Every year the Carleton University Biology Department hosts the Annual Biology Butterfly Show. In 2020, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are doing all we can to keep our community safe and to contribute to slowing the progression of COVID-19 in Ottawa and across the country.

Therefore, the 21st Annual Biology Butterfly Show will be held as a virtual event.

During the 9 days leading into the Thanksgiving weekend, over 1300 live exotic butterflies, representing 41 different species worldwide, will be released into the greenhouses of the Nesbitt Biology building.

In 2020, the public is invited to view these beautiful creatures via the live stream cameras and learn more about them through our online videos.

Let’s Talk Science will be connecting with schools and community groups virtually.

While the show will be presented differently in 2020, we hope that the magic of the butterflies will come through your screens and bring some joy in these difficult times.

The Butterfly Show has always been funded through the generosity of its visitors. To ensure that the Butterfly Show can run successfully in the future, and remain accessible for future generations, we encourage your support of the Butterfly Show with a generous donation!

The Background

Each year, the Butterfly Show costs $6-7 thousand to run. The bulk of that cost is the importing of around 1300 tropical butterflies from around the world.

In 2020, we will importing tropical butterflies around the world, as well as setting up equipment that will help you to enjoy the experience from home.

We hope that in future years we will be able to run an in person show again. We need your help to ensure that the Butterfly Show can continue to be accessible for future generations.

The Rollout

Donations to the Butterfly Show help us to sustain the following aspects of the show.

Pupae Importing:

Each year, the 1300 butterflies you see in the Nesbitt Greenhouses have travelled across the world as pupae. The stars of the show make up the majority of the yearly costs, $5-6 thousand.


The Let’s Talk Science presentations are performed by volunteers, who are students from Carleton and the University of Ottawa. The tours are offered free of charge to schools and local community groups, however the images and models used to provide a more interactive learning experience must be purchased by the department.

Facility Updates:

The butterfly facilities require updating so that we can ensure we provide our butterflies with the very best conditions for their development during metamorphosis. The emergence cages used are currently 18 years old. We must purchase new emergence cages that are mold-resistant and that can be cleaned thoroughly each year, preventing disease in the population.

The Impact

Carleton University maintains close ties to the greater Ottawa community. Through events like the Butterfly Show, Carleton University can provide educational experiences beyond the classroom. The Butterfly Show enhances and further showcases the Carleton University campus experience to the patrons of the show who come each year with their families. It is an annual event that many families look forward to around the Thanksgiving season.

By hosting a virtual show in 2020, rather than cancelling the show, we hope that we can continue to bring joy to the community in what has been a very difficult year.

In 2020, we have once again partnered with Let’s Talk Science to offer talks to school or community groups who are interested in turning their virtual experience to the Butterfly Show into an even more educational experience.

We appreciate everyone and all who come year after year. We thank you for continuing to show your support virtually in 2020, and we hope to welcome you back to the Nesbitt Greenhouses in 2021.

The Team

Ed Bruggink 

Event Organizer

Ed Bruggink is the founding father of the Carleton Butterfly Show and has been the main organizer of the event since the show began 20 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.

Carleton University Biology Society

Student-Led Organization

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.

Let's Talk Science

Volunteer Organization

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 butterfly show tours are presented by Let’s Talk Science volunteers.

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 through hands-on activities in classrooms, community groups, and public events. To find out more about Let’s Talk Science, please visit their website at: outreach.letstalkscience/Ottawa.

Fund this campaign


For recurring donations and payroll deductions, the total indicated reflects the amount of your monthly donation.

Select Payment Method

Only complete this field if the donation is being made on behalf of an organization, as this is the field that will print on your charitable tax receipt. Individuals making a personal donation should not complete this field.

Personal Info


Employee / Student Information

Dedicate this Donation

Honouree Details

Notification Details

255 Characters left
Legacy Gifts

Donation Total: $10.00