Journey to Churchill

Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

“The Journey to Churchill” is an ambitious and visionary project of the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – a ten-acre zoo exhibit devoted to Arctic ecosystems and wildlife, focusing especially on the health and well being of polar bears in the region of Hudson Bay and the town of Churchill. It is an exhibit designed to promote respect and ownership for the Arctic, including the people and animals that depend upon it, and intends to provide an unflinching look at the effects of climate change. See

Jan Coleman was fortunate to have been brought into the project in its early stages as a consultant. She co-authored the original storyline and its distribution on the site, created schematic concepts for half of the site’s live animal interpretation, developed exhibit concepts for the Gateway to the Arctic building, and for the Aurora Borealis domed theater. Working with zoo staff, Jan designed tall, elegant artifact cases to define space within the Gateway building while showcasing an extensive collection of Inuit art. Jan introduced the idea of a “Tipping Point Plaza” half way through the site, where concepts related to climate change, and stories revealed by the melting ice, would be introduced to the visitor and would then become part of the story across the second half of the site.