Science North Planning for Expansion
Today, the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Chair of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) participated in the official launch of a Northwest Feasibility Study and Opportunity Assessment for Science North. This is supported in part by funding from NOHFC.
This study and assessment will help shape Science North’s expansion opportunities in Northwestern Ontario. For over 30 years, Science North has provided science experiences throughout Northern Ontario including outreach to schools and festivals, summer science camps and more. In 2010, the centre opened a permanent base in Thunder Bay to support the delivery of outreach programs to the Northwest. More recently, Science North has expanded its presence with Northern Nature Trading experiences in 6 locations, Northern THINK Hubs in 6 locations and, in the summer of 2019, toured a custom version of its Beyond Human Limits exhibit at 5 partner attractions, Science North’s priority of delivering “Science North in all of Northern Ontario” has resulted in a wealth of benefits for Northerners, creating jobs and sustaining businesses.
“Our government is pleased to support education-based tourism and Science North’s further expansion into Kenora and Northwestern Ontario,” said Greg Rickford, Ontario Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “By continuing to put institutions like Science North at the forefront of Ontario’s Open for Business, Open for Jobs strategy, we are building a more competitive economy and developing strong, vibrant communities across the north.”
“An important priority in Science North’s 2018-2023 Strategic Plan is to deliver science experiences to all of Northern Ontario. Since 2010, Science North has engaged over 400,000 participants in the Northwest in informal science learning. Expanding Science North’s presence across Northwestern Ontario directly aligns with our mandate and strategic plan. I would like to thank Minister Rickford for the support and contribution from NOHFC. NOHFC is an ongoing supporter and advocate of Science North and understands the significance of the work required to assess the expansion of our presence,” said Guy Labine, Science North CEO.
The City of Kenora has also announced support for this Northwest Feasibility Study and Opportunity Assessment.
“Our community continues to grow and prosper through engaging partnerships and Science North continues to deliver positive education based programming that is interesting and informative to all audiences. We are thankful for Minister Rickford’s continued support and contributions from NOHFC which allows Kenora and the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre to offer these programs,” stated Daniel Reynard, Mayor of Kenora.
Science North will undertake an opportunity assessment report that illustrates potential programming and visitor experience in the Northwest; a market analysis; an outline of key operational costs and a recommended sustainable model; and a physical space design based on the program plan, attendance projections and operating plan.
The study and assessment will inform Science North’s future work in the Northwest, including servicing the region with educational experiences accessible to all ages, cultural groups including Indigenous and Francophone, and remote communities currently with limited access to these services.
Science North has engaged with community stakeholders and established a Northwest Expansion Steering Committee to oversee and advise on recommendations for expansion in the region. Science North will also involve partners it has developed strong relationships with, including attractions that have hosted Science North traveling exhibits, the Northern Nature Trading experience, and most recently Northern THINK Hubs in the Northwest including Kenora, Fort Frances, and Thunder Bay.
Science North has continually supported investment attraction and business growth in the North, building on the skills and expertise of residents to support Northern Ontario communities. The outcome of the Northwest Feasibility Study and Opportunity Assessment would lead to the extensive growth of this visitor and economic impact.
About Science North
Science North is Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction and an educational resource operating the second- and eighth-largest science centres in Canada. Science North’s attractions include a science centre, IMAX® theatre, planetarium, butterfly gallery, special exhibits hall, and Dynamic Earth: Home of the Big Nickel. Science North also oversees an award-winning International Sales unit, which develops custom and ready-made exhibits and multimedia experiences for sale to science centres, museums, and other cultural institutions all over the world. Science North, in partnership with Laurentian University, offers North America’s first and only comprehensive Science Communication program, a joint Master’s and Diploma program. As part of its mandate, Science North provides science experiences throughout Northern Ontario including outreach to schools and festivals, summer science camps and more, and has a permanent base in Thunder Bay providing outreach to the Northwest. Science North is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For more information please visit ScienceNorth.ca.
Science North is an agency of the Government of Ontario and a registered charity #10796 2979 RR0001.