Sold-out fundraising event for community access programs supports nearly 80,000 visitors annually
TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2018 /CNW/ - Drawing 500 science lovers and supporters, last night's sold-out RBC Innovators' Ball raised more than $730,000 net, a record-breaking 10 per cent increase from last year, to support the Ontario Science Centre's community access programs. Since 2008, the annual event has raised more than $5.4 million to provide critical funding for these programs, which serve approximately 80,000 kids and families annually by removing financial barriers that might otherwise stand between the community and a visit to the Science Centre.
"Our sponsors and donors give the gift of science learning — a gift that lives on long after a visit," said Maurice Bitran, PhD, CEO and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre. "The 'a-ha' moments experienced here ignite enduring curiosity and inspire lifelong discovery. More importantly, the skills gained through experiential science learning help cultivate the next generation of engaged and informed leaders, innovators and citizens."
The Ontario Science Centre's community access programs include Adopt-a-Class, which provides classes from schools located in Toronto's most underserved neighbourhoods with an opportunity to visit the Centre and participate in a curriculum-related program at no cost. This year's RBC Innovators' Ball attendees doubled their generosity and raised enough to enable 8,000 students — or 200 classes — to visit the Science Centre through Adopt-a-Class.
"By supporting programs like Adopt-a-Class, we help foster our future leaders and innovators by providing today's students with the opportunity to be inspired by learning at the Science Centre, and empowering them to broaden their views of their potential," Sam and Claire Duboc, BEACON and CBT Associates and Event Co-chairs.
"We know early and consistent exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is the key to driving interest — and an eventual career — in these fields," said Catherine Dyer, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Air Canada and Event Co-chair.
At this year's RBC Innovators' Ball, guests enjoyed presentations from Canadian innovators on topics ranging from ultra-high-speed transportation technology to a news verification app to cell towers in space. Presenters Ryan Janzen (TransPod), Harleen Kaur (Ground News) and Mina Mitry (Kepler Communications) shared the story behind their respective revolutionary ideas — from inception to invention — with all three noting how memorable childhood science experiences influenced their respective vocations.
"We are proud to support the Ontario Science Centre and its community access programs because we recognize the potential experiential learning has to spark interest in STEM fields," said Martin Wildberger, Executive Vice-President, Innovation & Technology, RBC. "By instilling an understanding of and passion for science at a young age, we're ensuring youth have access to the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to face future challenges in our science-based world."
For more information about the RBC Innovators' Ball, please visit RBCInnovatorsBall.ca. For more information about the Ontario Science Centre's community access programs, please visit OntarioScienceCentre.ca.
The RBC Innovators' Ball is supported by Title Sponsor RBC; Visionary Sponsors Air Canada, Boeing, Cossette Communications Inc. and IBM; Pacesetter Sponsors Accenture, Barrick Gold Corporation, G Adventures, Interad, TELUS, The&Partnership and Ultimate Software; Media Sponsors Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail; and other generous partners.
About Ontario Science Centre
Guided by a mission to inspire passion for the human adventure of discovery, the Ontario Science Centre strives to be a global leader in lifelong learning; a vital link in Ontario's education and innovation ecosystems; and a convener of public dialogue about technology, science and society. The Centre has welcomed more than 52 million visitors since opening as a centennial project in 1969, pioneering an interactive approach now adopted by science centres around the world. An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Centre relies on funding from the province, as well as donations from generous individuals, corporations and foundations who share the Centre's vision to contribute to a more curious, creative and resilient world. Learn more at OntarioScienceCentre.ca.
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada's biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.
We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-sustainability.
SOURCE Ontario Science Centre
For further information: Media Contact: Anna Relyea, Director, Strategic Communications, 416-696-3273 | c: 416-668-1967, Anna.Relyea@osc.on.ca