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Revisit a documentary charting an amazing $216 million renovation

Ten years ago on May 22, 2010, The Canadian Museum of Nature reopened its entire Victoria Memorial Museum Building (VMMB) following a six-year $216 million renovation. Picture This Productions’ team spent a year following the final year of this epic project.

More than 35,000 visitors passed through the doors over the three-day opening weekend! They marveled at the renewed galleries, new spaces such as the Queens’ Lantern, the Salon and the NatureCafe, and the restored heritage Atrium.

What these visitors didn’t fully grasp was all the behind-the-scenes infrastructure and functional upgrades that had modernized the building – from the seismic steel reinforcement, to the new South Wing with a proper Shipping and Receiving entrance, workshops, and animal care area,  to new safety and security systems.

A decade after this milestone, the museum invites viewers to enjoy the documentary A Modern Castle that our production company shot and edited in 2010 for the museum,  broadcast in August 2011 on Discovery World HD.

Watch as new galleries are built, the heritage “castle” is renovated and heritage elements are restored. Marvel at the emergence of the Queens’ Lantern. See dioramas get deconstructed and moved, and the blue whale skeleton assembled for display. Hear from the architects (PKG Joint Venture Architects), the constructors (PCL Construction Ltd), and the museum’s own exhibit developers and museum staff that helped update the museum for the 21st century.

And if you want to read more about the Museum of Nature and how they’re dealing with protecting their specimens during the COVID-19 shutdown, check out this fascinating Globe & Mail article.