Children aged five to 15 around the province are being encouraged to draw, paint, or sketch, either physically or digitally, a creature from the Ice Age, for a chance to win a trip to the Royal BC Museum in Victoria for a major celebration.
Mairin Kerr, a communications specialist with the Royal BC Museum, says that the contest ties in with the museum’s feature exhibition for 2016, “Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age”, which runs through December 31.
“The exhibition was created by the Field Museum in Chicago,” she says, and has toured extensively. The Victoria stop features a very special addition, however: Lyuba, a 42,000-year-old mammoth who is fully intact, and the best-preserved mammoth in the world.
Lyuba—“love” in Russian—was some 30 days old when she slipped in the mud and drowned in Siberia. Acids in the soil mummified her body, which was then frozen for more than 40,000 years. She was discovered in 2007 by a Siberian reindeer herder, and painstakingly uncovered.
“This is only the fourth time Lyuba has been outside Russia, and her first time in Canada, so this is the only time Canadians have had access to her,” says Kerr. “She’s not always with the exhibition.”
The Ice Age corridors at the Royal BC Museum were refurbished prior to the opening of the exhibition. “They tell the story of the B.C. Ice Age,” says Kerr, “so people can see what was happening here at that time.”
She says that Lyuba and the feature exhibition have really caught the attention of children. “It’s very popular with families. There’s been a 42 per cent increase in attendance in June this year when compared with June 2015. People are really engaged with the idea of Ice Age animals.”
The art contest closes on September 20, 2016, and the contest prize winners will be announced on October 4. The Royal BC Museum will fly winners (and an adult chaperone) to Victoria for a special event on October 25 to help the museum celebrate its 130th birthday. Along with the flight, the prize package includes a two-night hotel stay in Victoria and a behind the scenes tour of the museum.
Winners will also be invited to become “ambassadors” of the Royal BC Museum, and host a digital museum visit to their school. “The students will be a bridge between the museum and their classroom,” says Kerr. “They will have been to the museum, and can help curate the digital visit.”
There will be 24 winners, with three winners selected from each of B.C.’s eight regions. Each of the three regional winners will represent an age range (five to eight; nine to 12; and 13 to 15). To learn more about the contest and download an entry form, visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/contest.