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News Release

Canadian visionaries celebrate science and curiosity at sold-out RBC Innovators’ Ball

TORONTO (November 8, 2017) – At last night’s RBC Innovators’ Ball, more than 500 business and community leaders came together for a night of celebration and TED-style talks on the future of science and health innovation. Starring three Canadian innovators, the Ontario Science Centre’s sold-out RBC Innovators’ Ball featured the announcement of a renewed three-year commitment from title sponsor RBC to continue to raise funds for the  Centre and its crucial community access programs

“The 10th RBC Innovators’ Ball continues our pledge to foster dialogue with innovators and business leaders about the future,” said Maurice Bitran, Ph.D., CEO and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre. “The evening featured inspiring stories of novel applications of science and technology sparked by curiosity and early exposure to the science world.  The renewed support of our title sponsor, RBC, will help us to continue to provide opportunities for the curious children of today to become the innovators and leaders of tomorrow.”

Fifty tables of corporate leaders at the RBC Innovators' Ball provided critical funding for the Ontario Science Centre's community access programs, including Adopt-a-Class, an initiative that ensures students from underserved neighbourhoods are able to experience moments of discovery and delight at a visit to the Centre. By providing early access to science-based learning, the Ontario Science Centre works to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action for a better future.

“To continue to be a nation of innovators, we need to instill Canadian youth with a love of science and technology. The Ontario Science Centre’s community access programs annually ensure more than 97,000 of our future leaders have the chance to explore their curiosity and develop a lifelong passion for exploration and learning” said event co-chairs Brett Marchand, Executive Chairman, Cossette and President of Vision 7 International and Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada.

“RBC is honoured to announce the renewal of its three-year commitment as title sponsor of the RBC Innovators’ Ball, to continue to provide students, regardless of financial means, with the opportunity to learn and discover,” said Bruce Ross, Group Head, Technology & Operations, RBC. “Over the past decade, the event has raised more than $4 million, ensuring children develop the 21st century skill sets they need to succeed from a very young age.”

This year’s extraordinary evening of Canadian innovation featured inspiring presentations from:

  • Kamran Khan, MD, MPH, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BlueDot, on infectious disease and the effect of globalization on our approach to treatment;
  • Brendan Frey, Entrepreneur, Professor, Scientist and Engineer, on the influential roles artificial intelligence and advanced biomedical technologies can play in treating disease;
  • Andrea Palmer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Awake Labs, on leveraging artificial intelligence to rethink the treatment of mental illness.

“I was honoured to participate in, and share my work at, the RBC Innovators’ Ball,” said Khan. “The Ontario Science Centre is a place where innovators are inspired and unconventional ideas are born. My career was galvanized by visits to the Ontario Science Centre as a young student -- first-hand proof of the pivotal role the Centre plays in the development of future leaders.”

Tuesday night’s guests had the chance to try virtual reality experiences and witness AI robots in action, while enjoying exceptional cuisine, provocative dialogue and an eAuction with exclusive prizes including:

  • A nine night educational journey for two to the Antarctic Peninsula, with a stay in the Owner’s Cabin and behind-the-scenes access to the Scientific Research Centre  , donated by G Adventures and Air Canada;
  • An exhilarating two-hour experience in Air Canada’s world-class full flight simulator, donated by Air Canada;
  • An out-of-this-world private group dinner with Canada’s first spacewalker, Commander Chris Hadfield.

The RBC Innovators' Ball is supported by title sponsor RBC. Additional sponsors include Diamond sponsors: Air Canada, Amadeus IT Group, Cossette, and IBM, and Amethyst sponsors: Accenture, Barrick Gold Corporation, G Adventures, Google, Interad, Samsung Canada, TELUS and The&Partnership.

  • For general information about the Ontario Science Centre please see the Visit Us section of the webpage and for contact information please refer to our Contact Us page or
    phone: 416-696-1000.

    Media Contact:

    Photo of Anna Relyea.

    Anna Relyea
    Director, Strategic Communications
    Phone: 416-696-3273
    Mobile: 416-668-1967
    Fax: 416-696-3161

    Communications Department
    Ontario Science Centre
    770 Don Mills Road
    Toronto ON M3C 1T3

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