Museum of Nature to transform into nightclub

Aiming to attract new visitors, Ottawa's repository of all things natural is cranking up the tunes and strobe lights for monthly nightclub-style events.
The Canadian Museum of Nature is turning into a club once a week to attract a younger crowd. 2:26

The Museum of Nature is shaking things up in an attempt to attract a hip, new crowd. 

On Jan. 25, the Centretown castle that houses all things nature will roll aside the fossils to make way for turntables, amps and disco lights to lure 20 to 35 year olds for a nightclub-style party.

"This is a national institution. It belongs to everyone in Canada and our programming should reflect that," said Cynthia Iburg, the museum's education project leader.

A first for Ottawa, it's a trend sweeping museums across North America where daytime viewing of antiquities gives way to nighttime parties featuring bands, artists and out of the ordinary activities.

But some critics say hosting these types of events isn't the Museum of Nature's business. Eugene Haslam, owner of Zaphod Beeblebrox nightclub in the Byward Market, says the museum knows rocks, not rock music.

"Why are you competing with private sector people? You're using government taxpayer money to compete with me," he said. "Let's do it on an even playing field. Why doesn't the museum give me a bunch of money and I can run a museum in here."

The endeavour dubbed 'Nature Nocturne' kicks off its first event Jan. 25 with subsequent after-hours parties to be held on the last Friday of every month. Admission is $20.