Cliff Notes Newsletter | Winter 2020

by JFI staff

Curator’s corner

Watch this space!

Pygocephalus dubius fossil

The Joggins Fossil Institute’s On-line Collection is expanding with new images. Interested in what we have in the Collection? You can search and see images of over 1700 fossil specimens here.

Fundraising and development

Giving with the future (of art) in mind

The Joggins Fossil Institute offers ArtScape: Artist-in-Residence Programme to further the educational and outreach components of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs & Centre and its mission.

We seek artists’ proposals that engage with, complement, examine, and reflect the natural environment and surroundings (flora, fauna, weather, water, geology, palaeontology, cultural history etc.) of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs and Centre.

The residency provides artists with the time, financial support, and space to enable them to better focus on their work.

The Joggins Fossil Institute’s ArtScape: Artist-in-Residence programme begins its 4th year in 2020. The past three years have been successful with Sophie Madelaine Jaillet, a Montreal visual artist; Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland, writer and Dr. Jeff Martin, composer, both from Sackville, NB, partaking of the programme. They all created meaningful art while engaging with tourists and locals alike.

Each year begins, however, with Centre staff not knowing whether, due to a lack of funding, ArtScape can be provided. Each year, JFI applies for a grant through ArtsNS, but funding is never guaranteed.

In our last Cliff Notes newsletter we introduced you to Andrew Godsalve, a photographer from Hinton, AB, who was chosen by jury as the 2020 ArtScape Artist-in-Residence.

We aim to raise $10,000 to ensure that Andrew will be able to travel to Joggins and provide the Institute with his expertise.

During the holiday season, please consider donating to the Joggins Fossil Institute. All funds received during that time will be applied directly to the ArtScape Artist-in-Residence Programme.

Donating is easy through CanadaHelps online and you will receive a tax receipt!

Thank you!

Upcoming events

  • Tuesday, January 21, 6–8 pm: Fibre Arts Friends — It’s fun and things get done
  • Monday, February 17, 11 am: Nova Scotia Heritage Day — programme to be determined
  • Tuesday, February 22, 6-8 pm: Fibre Arts Friends
  • Tuesday, March 17, 6-8 pm: Fibre Arts Friends
  • Tuesday, March 17 to Thursday, March 19, 10 am to 2:30 pm: March Break Day Camps
    • March 17: Mad Science Morning - additional programming to be determined. $5 per child per day for ages 5–11.

What’s been happening

September 19, 2019

The Science Literacy Week Presentation on the infamous Oxford Sinkhole was a great success with a large audience and lots of questions for Amy Tizzard, P. Eng.

September 30, 2019

The Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up resulted in volunteers picking up 148 items in total including 21 pieces of rope, 20 tiny pieces of plastic or foam, 7 food wrappers, 8 bottle caps and 75 cigarette butts along the banks and on the beach in Lower Cove.

Our Curator, Dr. Melissa Grey, was pleased to participate in Acadia University’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Event where she spoke with students about a career in palaeontology.

October 5, 2019

Dr. Jeff Martin, the JFI 2019 Artist-in-Residence, preformed his final concert Sounding Cliffs: Composition, Process and Context to an appreciative audience. Sponsored by ArtsNS and ArtsNB.

October 6, 2019

The pollinator garden on the grounds of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs was renamed the Su Morin Memorial Garden in honor of the longtime and well-known volunteer and garden expert.

October 24, 2019

A volunteer luncheon was held with special guest and retiring board member, Dr. Elisabeth Kosters, named a Keeper of the Cliffs in recognition of her dedication to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs. Congratulations, Elisabeth!

Jim Thompson The Fossil Cliffs at Joggins an oil painting by Canadian artist John Bladek

Lucky Summer Raffle! Jim Thompson of Mill Village and Pugwash, NS, was the winner of our Lucky Summer Raffle and is now the proud owner of The Fossil Cliffs at Joggins, an oil painting by Canadian artist John Bladek. Thanks to all who purchased a raffle ticket in support of the Joggins Fossil Institute.

November 3, 2019

Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland, JFI 2018 Artist-in-Residence, launched her poetry book Daring to Hope at the Cliff’s Edge, Pangea’s Dream Remembered: A Poetic Odyssey. Sponsored by the Municipality of the County of Cumberland.

Christie Anne McLellan and Joy Gray chat with Amy Tizzard, P.Eng Lower Cove Beach

Top photo: Left to right Christie Anne McLellan and Joy Gray chat with Amy Tizzard, P.Eng. during Science Literacy Week.

