Water, water is everywhere at the Eptek Art and Culture Centre in Summerside but there’s nary a drop to drink.
Instead, the exhibit Canada’s Waterscapes: Yours to Explore, Enjoy and Protect is a refreshing dip into the wild, wet world of Canada’s aquatic ecosystems, including oceans, lakes, rivers, wetlands and estuaries.
This interactive, family-friendly exhibit from the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa has audio features, video displays and life-size dioramas. Visitors of all ages can conduct their own symphony of frog calls, discover the nesting grounds of the endangered whooping crane, and marvel at the intricacy of the baleen from a minke whale.
“It is amazing. It looks like you’re looking at an aquarium,” Eptek site director Paula Kenny says of one of the five tall dioramas that were created by Ron Seguin of Creative Nature Studio in Cornwall, Ont.
Each is a slice of waterway life that looks as if it’s been taken directly from the source and frozen perfectly and permanently in time.
The exhibit was created by the Canadian Museum of Nature a few years ago as a touring exhibition.
After being hosted in Ottawa, it was sent across the nation to various venues and is now at Eptek Art and Culture Centre until April 30.
The Canada’s Waterscapes dioramas contain a myriad of creatures great and small that inhabit nature’s waterways.
Details as large as a huge heron or spawning salmon or as small as a clam under the sand or a caddisfly skimming a pond’s surface are all just waiting to be discovered by a wandering eye.
“There are some real specimens and then there are some recreated pieces. It’s really hard to tell the difference,” Kenny says.
Other components of the bilingual exhibit include video consoles that present issues and insights on Canada’s lakes, rivers, estuaries, wetlands and oceans.
There are also interactive electronic elements that add an element of fun into the discovery experience.
“There’s a lot of content. You could probably take two or three hours to take it all in,” says Robert Leuenberger, head of exhibit operations at the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Kenny says a number of schools have already booked times for tours of the exhibit.
“It’s such a great opportunity to see this type of thing. It’s pretty rare that we’d have an exhibit like this. It’s a really special gem, so we’re keeping it for four months.”