Who makes the Butterfly Show happen?

Papa Papillon

The following video takes us behind the scenes of the Butterfly Show with lead organizer Ed Bruggink, Carleton’s Greenhouse Manager.

Let’s Talk Science

Let’s Talk Science is a national volunteer organization of graduate and upper year undergraduate students in fields related to science and engineering. The mandate of this organization is to increase literacy and interest in science, engineering, and technology. In Ottawa, Let’s Talk Science draws its volunteers from both Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.

The Department of Biology has partnered with Let’s Talk Science to offer tours to school or community groups who are interested in turning their visit to the Butterfly Show into an even more educational experience. All show tours are presented by Let’s Talk Science volunteers. Let’s Talk Science volunteers are also in the greenhouse during public visits to help answer questions and direct traffic. In 2020, Let’s Talk Science began presenting virtual tours of the greenhouses.

The Annual Biology Butterfly Show relies heavily on the support and enthusiasm provided by these student volunteers. To find out more about Let’s Talk Science or to enquire about free, curriculum based, hands-on science demonstrations in your classroom, please visit their website:

Ottawa: https://outreach.letstalkscience.ca/ottawa
National: https://letstalkscience.ca/

Special shout-out to Sue McKee, Director, Let’s Talk Science at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University who pours hours of passion and enthusiasm into organizing the volunteers and planning show details each year.

Carleton University Administrators

A team of dedicated administrators from across campus assist in making the show a success each year. The show would not run without support from: The Department of Biology, The Faculty of Science, The Department of University Advancement, Procurement Services, and Facilities Management and Planning.


Special thanks to C&W Services for their sponsorship contribution to the Butterfly Show.

Annual Butterfly Show Volunteers

Carleton University Biology Society

The Carleton University Biology Society (CUBS) is a student led organization created to bring together Carleton’s Biology students from first through fourth year. Volunteers from CUBS are essential to the Butterfly Show – they help facilitate the event throughout the week as well as over the weekends.

Rick Cavasin

Rick is a local photographer and naturalist and an expert on Ontario butterflies. The amazing butterfly wall display in the Nesbitt Biology Building lobby features Rick’s photographs of all local butterfly species. Rick’s work can be seen at www.ontariobutterflies.ca.

Kathryn Finter

Kathryn is an artist from Ottawa who for over 15 years has volunteered with the Butterfly Show by lending her expertise to the craft table set up in the lobby for visitors. Kathryn’s work can be seen at: www.illuminations.ca.

Jen Skanes

Jen is a Carleton graduate and a former coordinator for Let’s Talk Science who still comes back every year to educate visitors on butterflies.

Special shout-out to Ed Bruggink, event organizer, and his family.

Ed Bruggink is the founding father of the Carleton Butterfly Show and has been the lead organizer of the event since the show began 23 years ago. Ed, his wife Joanna, and his family all contribute greatly each year. As the greenhouse manager of the Biology Department, Ed works tirelessly to make sure that everyone has a great time during the show, including the butterflies.

Jim Des Rivieres

For 19 years, Jim made significant contributions to the Butterfly Show and has changed the lives of everyone here in the Biology department. Jim was a dear friend, local photographer and an expert on Ottawa moths. His large-format prints of local moths were featured in an exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2010. Jim printed all the signs for the Butterfly Show, including the butterfly wall. The Jim des Rivières Award for Teaching Innovation and Excellence Fund was created in his memory.

Photo by Akintunde Akinleye