TORONTO, July 12, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Science Centre welcomed its 50 millionth visitor since opening its doors almost 46 years ago. The Centre marked this milestone with a celebration at its iconic site at Don Mills and Eglinton on July 12. A favourite school trip destination for many generations of students in the Greater Toronto Area, the Centre has welcomed celebrities such as John Lennon, scientists such as Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. David Suzuki and astronauts such as Commander Chris Hadfield and Dr. Roberta Bondar. Most importantly, the Centre is the place where science has come alive for millions of kids and adults.
The lucky 50 millionth visitor, the Roy Family (Wayne, Wendy, Zachary, and Phaedra), was greeted by CEO Dr. Maurice Bitran and presented with a prize pack that included a one-year gold membership to the Centre.
"I cannot overstate the importance of this milestone." said Dr. Bitran. "It is not only because of the incredible number, nearly one and a half times the population of Canada, but also due to the importance of science literacy in our knowledge-based society and the leadership role Ontario has played in science learning since opening one of the first interactive science centres in the world almost 46 years ago."
While holding true to the vision of its architect, Raymond Moriyama, for a place that "must arouse curiosity, lead to understanding, not just knowledge; and be a place of wonder," the Ontario Science Centre continues to evolve and is a leader among interactive science museums.
"Anyone who visited the Centre in the early years may not recognize it today, given that more than 85 per cent of the Centre's exhibition space has been transformed since 2003," remarked Board Chair Brian Chu. "This continued evolution of the Ontario Science Centre would not be possible without the support of our corporate, individual and government partners. Through partnerships with organizations such as TELUS, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Cisco, AstraZeneca and Honda, as well as individual and government support, the Ontario Science Centre looks forward to continuing to enrich the lives of many more Canadians."
Among the 50 million visitors, the Science Centre has welcomed more than nine million students with their teachers; more than 770,000 visitors have attended through donor-supported access programs (since 2001); and almost 2,000 students have graduated from the Ontario Science Centre Science School.
"Growing up in Ontario, I was fortunate to visit the Science Centre numerous times and understand the vital role that it plays in our province. The Science Centre helped to instill my own passion for learning and I am proud to be among the 50 million visitors who have experienced the many wonders of this world-class institution over the last 45 years," said Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "The Government of Ontario is pleased to celebrate this milestone with the Science Centre and we look forward to many more years of it engaging, enlightening and inspiring minds young and old."
About the Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre has welcomed more than 50 million visitors since it opened in 1969, implementing 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 a prime venue for 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 www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca.
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SOURCE Ontario Science Centre
Image with caption: "The Ontario Science Centre welcomed its 50 millionth visitor since opening its doors almost 46 years ago. The lucky visitor family, the Roys (centre) from Middletown, CT, were greeted by CEO Dr. Maurice Bitran (fourth from right) and Board Chair Brian Chu (fourth from left), along with Science Centre hosts. (CNW Group/Ontario Science Centre)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150713_C8728_PHOTO_EN_443421.jpg
Image with caption: "Over the course of its history, the Ontario Science Centre has continued to hold true to the words of its original visionary architect, Raymond Moriyama: “It must arouse curiosity. It must lead to understanding, not just knowledge. It must be a place of wonder.” In that spirit, on July 12, 2015, the Centre welcomed its 50 millionth visitor. (CNW Group/Ontario Science Centre)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150713_C8728_PHOTO_EN_443422.jpg
For further information: Media contacts: Anna Relyea, Director, Strategic Communications, 416-696-3273 | c: 416-668-1967, Anna.Relyea@osc.on.ca; Jefferson Darrell, Media Relations Officer, 416-696-3154, Jefferson.Darrell@osc.on.ca; Madison Seeman, Communications Assistant, 416-696-4578, Madison.Seeman@osc.on.ca