Outstanding exhibitions and programs draw over 1.2 million visitors during
the Ontario Science Centre's 40th Anniversary year

TORONTO, Dec. 29 /CNW/ - The Ontario Science Centre's attendance has topped the million mark once again, thanks to a 40th anniversary year packed with programs, exhibitions and films appealing to visitors of all ages.

"During a time of economic recession, families found excellent value in spending time together exploring the Science Centre," said Lesley Lewis, CEO. "The incredible turnout for our 40th Birthday Party demonstrates just how important the Science Centre is to the community."

With the exhibition BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart running through the holiday season, attendance is on track to surpass 1.2 million visitors by Dec. 31, 2009, a 22% increase over the 2008 calendar year.

Expanded public access programs such as Free Fridays after 2 p.m. for secondary students, and the Adopt-a-Class program, which pays for admission and transportation for students from inner-city model schools, opened up the Science Centre to even more youth. Combined with the Museum and Arts Pass available at libraries in at-risk neighborhoods and the Cultural Access Pass Program for new Canadian citizens, the centre is now more accessible than ever.

    
    Milestones:

    -   1,300 guests attended the LG Innovators' Ball, raising a net of
        $325,000 in support of community access and outreach initiatives
    -   Family day weekend attendance topped 24,500 (+35% from 2008)
    -   March Break week attendance reached 71,652 (+19%)
    -   Best summer attendance in ten years (+20%)
    -   40th Anniversary Birthday party attracted 15,279 guests, the second
        largest number of visitors in one day

    2009 Featured exhibitions:

    -   Sultans of Science: 1000 Years of Knowledge Rediscovered
    -   The Science of Spying
    -   Lizards and Snakes: Alive!
    -   BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart

    A brand-new blockbuster exhibition is already scheduled for the New Year.
    Harry Potter(TM): The Exhibition makes its Canadian premiere at the
Science Centre April 9!

    Our Sponsors and Supporters
    ---------------------------
    

Adopt-a-Class has been made possible though the program's founding partner Procter & Gamble and the sponsorship of Amgen Canada.

The LG Innovators' Ball is supported by title sponsor LG Electronics Canada.

BODY WORLDS & The Story of the Heart is presented by National Bank Financial Group and has been financially assisted by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism.

The Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund of the Ministry of Culture administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation, provided support for the Science Centre's full line-up of 40th anniversary exhibitions.

    
    About the Ontario Science Centre:
    ---------------------------------
    

The Ontario Science Centre opened on September 26, 1969, a global pioneer of the concept of an interactive science museum. Since then, well over 44 million visitors have passed through its doors. It is a model for over 2,000 science centres around the world, built since its inception.

The Ontario Science Centre uses science as the lens to inspire and actively engage people in new ways of seeing, understanding and thinking about themselves and the world around them. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For more information, visit www.ontariosciencecentre.ca or call our box office at 416-696-1000.

SOURCE Ontario Science Centre

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Anna Relyea, Associate Director, Strategic Communications, anna.relyea@osc.on.ca, (416) 696-3273


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