Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Marks the Naming of the "Queens' Lantern" at the Canadian Museum of Nature
Ottawa, June 30, 2010—The Canadian Museum of Nature's new glass "lantern" is now officially the "Queens' Lantern". The new name was proclaimed today during an unveiling of a plaque at the museum by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh.
The name pays homage to both Queen Elizabeth II, and to her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, whom the Victoria Memorial Museum commemorates.
The Victoria Memorial Museum Building is the public exhibition site of the Canadian Museum of Nature. Constructed between 1905 and 1910, it was Canada's first national museum. A grand reopening on May 22, 2010, heralded the conclusion of an extensive six-year renovation, which was funded by the Government of Canada, and celebrated the transformation to a 21st-century national museum of natural science.
"We are very privileged that Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh chose to visit the Canadian Museum of Nature. Their visit has special significance as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Victoria Memorial Museum Building this year," says Joanne DiCosimo, the President and CEO of the museum.
Florence Minz, Chair of the museum's Board of Trustees notes: "The Queens' Lantern honours two great monarchs and reflects the century of remarkable history associated with this museum. It's a legacy for the future for Canada."
A plaque commemorating the Lantern's new name was unveiled this morning by Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony attended by the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, the Museum's Board of Trustees and staff, as well as representatives of PKG Joint Venture Architects, the architectural design team for the Lantern and the renovations.
Following the ceremony, the Royal Couple visited the museum's new RBC Blue Water Gallery. Before departing, Arlene Neilson, now celebrating her 32nd year as a volunteer with the museum, presented Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh with a framed picture depicting the original tower and the new Queens' Lantern side-by-side. Outside the front entrance, five-year-old McCean Cooley presented flowers to the Queen. The Royal Couple greeted well-wishers as they made their way to their car.
Quick Facts—Queens' Lantern
•The Queens' Lantern was constructed in the space that was previously occupied by a stone tower nearly 100 years ago. The tower was removed in 1915 because it had started sinking and pulling away from the museum's walls. As well as evoking the original tower concept, the Lantern houses a new "butterfly" staircase that provides direct access to the museum's three upper floors.
•Constructed in 2008 and 2009.
•Glass manufactured at Pilkington Glassworks in England.
•Steel (columns and roof truss) manufactured in Quebec, Montréal and Ottawa.
•160 panes of face glass; 120 pieces of glass "fins".
The Canadian Museum of Nature is a Crown corporation and Canada's national museum of natural history and natural science. It promotes awareness of Canada's natural heritage through signature and travelling exhibitions, public education programmes, ongoing scientific research, a dynamic web site, and the maintenance of a 10.5 million-specimen collection. A founding member of the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, the museum is working with partners to expand its national service and to develop national programmes about the natural environment.