Ninth annual RBC Innovators' Ball brings together creative minds and key influencers to champion the Ontario Science Centre's community access programs

Early count is in:  2016 event nets more than $450,000

TORONTO, Oct. 27, 2016 /CNW/ - At last night's RBC Innovators' Ball, 470 business leaders and innovators came together for thought-provoking discussion on the future of science, medicine and technology. The gala raised more than $450,000 to support the Ontario Science Centre's community access programs, which ensure science education is accessible to everyone, regardless of financial means.

"The RBC Innovators' Ball helps the Ontario Science Centre to continue fostering the curiosity that powers innovation and ultimately our future prosperity," said Dr. Maurice Bitran, CEO of the Ontario Science Centre. "Funds raised at this event ensure accessibility to the wonder of science for everyone with a thirst for knowledge and discovery."

Now in its ninth year, the RBC Innovators' Ball brings together creative minds and key influencers to celebrate fresh ideas, inspire new perspectives and reshape our view of what is possible. In just eight years, the event has raised more than $3.5 million in net proceeds to provide critical funding for the Ontario Science Centre's community access programs, including Adopt-a-Class, an initiative that ensures students from economically-challenged areas are able to visit the Science Centre. By providing early access to science-based learning, the Ontario Science Centre hopes to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action for a better future.

"Technology and innovation are changing the way we live and work, and to ensure Canada's long-term competitiveness, we have to ensure that our young people are equipped to embrace the opportunities and challenges this creates," said Bruce Ross, Group Head, Technology and Operations, RBC. "RBC is proud to be working together with the Ontario Science Centre to nurture innovation and advance science in Canada."

Themed, "A celebration of curiosity and innovation," the event featured today's brightest innovators: Natalie Panek, a rocket scientist at MDA Robotics and an aspiring astronaut, spoke about the frontiers of outer space; Dr. Glen Van Arsdell, head of cardiovascular surgery at SickKids, highlighted how 3D printing is revolutionizing infantile health care by helping doctors train for difficult surgeries; and Robert Kaul and Dr. Sonny Kohli, co-founders of Cloud DX, demonstrated mobile technology that puts health diagnostics in the palm of your hand.  

The event was hosted by co-chairs Sam Sebastian, managing director of Google Canada, Kathy Sebastian,  Brett Marchand, President and CEO of Cossette and Vision 7 International, and Cynthia Marchand.

"If we truly wish to become a nation of innovators, we need to spark and instill an interest in science and technology in our youth," said Sebastian and Marchand. "The Ontario Science Centre plays apivotal role in our country's future by encouraging future leaders and innovators to ask critical questions, seek informed answers and stay passionately curious – skills and attributes that will serve them well throughout their lifetime." 

Innovation and ingenuity infused the event through a variety of unique activations and interactives. RBC showcased its new Chatbot technology, enabling customers to interact with a virtual customer service representative; TELUS impressed guests with its virtual reality experience; and Sport Chek demonstrated its use of holograms in product displays. Ontario Science Centre staff provided hands-on opportunities for guests to delve deeper into astronomy and space sciences, explore the future of food sustainability with edible insects, and discover the wonders of the human body. Emma Mogus, the 18-year-old winner of the 2016 Weston Youth Innovation Award, demonstrated a prototype of her innovation – a tongue-controlled assistive device for people with disabilities.

The RBC Innovators' Ball is supported by title sponsor RBC. Additional sponsors include Cossette Media, Citizen PR, CV Studio, D+H, G Adventures, Google Canada, Interad, McNabb Roick Events, Q Media Solutions, SAP, Sport Chek, TELUS and The & Partnership.

About the Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre has welcomed more than 51 million visitors since it opened in 1969, pioneering an interactive approach adopted by science centres around the world. Today, the Science Centre is a leader in free-choice science learning and a key player in Ontario's innovation ecosystem, offering lifelong learning through hands-on, engaging experiences. It is also a venue for the public dialogue about science, technology and society. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. As a publicly assisted organization, the Science Centre relies on generous individuals, corporations and foundations who share a commitment to science and education for additional operating support. For more information about the Ontario Science Centre, please visit OntarioScienceCentre.ca

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 36 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.‎

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, we contributed more than $121 million to causes around the world.

SOURCE Ontario Science Centre

Image with caption: "If she can see it, she can be it. At the RBC Innovators' Ball on October 26, rocket scientist and aspiring astronaut Natalie Panek used the example of fictional astrophysicist, engineer and pilot Samantha Carter from television's Stargate SG1 to highlight the importance of representing female scientists in the media to inspire women to succeed and thrive in scientific and technical careers. Now in its ninth year, the RBC Innovators' Ball supports the Ontario Science Centre's industry-leading community access programs. (CNW Group/Ontario Science Centre)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161027_C8769_PHOTO_EN_806016.jpg

Image with caption: "Bruce Ross, Group Head, Technology & Operations, RBC, addressed guests at last evening's RBC Innovators' Ball, stressing the importance of making science education accessible to everyone, regardless of means, for a better future. Now in its ninth year, the RBC Innovators' Ball supports the Ontario Science Centre's industry-leading community access programs. (CNW Group/Ontario Science Centre)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161027_C8769_PHOTO_EN_806018.jpg

Image with caption: "Gaming at the gala. A virtual reality lounge hosted by sponsor TELUS was just one of the many innovative activations guests experienced first-hand at last evening's RBC Innovators' Ball. Now in its ninth year, the RBC Innovators' Ball supports the Ontario Science Centre's industry-leading community access programs. (CNW Group/Ontario Science Centre)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161027_C8769_PHOTO_EN_806020.jpg



For further information: Media Contact: Anna Relyea, Director, Strategic Communications, 416-696-3273 | c: 416-668-1967Anna.Relyea@osc.on.ca


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