Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum Opens September 2015
by The Philip J. Currie Museum
The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum will celebrate opening its doors to the public for the first time on September 3, 2015 with a free open house from 4:00PM to 10PM. The Museum will remain open from this date onward, with many additional displays being added throughout the month of September. The grand opening is set for September 26th, 2015 culminating in the Amber Ball Grand Celebration in the evening. (Tickets: www.dinomuseum.ca)
In addition to five newly named dinosaurs from Alberta on display that have never before been seen as reconstructions, the museum focuses on the diversity of life in the nearby Wapiti Formation ecosystem. Using the recent discoveries and current understanding of the botany, geology, climate and geography of the Grande Prairie region during the Cretaceous era, visitors are guided through the process of reconstructing the ancient environment of the dinosaurs and shown the decades of research work that goes into understanding the make-up of extinct ecosystems.
The museum exhibits are designed to immerse visitors in an interactive virtual dinosaur-driven environment with enhanced augmented features using computer aided screens that pan over suspended articulated dinosaur skeletons:
- A dinosaur skeleton can be “fleshed out” with a click of an icon on a tablet device
- Another click may add an entire ecosystem around the dinosaur from the Jurassic, Triassic, Cretaceous and Devonian periods.
- Multiple platforms mounted on the mezzanine level overlook the main gallery and the skeletal installations mounted on to the floor as well as the ceiling.
- Visitors can pan the tablet over to the articulated skeletal forms of various species of dinosaurs and click on hotspots to activate them.
- Technology overlays custom created computer generated special effects and animation.
- The rocking arm of the tablets also allows for relational motion and co-linking of layered content seamlessly.
- Down in the galleries, giant jumbo screens offer a fractal imagery of a chase scene involving herds of pachyrhinosaurus, hadrosaurs and the carnivorous gorgosaur.
- The virtual interactive exhibit experience extends on to the helicopter rides (the only museum in Canada to offer this experience) over the world’s densest bone-bed with layered content on the history and discoveries.
The museum is within a few kilometers of one of the densest dinosaur bone beds in the world, from which finds will continue to enrich our understanding of these prehistoric creatures for many years to come. Visitors can learn more through tours to the bone beds by museum Dinobus or by helicopter flights over the area.
The museum educational programs will capture the interest of all ages and includes use of a 3D printer, immersive technologies, hands-on children’s programs, traveling exhibits, National Geographic films, interpreted walks through the museum, lecture series, podcasts and other developing programs. Visitors can view research done in the Palaeo-Lab from the overhead viewing gallery or through a large porthole from the floor above, children can let off steam at the Dino Play Park, families can have lunch at the Dine-O-Saur Restaurant and purchase gifts at the Kalaeidosaur Gift Shop as a lasting reminder.
Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is an international institute for experiential learning dedicated to the palaeontological heritage of Alberta through research, collection, preservation, exhibition, public programming, publications and innovative outreach. For more information and hi-res images/media kits, visit http://dinomuseum.ca.
Nora Weber, TerraCom