Ontario Science Centre Celebrates 40 Years as a cultural landmark and pioneer of interactive science

    Kick-off to anniversary starts with a 'bang' as 2009 marks the
    International Year of Astronomy

    TORONTO, Jan. 9 /CNW/ -


    The year 1969 was a landmark year in science for many reasons: humans
took their first steps on the moon, the world's first version of the internet
was created, and the Boeing 747 took its first flight. What many Canadians
don't realize however is that 1969 marked another very important development,
right in their own backyard: the birth of the Ontario Science Centre, a
pioneer in creating experiences that made science accessible.
    Forty years after it was established as one of the world's first
interactive science museums, the Ontario Science Centre is celebrating its
anniversary as one of Canada's most visited cultural attractions and one of
the world's leading science centres.
    The Ontario Science Centre has planned an exciting lineup of events and
exhibitions over its celebratory year, including four temporary exhibitions:
Sultans of Science: 1000 Years of Knowledge Rediscovered, The Science of
Spying, Lizards & Snakes Alive! and a blockbuster soon to be announced; three
new IMAX films; the signature annual fundraising event, the Innovators' Ball,
in April 2009; and an innovative Science of Food program over the summer
    At a news conference today, Ontario Culture Minister Aileen Carroll
announced a new $1 million funding investment to support the promotion of
Ontario Science Centre's remarkable lineup of exhibitions during its 40th
anniversary year. This investment is provided through the Ontario Cultural
Attractions Fund, which helps develop, promote and present unique events and
    2009 also marks the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), which
recognizes the 400th anniversary of the use of the telescope by Galileo
Galilei for astronomical discovery. The Ontario Science Centre will celebrate
the IYA with a series of special events, starting with the Toronto Astronomy
Festival on January 10, 2009. In addition to the festival, the Ontario Science
Centre will offer lectures by renowned speakers, introductory astronomy
courses, free star parties, the CONTACT astrophotography exhibition, two new
planetarium shows, solar observing, sleepovers and many more special events.
Mayor David Miller, on behalf of Toronto City Council, officially proclaimed
January 10, 2009 as "International Year of Astronomy Kick-Off Day in Toronto".


    "When the Ontario Science Centre first opened its doors in 1969 it was
considered revolutionary," said Lesley Lewis, CEO of the Ontario Science
Centre. "Visitors were encouraged to push buttons, bang on things, listen and
really learn by interacting with science. Today, the Ontario Science Centre
continues to reinvent itself by creating relevant, science related experiences
that challenge, engage and inform our visitors about themselves and the world
around them. This is an incredible time for people to visit us, not once, but
several times throughout the year."
    "Science and innovation are key ingredients for a strong knowledge-based
economy," said Culture Minister Aileen Carroll. "Our government is proud to
support a remarkable line-up of events that will continue to build on the
Centre's 40 year record of inspiring visitors through programs that celebrate
science and discovery."


    -   The Ontario Science Centre officially celebrates its 40th anniversary
        on September 26, 2009
    -   The Ontario Science Centre is continually evolving and reinventing
        itself. Since 2003, the Science Centre has transformed over 60 per
        cent of its public space including, KidSpark, Weston Family
        Innovation Centre, TELUSCAPE, Space Hall and Rainforest.
    -   With over a million visitors each year, half of whom come from the
        GTA, the Ontario Science Centre is an important resource for local
        schools and families to actively experience and engage with science
    -   Since 1969, the Ontario Science Centre has touched the lives of more
        than 40 million people of all ages and origins whether they be
        tourists visiting from abroad, high school students participating in
        a special program or adults taking a tour of a special feature

    About the Ontario Science Centre

    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. The Ontario Science Centre is an agency of the
Government of Ontario.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange and interview please contact:
Christine Crosbie, Ontario Science Centre, Office: (416) 696-3191, Cell: (416)
895-5482; Tricia Soltys, Narrative Advocacy Media, (416) 922-2211 x 3278,

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