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For Immediate Release

MONDAY MAY 7, 2007

Media Release

SCIENCE NORTH UNVEILS NEW WEBCASTING TECHNOLOGY...

THANKS TO GRANT FROM ONTARIO MINISTRY OF TOURISM

SUDBURY, ON – Science North unveiled the latest in webcasting technology today, as the Minister of Northern Development and Mines announced a $90,000 investment by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism in the project. The funding is part of the province’s Celebrate Ontario initiative, a one-time $4-million project that will help renew and revitalize the province’s existing festivals and events, with the goal of helping organizations enhance their products by creating new experiences to attract residents and visitors to Ontario.

“The Ontario government is a proud supporter of local festivals, events and attractions that boost tourism in all four seasons,” said Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci. “Supporting such events provides an economic boost to our area, and a memorable experience for our visitors.”

With the grant, Science North has created a webstudio that will reside in the Sudbury facility, and will ‘broadcast” over the internet to a travelling webstudio. The first stop for the travelling studio will be the Polar Bear Habitat in Cochrane, where Science North has installed exhibits that are complementary to its current special exhibition – Ends of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins.

Science North and the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat will collaborate to create programming related to the Ends of the Earth polar exhibition and to the exhibits at the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat. The programs, some involving live Arctic and Antarctic animals on loan to Science North from other institutions such as the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, will be broadcast in real-time over the internet to enhance the visitor experience at both facilities and attract more visitors over the summer season. The portable webcasting studio will be installed at the Habitat in the next few weeks, and stay at the Polar Bear Habitat until September 3, 2007, when a new location will be chosen.

Technically, the two studios will be outfitted in a similar way, although the webstudio at Science North will have a little more power, including the ability to control the cameras and equipment in the mobile studio. Each will have two cameras, lighting gear, audio equipment, and A/V switchers, all linked to powerful servers designed to send the signal out through the web effectively and efficiently. Any communication from one facility to the other can be made available on the web in real-time, or recorded and made available at a later date. Both web studios are suitable for webcasting and for video conferencing.

“This grant and this technology means more high quality, engaging science content at Science North and in Northern Ontario, and more reasons for tourists to visit,” said Science North CEO Jim Marchbank. “These technology and programming enhancements will have a long-term impact on our annual summer event at Science North. The technology can be used well into the future for live programming with scientists world-wide, all linked to the special exhibitions that we develop or lease. It also offers us the opportunity to record our webcasts for marketing and future programming within the science centre. The possibilities are exciting.”

About Ends of the Earth
Ends of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins is a 600 square metre (6,000 square foot) travelling exhibition developed and produced by Science North. Ends of the Earth takes visitors from one end of our globe to the other to explore the fascinating (and cold!) worlds of the Arctic and Antarctic, through interactive and artifact-based exhibits and multimedia experiences. It explores the unique nature of the Earth’s polar regions, the current science being undertaken there, and these regions as indicators of climate change on our planet. Ends of the Earth made its world debut to the visitors at Science North on March 1, to coincide with the start of International Polar Year and will remain at Science North until September 3, 2007, when it will embark on a North American tour. It has already been leased by five other science centres and museums across North America including the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta (2008), the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (2008), and the San Diego Museum of Natural History (2011). Over the five year anticipated run of the Ends of the Earth tour, Science North expects to lease it to 12 venues from North America and possibly around the world.

Supporting Sponsor of Ends of the Earth is Quark Expeditions (www.quarkexpeditions.com). Ends of the Earth is funded by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, and the Government of Canada through FedNor and the Canadian Heritage programs.

For more information on Ends of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins visit http://sciencenorth.ca/polarbearstopenguins on the web. For more information on the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat, visit: http://www.polarbearhabitat.ca

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Nancy Griffin
Marketing Specialist, Media & Communications
Science North
100 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, ON P3E 5S9
(705) 522-3701, ext. 276
griffin@sciencenorth.ca

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Media Contact:

Christine Catt
Marketing Specialist
Science North & Dynamic Earth
(705) 522-3701 ext. 227
catt@sciencenorth.ca
sciencenorth.ca

Science North is an agency of the Government of Ontario and a registered charity #10796 2979 RR0001. Dynamic Earth is a Science North attraction. IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.

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