Yes, camels once did roam the Arctic. Of course, this was about 3.5 million years ago during the Pliocene warm period. The remains of these extinct giants were discovered on Ellesmere Island by a research team led by the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Last year I worked with Carmen Serravalle, VP, creative at Scott Thornley + Company (STC), to create an ad that would run in the Globe and Mail, promoting the museum’s Centre of Arctic Knowledge and Exploration.
“The ad was designed to increase awareness of CMN as global leader in Arctic exploration, and knowledge – learning that is essential to how we manage environmental change,” says Carmen. “We’re aiming to build awareness among potential corporate sponsors and individual donors, government stakeholders, the science community, universities and the general public.”
Since the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-18, scientists CMN have led efforts to document and understand the diversity of the plants, animals, minerals and fossil heritage of Canada’s Arctic regions.
Today, its new Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration, anchored by the efforts of 18 museum experts, is building on this legacy to provide an interdisciplinary hub dedicated to innovative research, collections care, data sharing, public programs and training about Arctic natural history issues. With the museum set to open a new permanent Arctic gallery in 2017, the Centre aims to transform people’s understanding of Canada’s Arctic in the 21st century.
Part of this understanding involves looking at a time when a much warmer climate allowed Arctic camels to wander across a landscape far different than the frozen wasteland many of us picture. This incongruent image served as the basis for the ad, which helped drive traffic to Canada’s largest Arctic collection.