it provides to the scientific community and the public at large.  

About the Canadian Museum of Nature
The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. The museum provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature’s past, present and future through scientific research, a 14.6 million specimen collection, education programmes, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic web site, nature.ca. 

Information for Media: 

John Swettenham
​Director, Marketing and Media Relations
613-686-8277 (cell)

Dan Smythe
​Head, Media Relations
613-566-4781; 613-698-9253 (cell)