Educational programs and activities that increase knowledge of the world’s polar regions.
There are so many fascinating things to learn about the world’s polar regions. Having had the privilege to travel to these regions, France Rivet is now eager to share what she has been fortunate enough to witness, discover and learn. What better way to learn about the polar regions than through Polar Horizons’ polar education offering?
- Through our school talks your children at the primary level will be captivated by the stories and images of the polar regions’ natural world while increasing their knowledge.
- Through our presentations the whole family or adult audiences will discover destinations off the beaten path and be captivated by the stories and images of places so few people actually get to see.
- Through our photography exhibitions your community will have the chance to admire photographs of the polar regions’ natural world while learning new facts through the educational captions complementing each photo.
France Rivet’s passion is on full display in all Polar Horizons’ talks. As reported by several attendees, her enthusiasm and passion make the presentations exciting and keep the audience spellbound.
About 35 people were treated to an exciting presentation by France Rivet, a talented and accomplished photographer, and most of whose slides kept the audience spell bound. We were amazed to learn that there are huge stone canyons, beluga whales, camp sites, flowers and even some warm days, in a land that most of us thought of as just ice and snow. The logistics and fun of camping in taht area fascinated us. Many of the audience stayed for quite a while after the presentation to share stories or ask questions. A number of France's beautiful photos were quickly purchased after the presentation, lasting reminders of a wonderful evening.
Alice Smeathers, National Capital Region Wildlife Festival, april 2010, Ottawa, Ontario
France is thrilled to be a founding member of International Polar Educators, a global network of educators that are passionate and motivated to share the polar regions with the world. This collaboration between educators from all around the world will no doubt enable Polar Horizons to better and to further develop its polar education offer. Stay tuned!
Intended for elementary school students, Polar Horizons’ school talks are meant to introduce the children to the fascinating nature and environment of the Arctic.
Each school talk is approximately one hour long and consists of a highly interactive presentation supported by photographs and video clips recorded by the speaker, France Rivet. France may also bring artifacts such as fossils or whale bones that she collected so that children may touch a piece of the Arctic.
Our school talks are customizable based on the age group and the time available. It is also possible to combine the talks with a creative activity in which children will be asked to build on the newly acquired knowledge.
Let's go beyond the 60° parallel North to discover the wildlife that lives up there. Using photographs and video clips brought back from trips to Nunavut, Churchill (Manitoba), Svalbard (Norway) and Nunatsiavut (Labrador), the students will witness the various encounters we have had with arctic wildlife. Among others, they learn about:
- mammals—polar bears, reindeers, musk oxen, belugas, bearded seals and walruses;
- birds—arctic sterns, skuas (pirates of the seas), murres and snowy owls.
Nanuq, Lord of the Arctic
The polar bear has become the number one symbol of the Arctic. Using stories, photographs and video clips brought back from trips to Churchill (Manitoba), Nunavut and Svalbard (Norway), students will:
- see the polar bear on the pack ice, his prefered habitat, as well as on land where he must take refuge during the long summer months;
- understand what a year in the life of a polar bear looks like;
- discuss the habitat and behavior of polar bears;
- understand why climate change has a great impact on the lifestyle of the polar bear and its survival;
- see how the people of Churchill have adapted to the presence of polar bears on land for nearly seven months per year to ensure the safety of both the bears and humans.
Somerset Island: White Ghost Country
Located above the 74° parallel North and facing the Northwest Passage, Somerset Island is the 12th largest island in Canada. Every summer, hundreds if not thousands of belugas congregate in the Cunningham Inlet estuary to rub against the rocky bottom to molt their skin. Witness this unique ritual through photographs, videos and fossils brought back from two stays on the island. The students will:
- discover the wildlife (emphasis on belugas), the flora and the landscapes of the High Arctic;
- discover the characteristics of the Arctic environment (e.g.: mollisols, midnight sun, inuksuk) and see the logistics surrounding life on an uninhabited island;
- have a preview of an Inuit village Resolute (the second northernmost village in Canada);
- touch fossils that are over 450 million years old and bowhead whale bones.
WOW! Super cool!
5th grade student, François-Perrot primary school, L'Île-Perrot, Quebec
To see some images, visit our Somerset Island portfolio.
To reserve a school talk for your class or for a group of children in your community, contact us to discuss the possibilities.
Entertaining, informative and interactive, Polar Horizons’ presentations are one-hour long and include photographs and videos taken by France Rivet. You will therefore be hearing the stories directly from the person who lived them.
The presentations are intended for adult audiences but they are definitely suitable for the whole family. They are meant to enable you to discover off-the-beaten-path travel destinations and to give a better understanding of what life is like above the 55th parallel.
To reserve a presentation for your community, photography club, travel club or for any other group, contact us to discuss the possibilities.
In the Footsteps of Abraham Ulrikab (NEW : Winter 2015)
Europe 1881. Eight Labrador Inuit die while being exhibited in zoos. Gatineau 2011. France Rivet learns that the remains of five of them, including those of Abraham Ulrikab, are kept in a museum in Paris. Relive the four years of research that ensued, and led to the publication of her book In the Footsteps of Abraham Ulrikab. Also discover the steps France has taken towards materializing Abraham's expressed wish to return home to Labrador.
