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News Release

RBC Innovators’ Ball boosts Ontario Science Centre’s 50th Birthday Campaign

TORONTO (September 27, 2019) – Fifty years to the day it opened, the Ontario Science Centre hosted the 50th Birthday RBC Innovators’ Ball to celebrate a half-century of inspiring dreamers and doers. Welcoming nearly 500 science, technology, business and community leaders, the gala raised $1.6M to advance the Science Centre’s world-class learning experiences, improve visitor facilities and expand community access programs.

“Fifty years—what an incredible milestone! And one that would not have been possible without our sponsors, donors and leadership volunteers,” said Maurice Bitran, PhD, CEO and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre. “Science and technology are needed now more than ever to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. As we embark on the next 50 years, we will continue to serve the community by championing lifelong learning to create the next generation of informed and engaged leaders, innovators and citizens.”

The 50th Birthday RBC Innovators’ Ball theme centred on pushing the boundaries of the possible and featured a video message from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who spoke about seeing a moon rock at the Science Centre in 1969, inspiring him to believe he could go to space one day. The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, spoke of the importance of science in our society, and the role the Ontario Science Centre plays in planting the seeds for lifelong learning.

Fresh off the heels of their new single “I’ll Be There,” charting in Canada and the U.S., Walk Off The Earth graced guests with a riveting performance. Attendees were also treated to interactive science and technology experiences—from live experiments to an anti-gravity green screen to Life of the Earth, a new large-scale art installation by Canadian artist Director X.

This year’s event was guided by an organizing committee comprised of industry leaders, led by co-chairs Dave and Karen McKay and Sam and Claire Duboc.

“Science and technology are essential to cultivating the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators,” said Dave McKay, President and CEO, RBC. “By supporting the Science Centre, we’re investing in our future prosperity.”

“Since it opened in 1969, the Science Centre has had an incredible impact in the community and beyond,” said Sam and Claire Duboc of MindBeacon Group. “Last night’s event underscores the invaluable role the Science Centre plays in inspiring and broadening young minds and supporting innovation.”

The gala drew guests who credit the Science Centre for sparking and supporting a love of science. They included Nobel laureate in physics Dr. Donna Strickland, 15-year-old environmental activist and Weston Youth Innovation Award winner Stella Bowles and Hamayal Choudhry, inventor of smartARM, an advanced, ultra-affordable bionic arm.

The 50th Birthday RBC Innovators’ Ball is part of a year long 50th Birthday Campaign, which has raised $5.4 million to date to support the Science Centre’s educational and community access programs. For more information about the RBC Innovators’ Ball, please visit RBCInnovatorsBall.ca.  For more information about the Ontario Science Centre and its 50th birthday campaign and celebrations, please visit OntarioScienceCentre.ca.

Title Sponsor: RBC

Visionary Sponsors: Air Canada, Cossette Communications Inc., Interad

Celebration Sponsors: Adgar Canada, Avison Young, BDC,  BGIS, BMO, Cadillac Fairview, CIBC, Ernst & Young LLP, Hatch, IBM, McKinsey & Company, RBC Ventures, TELUS, The&Partnership

Media Partners: Corus Entertainment, Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, National Post and many other generous supporters and volunteers.

  • 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:

    Andrea Mus
    Media Relations Officer,
    Strategic Communications
    Phone: 416-696-3191
    Mobile: 416-895-5482

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

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