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Calgary’s Spark science centre lays off 75% of its staff amid coronavirus pandemic

Calgary's Spark science centre, located at 220 Saint George's Dr. N.E. Getty Images

A popular spot for Calgary families to visit has issued temporary layoffs to three-quarters of its staff amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

The Spark science centre on Saint George’s Drive Northeast announced its temporary closure on March 13 as people throughout the province were encouraged to practise social distancing.

READ MORE: Live updates — Coronavirus in Canada

Then, on Thursday evening, the science centre’s president and CEO sent out an email stating that 75 per cent of the Spark team was laid off temporarily on March 23.

According to Mary Anne Moser, the layoffs include hourly workers and almost half of the leadership team.

“A dozen educators are staying on for a week in an intense effort to get Spark’s rich educational resources up and online for others to use during this period of social distancing,” Moser explained, saying the offerings will be perfect for families, schools and the public during COVID-19 closures.

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“After that, a skeleton crew will hold the fort,” she added. “This is a collective effort to protect each other and the science centre, which the world will need more than ever before when this is over.

“Never in the history of our species has the affinity for science been so important.”

You can follow the Spark science centre on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube for more information about its online programs.

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