Enthusiastic public response to the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

MONTREAL, March 16, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - It's a Space for Life first! As of 10 a.m. this morning, hundreds of people have flocked to the site in response to an invitation to be the first to discover the brand-new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. The Planetarium's doors will be wide open until 3 p.m., showcasing a dynamic preview of the signature building and everything it will have to offer. Montréal Mayor Michael Applebaum and Space for Life Executive Director Charles-Mathieu Brunelle are on site to greet the public and have been delighted with the reactions of visitors, who are visibly impressed with the distinctive architecture, the beauty of the design and the friendly welcome they are receiving from the planetarium staff.

"Montréalers' love affair with their planetarium dates all the way back to 1966. That is why we are pleased to be giving them this chance to explore the new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. They can proudly say they were among the first to cross the threshold of this boldly designed building, which will further enhance Montréal's international profile," stated Michael Applebaum, Mayor of Montréal.

A sneak peek

The original scale model of the building is displayed at the entrance, where visitors can meet architect Jean-François Julien of the firm Cardin Ramirez Julien + Ædifica. In the Milky Way Galaxy, astronomer Pierre Chastenay explains the cutting-edge projection technology that will show breathtaking images of the Montréal night sky and whisk audiences away to the outer bounds of the universe. In the Chaos Theatre, a video featuring Montréal creators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon reveals the inspiration behind Continuum, an artistic and poetic look at the cosmos. Near the theatres, the angular backlit structures of the soon-to-be-completed Exo: Our Search for Life in the Universe exhibition are clearly piquing people's interest. In addition, there is the newly installed work of art by Montréal architect and designer Norman Slater (1921-2003), on loan from the City of Saguenay, which is made from an actual aluminum ingot and stands just over two metres high and one metre wide. Last but not least, visitors can learn more about astronomy with knowledgeable interpreters through a series of fun, informative videos.

"With the grand opening only a few weeks away, this open-house event confirms the tremendous public interest in the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. The unveiling of this new institution marks a major milestone. Combining the Biodôme, the Insectarium, the Botanical Garden and the new Planetarium, Space for Life is now the largest natural science museum complex in Canada and the first facility in the world dedicated to humankind and nature," says Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director of Space for Life.

The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium was made possible with the collaboration of the Olympic Park and the financial support of the Ville de Montréal, the Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine, the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, Canada Economic Development and Rio Tinto Alcan.

Photos and fact sheets: http://bit.ly/plane16mars

SOURCE: Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan

For further information:

Karine Jalbert, Communications Coordinator
Telephone: 514-872-1453 / 514-250-3230
Email: karinejalbert@ville.montreal.qc.ca

Twitter #planeMtl @espacepourlavie

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