Above: Lower Cove Beach. Photo by Stephanie Moreau.

Below top row: Su Morin Memorial Garden naming ceremony & memorial signage.

Below second row: Display at Acadia University’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Event & Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland’s recently launched book, Daring to Hope at the Cliff’s Edge Pangea’s Dream Remembered:A Poetic Odyssey. Co-published by the Joggins Fossil Institute. Sponsored by the Municipality of tte County of Cumberland.

Below: Dr. Elisabeth Kosters with the Keeper of the Cliffs exhibit.

Su Morin Memorial Garden naming ceremony & memorial signage Su Morin Memorial Garden naming ceremony & memorial signage

Display at Acadia University’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Event Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland's recently launched book, Daring to Hope at the Cliff's Edge Pangea's Dream Remembered:A Poetic Odyssey

Dr. Elisabeth Kosters with the Keeper of the Cliffs exhibit

Education & outreach

Teachers take note!

Students on a tour of Joggins Fossil Centre

The Joggins Fossil Institute invites teachers and their students to explore palaeontology, geology, biology and cultural history at a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

School tours and adventure programs are hands-on, incorporate visual, auditory and kinetic learning styles and address Nova Scotia Department of Education curriculum outcomes.

School tours

A guided interpretive gallery tour (30 minutes) plus guided beach tour (30 minutes) is $7.50 per student.Adventure programs

  • Teachers, customize your class visit by adding these adventure programs to your school tours
  • Adventure programs are 30 to 45 minutes in length
  • Scavenger hunts: $1/student
  • Fossil excavations: $5/student
  • Fossil casting/painting: $5/student
Junior/senior high
  • Geological timeline: $20/session (maximum 20 students)
  • Natural selection game: $20/session (maximum 10 students)
  • CSI: Joggins: $30/session (maximum 10 students)
  • Quadrat activity: $70/session (maximum 20 students)
  • Stratigraphic column: $50/session (maximum 20 students)

Contact us to book or discuss your educational experience today!

  • (902) 251–2727 ext 222
  • (888) 932–9766

A season of partnerships

On October 31 the Joggins Fossil Centre closed for another season. During 2019 the Joggins Fossil Institute focused on partnerships which resulted in great leaps forward in marketing and outreach. JFI partnered with Nova Scotia Tourism to work on attracting more visitors to the site. It connected with NovaShores Adventures to offer the “Joggins Hidden Cliffs Experience”, a four-hour kayaking adventure that gave participants a chance to explore sections of the Cliffs, completely inaccessible by foot, and to experience the Bay of Fundy tides first-hand. And it partnered with Parrsboro’s Fundy Geological Museum to produce “Cast into the Past”, a hands-on adventure during which participants experienced both sites in one day: visiting the beach with a paleontologist, and creating fossil casts to take home. JFI learned a tremendous amount from both programmes and will offer them again in the 2020 season.

This season JFI was also fortunate to partner with Heritage Models Museum, and the Minudie Heritage Association to publish a “loop” brochure. The free brochure, contains a map which leads visitors around the Joggins/Minudie/River Hebert “loop”, and identifies 18 heritage attractions to take in along the way, including the anchor sites of the Heritage Models Museum, Joggins Fossil Centre, UNESCO World Heritage Site and, in Minudie, the Seaman School Museum, St. Denis Church and the King Seaman Universalist Church. Local businesses are also listed for the visitors’ convenience. All partners involved appreciated the mutual benefit of keeping visitors in the area longer.

Looking back, the 2019 tourism season was slow in starting. The cold wet weather of May/June was reflected in weaker admission numbers. JFI had a stronger July than in 2018, but, unfortunately August was down this year over last. By the end of September, paid admission was down a little compared to 2018. One interesting tidbit is that spend-per-head was up. Another way of looking at it is that, while we had fewer people through our doors, those who did come purchased more than usual.

Now that winter is upon us we will begin the task of finishing the loose ends of the previous season, and begin preparations for 2020. February is the ideal time for us to ensure our message is in front of potential visitors, as that is often the time people start planning their summer vacations. Vacation planning and snow, they go hand in hand. We thank all our 2019 partners for their hard work and cooperation. It was great to work together.

This article first appeared in November 27, 2019 issue of the Amherst News.

Happy holidays from the Joggins Fossil Institute!