Science North’s growth of programs and activities throughout all of Northern Ontario received significant support with a $16 million funding package from the Ontario Government.
The historic level of funding was announced today by Sudbury MPP and Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault. The funding will be instrumental for Science North to deliver on the five key strategic priorities and 15 goals in its recently launched 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.
The funding will support the creation of new science experiences that will engage and inspire audiences at Science North, Dynamic Earth and in communities across Northern Ontario. The funding will also support a significant expansion of programming and services in Northwestern Ontario. The implementation of these projects will create jobs and inject over $27 million in economic benefits to the North.
The benefits will be long lasting as renewed experiences will drive tourism, attract new audiences, encourage repeat visitation and extend travellers’ length of stay in communities across Northern Ontario. A strong partnership network across the North will grow tourism and provide educational science experiences to underserved regions and First Nation communities, including many remote communities.
Glenn Thibeault, MPP for Sudbury said, “Science North has added so much to our community in its first 34 years, far beyond what was originally imagined. It has become a community gathering place, an iconic symbol of our city, and a living testament to our past and our future. Today’s announcement will ensure that Science North continues to play its vital role in our community, as we look forward to the next 34 years.”
Scott Lund, Chair of the Board of Trustees, stated, “This amazing news will catapult Science North to achieve its vision of being the leader in providing inspirational, educational and entertaining science experiences over the next 5 years. Our entire organization appreciates and thanks Minister Thibeault for his advocacy, leadership and support for what we do. We also recognize the Ontario Government for their continued support,” he added. “We look forward to working with communities throughout Northern Ontario to deliver great programs and activities to our audiences and partners.”
Guy Labine, Science North CEO added, “This is wonderful news for our audiences throughout the North, in our community and at Science North and Dynamic Earth. Our team is driven to deliver exceptional science experiences and programs to our audiences, and the next 5 years will be exciting. We appreciate the confidence in our entire organization.”
Several ambassadors who spoke at the launch of Science North’s Strategic Plan and other stakeholders commented on the funding news:
Sophia Labonte, an 11-year-old passionate visitor to Science North added, “This is amazing news! I’m so much looking forward to all the cool new things to do and learn!”
Katie Runions, who started as a volunteer at Science North 15 years ago and now works as a Bluecoat at the science centre added, “All I can say is WOW! Visitors to Science North, Dynamic Earth and all of the communities we serve in Northern Ontario will experience amazing things in the coming years. We have a great team and I look forward to the next 5 years!”
Algoma District School Board Director of Education, Lucia Reece said “Science North’s work with school boards, educators and students has been transformational. As a partner in providing high-quality and impactful learning resources, I know all of us in Northern Ontario appreciate the work of the Science North team and we are fortunate to have this amazing resource.”
Dave Stepanik, Numeracy Lead, Bimose Tribal Council said, “Science North has done some good work in connecting with Indigenous audiences in schools and at public events throughout Northern Ontario. I’m glad it will be a focus for Science North over the next 5-years because there is so much more work to do.”
Finally, Angie Robson from Vale and long-time supporter of Science North said, “It’s a remarkable investment that will not only benefit our entire community but all of Northern Ontario. Vale is proud of its relationship with the entire Science North team and we look forward to a great future together!”
Funding by the Province will support 8 key projects:
The new Vale Chasm show will transport visitors on a seasonal journey to experience Northern Ontario’s dramatic natural landscapes, people, iconic creatures and signature sites. A customized version of the experience will be installed in other attractions in Northern Ontario, helping build tourism capacity in the North.
The THINK Project is a major renewal of 50% of the science centre’s 4th level. Visitors and Bluecoats will come together to tinker, hack, innovate, network and know. THINK Hubs in six communities across Northern Ontario will attract new audiences, drive repeat visitation and increase memberships at those attractions.
Two new Object Theatre multimedia experiences will immerse visitors in current science topics including the challenges and opportunities of climate change and the mysteries of the universe, highlighting dark matter research projects at the world-class SNOLAB near Sudbury.
The Go Deeper project will expand the underground experience at Dynamic Earth to create new drifts that showcase modern mining and innovation, a new underground theatre and multipurpose space, and new exhibit experiences.
Science North will expand its reach across the North through increased delivery and impact of science experiences across Northwestern Ontario. The expansion of the Thunder Bay office will benefit 200,000 people living in Northern Ontario and thousands of people who come to the region as tourists.
The new Outdoor Pavilion on the grounds of Science North will open in June 2019 to celebrate Science North’s 35th Anniversary. The new pavilion will support expanded programming and generate revenue from functions and events to support Science North’s financial sustainability.
Capital upgrades will create impressive surroundings for visitors to Science North and Dynamic Earth. Visitors will be welcomed by an iconic and engaging new experience in the Science North lobby and enhanced grounds at both sites.
A new signature IMAX 3D film will be produced by Science North in partnership with Dr. Jane Goodall. Remarkable success stories in animal conservation will inspire audiences around the world and instill hope for our future. The film’s production will build on the capacity of Northern Ontario’s film industry, sustaining the industry for long term prosperity.