The Friday Five: Annie Jacques

The Friday Five: Annie Jacques

Ottawa’s Canada Science and Technology Museum is bringing The Art of the Brick – an exhibit from renowned LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya – to Canada’s capital city. The announcement has met with exhilaration, and we talked to Annie Jacques, exhibition interpretation officer at the museum. Here, she explains the museum’s approach to hosting exhibits and why The Art of the Brick will delight visitors of all ages.

Tell me about the Canada Science and Technology Museum (CSTM).

CSTM opened in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s history of scientific and technological advances. We pride ourselves on offering exhibits for everyone from ages 2 to 102. We have eleven permanent exhibits. A few of our most recognized attractions include Steam: A World in Motion, Medical Sensations, Crazy Kitchen+, and ZOOOM Children’s Innovation Zone. Each of our exhibits has multiple entry points, reflecting our commitment to offering something for every age and stage of life.

We have a dual identity as a science and technology museum. Some people think that “museum” means that artifacts will be behind glass. While there are certain elements we need to preserve, CSTM is very dynamic; visitors are encouraged to interact with our exhibits.

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Why are interactive elements important for museums? 

It’s so much more fun that way! And, adults learn and play in much the same way as children. People tend to think that adults learn through facts and memorization, but learning through interaction is a lifelong process and is important for both motor-skill development and preservation. 

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CSTM hosts “The Art of the Brick” – an exhibit from renowned LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya – May 16 through September 3, 2018. Why does the Museum want to bring “The Art of the Brick” to Ottawa and what can visitors expect?

CSTM underwent a renovation and re-opened in November 2017. That renovation includes a new temporary exhibit space that allows us to bring unique travelling exhibits to Ottawa. We want blockbusters – exhibits that complement both the science and museum elements of what we do, as well as introduce art into the mix. The Art of the Brick is a perfect fit. 

LEGO is a powerful education tool and also a medium that encourages creativity. It’s multigenerational. The Art of the Brick is an 80-piece installation that includes a hands-on programming space for visitors. It’s an immersive experience that inspires. It will be very exciting for visitors to walk among an 80,000-piece Tyrannosaurus Rex and view famous fine-art pieces re-imagined in LEGO.

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LEGO celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2018. Why does LEGO continue to interest people?

It’s universal and multigenerational. It brings joy to individuals and families. It can be done independently or with other people. There’s an element of nostalgia to it but it still offers something for everyone. 

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What else can we look forward to seeing from CSTM over the next couple of years?

I can’t talk about many of our upcoming special exhibits just yet. We’ll be making some announcements in the fall. What I can say is that we intend to make full use of our temporary exhibit hall in a way that will make visitors very happy.

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The Art of the Brick runs May 16 through September 3, 2018. Artist Nathan Sawaya will be on-hand to open the exhibit. Learn more about the Canada Science and Technology Museum on their website.

Five questions, one fascinating person (or team!) – look into the minds of movers and shakers in the nostalgia, game, play, or toy industry.