Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor), made the announcement. FedNor is also providing financial support to Science North’s new blockbuster exhibition Arctic Voices, including the development of new polar bear and Arctic-themed experiences for the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat.
“Science North is a cornerstone of Northern Ontario’s tourism industry and the Harper Government, through FedNor, is proud to support the continued growth of this impressive facility,” Rickford said in a news release. “Today’s investment of more than $1.2 million will not only create jobs in the region, it will also further position the science centre as global leader of this important sector of the economy.”
Science North CEO Guy Labine said it’s important to continuously change the visitor experiences which attract new tourists and encourage existing visitors to return.
“This investment will also support the ongoing effort to strengthen our work and relationship with the mining industry,” said Labine. “This investment will have strong economic impact by attracting tourists to Sudbury and Northern Ontario.”
Another part of the project is the collaboration between Science North and six other attractions in the north. Science North will partner with each organization to install Northern Nature Trading experiences, and, in turn, contribute to the ongoing growth and sustainability of those attractions, while generating increased economic activity in each of the respective communities.
Plans for the expansion and renewal of the science centre include upgrades to the exhibit galleries at Dynamic Earth. The new exhibits will focus on re-greening and sustainable mining, while highlighting the industry’s social and environmental responsibility focus.
A new multimedia object theatre will tell the meteorite impact story and explain the formation of the Sudbury Basin. It will double as a multi-use space also suitable for program delivery.
An outdoor science park and interpretive trail system will feature large-scale exhibits and visitor experiences for all ages. The outdoor science park will incorporate playful and interactive exhibits that allow visitors to make the connection between mining, geology and everyday life, while having fun and being active.
The design of the interpretive trail system will include exploration pods that encourage visitors to discover the story of the landscape of Sudbury and Northern Ontario, while engaging them in challenges that help to better understand the history of mining and how it has shaped the region.