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Date:9/2/2014 12:25:49 PM
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Hi Chyna
For over 45 years, the Montréal Planetarium shared its passion for the sky and stars with its visitors, young and old. Today, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, located close to the Biodôme, offers a completely fresh experience of astronomy. Its arrival marks a defining moment in the consolidation of the Space for Life, the world’s first ever site dedicated to both human beings and nature. Together, the Botanical Garden, Insectarium, Biodôme and Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium form the Space for Life, the largest natural sciences museum complex in Canada. With its bold design, the new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium incorporates the strictest sustainable development criteria. It uses cutting-edge technology to create a unique experience of the universe through two complementary shows – one focused on science, the other more whimsical. Its exhibition, Exo: Our Search for Life in the Universe, enriches this cosmic journey. A true pioneer in the field, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium redefines the very essence of planetariums through its original and innovative approach to astronomy. Get ready for an unforgettable experience! The Montréal Planetarium – formerly known as the Dow Planetarium – was inaugurated on April 1, 1966 by Mr. Jean Drapeau, who was Montréal’s mayor at the time. This event marked the culmination of more than three years of planning and hard work by Dr. Pierre Gendron, who was past professor of chemistry and founding Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Ottawa, and an avid amateur astronomer. At the time, Dr. Gendron was also president of the board of directors of Dow Breweries, which later became O’Keefe Breweries (since then absorbed by Molson Breweries). It was through his impetus that Dow Breweries decided to endow Montréal with a world class planetarium, add to the city’s touristic appeal, and to the Montréal Universal and International Exposition of 1967, Expo 67. Plans for the Planetarium were developed by the architectural firm of David-Barott-Boulva. The innovative design echoed an astronomical theme, evidenced by the exterior of the dome, which resembled Saturn surrounded by its rings. The Planetarium was built at a cost of $1.2 million and located on Chaboillez Square, which once served as a parking area. The building and projection equipment were completed in February 1966, and the inaugural show, New Skies for a New City, premiered on April 4, 1966. Between 1966 and 2011, some six million spectators attended over 250 original productions created by the Planetarium to bring the fascinating universe of astronomy and space exploration to the masses. A renewal of the Planetarium became necessary to modernize its facilities and equipment in order to incorporate the latest technological innovations. Another imperative was added: to move the Planetarium closer to the institutions of the Space for Life in order to consolidate this museum complex.
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