Learning and Volunteer Opportunities
While the show strives to promote community engagement and family bonding, it also provides significant learning opportunities. Educational posters are developed and displayed in the biology building’s lobby and Let’s Talk Science guided tours are offered by student volunteers—from both Carleton and the University of Ottawa—to local schools and community groups.
For their part, Carleton students are afforded plentiful opportunities to volunteer and learn about the butterflies and their evolution. The students, who volunteer both during and prior to the show, get to experience special moments of which most people can only dream—like seeing the butterflies emerge from their chrysalises.
“The average person will never hold a chrysalis from Indonesia in their hand. And the students get to experience that,” Bruggink muses. “They’re knocking down the door trying to get into that nursery to help me out.”
In addition to student volunteers, there’s a plethora of Ottawa community members who help enable the success of the show.
Jen Skanes, a Carleton alumnus, volunteers as a greeter every fall; she happily walks the entry lines and enthusiastically entertains and educates visitors.
Jim des Rivières and Rick Cavasin, both local photographers and experts on moths and butterflies, respectively, share their expertise with guests. Jim also prints the show’s signage and designs t-shirts for volunteers, while Rick provides photographs of local butterflies for the ‘butterfly wall’ in the biology building lobby.
A local Ottawa artist, Kathryn Finter, creates butterfly origami, which are handed out to thousands of visitors as souvenirs.