Calgary’s Telus Spark science centre will soon be home to the first permanent digital gallery in Canada.
The gallery will be just one of the features added to the facility as part of a $5.88 million renovation, including a new café and ice cream bar, updated classrooms for students and dome theatre upgrades.
Telus Spark president and CEO Maryann Moser said they thought a digital gallery would be a perfect environment to bring people into the world of science.
“You’ll be able to walk inside of a brain, or walk inside of a supernova, or walk inside of a biological phenomenon,” Moser said.
“You’ve seen these digital galleries start to pop up, the most common one has Van Gogh in it.”
Moser said the ice cream bar, meanwhile, will feature astronaut ice cream.
“Did you know that foam that comes in little packages — that’s not actually real astronaut ice cream? That never made it to space. So our ice cream will have all the flavours of the planets.
“We’re still deliberating on whether or not Jupiter has a cone. But the Mercury cone, for example, is black and has a black base and a black dip. And so every different flavour is a planet.”
As for the Telus Spark’s dome theatre, Moser says this fall you’ll be able to “lean back a little further bring in popcorn and pop.”
The Telus Spark is currently closed due to the province’s current COVID-19 restrictions but hopes to reopen in Step 3.
Moser said being closed has been “kind of crushing.”
“It’s been devastating. But, you know, there’s always that silver lining, and we’re taking that opportunity to reintroduce the science centre to Calgarians. It’s our one and only science centre. So we’re giving it an uplift.”
Moser said the Telus Spark hopes to reopen to the public by the end of March, but only if it’s safe to do so.
“The ice cream shop will open May 14,” she said. “And if you bring your dog in an astronaut costume, you will get a free ice cream.”
The renovations are being paid for by all three levels of government, including $2.3 million from Alberta’s Municipal Stimulus Program and $2.46 million from the government of Canada through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.