Somerset Island: White Ghost Country
Located above the 74° parallel North and facing the Northwest Passage, Somerset Island is the 12th largest island in Canada. Every summer, hundreds if not thousands of belugas congregate in the Cunningham Inlet estuary to rub against the rocky bottom to molt their skin. Photographs and videos brought back from two stays on the island will enable you to experience this unique ritual. Also discover the flora, the landscapes and the logistics surrounding the operation of a lodge on this uninhabited island of the Canadian High Arctic.
To see some images of this destination, visit our Somerset Island portfolio.
Thank you so much for enhancing Alta Vista Branch with your wonderful collection of photographs. And thank you for your presentation on February 6. Several people have commented on how educational it was and how much they enjoyed your photos. We appreciate the time you have given to share your photos and experiences with our community. Sincerely.
Sandra Michael, Ottawa Public Library - Alta Vista Branch, Ottawa, Ontario
Churchill — Polar Bear and Beluga Capital
Each fall hundreds of polar bears migrate towards the community of Churchill (Manitoba) knowing fully well that the ice will form first in this area of Hudson Bay. After more than four months of forced fasting, they are anxious to resume seal hunting. This annual migration of bears attracts over 10,000 tourists in this small community of about 900 souls. Bears are also present in Churchill during the summer but they are less visible since, being forced to fast, they try to stay cool and save their energies. It is nevertheless essential for us to be vigilant while walking as they could surprise us anywhere. Over the years the population of Churchill has adapted so that the cohabitation with polar bears is as safe as possible for both parties. During the summer, another animal specie migrates to Churchill—belugas. More than 3000 of them stay at the mouth of the Churchill River. A kayaking trip among the belugas is an unforgettable experience! Come and learn more about Churchill, capital of polar bears and beluga whales.
Cruise around the Svalbard Archipelago
Located in Arctic Ocean halfway between the northern tip of Norway and the North Pole, the Svalbard archipelago extends between the 74° and 81° parallels North. According to the Vikings' sagas, forty days of navigation were required to reach Svalbard, “the island with cold shores”. Discover this country of mountains and glaciers. Navigate through the ice floes up to the 82° parallel. See the traces left by the hunters, the whalers and the coal miners who came here for centuries to exploit its resources, in some cases almost to extinction. Witness our encounters with the Arctic wildlife (walruses, polar bears, bearded seals, arctic foxes, etc.).
Arctic Adventures: from Churchill's polar bears to Svalbard's ice floes
This presentation is meant to give you an overview of three of our favourite places in the Arctic: Somerset Island (Nunavut), Svalbard (the archipelago in the Barents Sea halfway between Norway and the North Pole) and Churchill, Manitoba (the polar bear and beluga whale capital of the word). For details on each of these destinations, please see the above descriptions.
Thank you for speaking to the Lanark County Camera club this evening. Your photos and talk gave us a view of the Arctic that is inspiring in its beauty and splendor. A wonderful aspect of Canada!
Lanark County Camera Club
Drawn from over 2,000 photographs taken over a total of ten weeks spent on Nunavut’s Somerset Island, Polar Horizons’ acclaimed photo exhibition Somerset Island: White Ghost Country has so far been shown in 16 locations in Quebec and Ontario.
In 2011, Polar Horizons was asked to prepare a second photo exhibition to introduce southerners to the wildlife of the Arctic. In collaboration with nature photographer Robert Gravel, the exhibition Arctic Wildlife Encounters’ premiere was held in Montreal in January 2012.
Both exhibitions have an educational dimension as photos are accompanied by detailed captions providing information such as where and in which context the photo was taken, the wildlife’s habitat or life cycle, etc. These captions are a much-appreciated feature of Polar Horizons’ exhibitions.
Somerset Island: White Ghost Country
Following two stays on Somerset Island, an island of the Canadian High Arctic located above the 74° parallel north, France Rivet has put together a photo exhibition to present this uninhabited island where she was bitten by the Arctic bug.
Every summer, hundreds if not thousands of belugas congregate in the Cunningham Inlet estuary at the mouth of the Cunningham River. Here, they find shallow and warmer waters. They come to rub against the rocky bottom to molt their skin.
The exhibition is comprised of 21 photographs and aims to present the island's unique environment (wildlife, flora and landscape).
These are amazing photos — especially the bears. You have put a lot of work in the exhibition and there is so much information about the region. I hope it attracts some people to the area (but not too many). I just wanted to let you know how impressed I was and how much I enjoyed the photos.
Congratulations! Elizabeth K., Ottawa, Ontario
Arctic Wildlife Encounters
With fewer than 1% of Canadians living north of the 60° parallel, these northern lands often remain a mystery and a fascination for southerners. Not always easily accessible and often inhospitable, various wildlife species have nevertheless won their bet to survive and make the most of the Arctic environment.
The photo exhibition Arctic Wildlife Encounters is intended to show you the diversity of terrestrial and marine species that have adopted the high latitudes as a place of permanent or temporary residence. Of course, the Lord of the Arctic, the polar bear, is there. So are 16 other species. You may be surprised to recognize some that also live near you!
The exhibition holds 19 photographs from France Rivet and Robert Gravel.
Contact us to obtain a copy of the detailed description of each exhibition and to discuss the possibilities for showing them in a place near you. Both exhibitions can also be complemented by a presentation given by France Rivet.
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