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Very rubin observatory, Credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA

Perimeter heads nationwide partnership to ignite innovation for Canada's 150th year

Five of Canada’s leading science outreach organizations will deliver Innovation150, a cross-country celebration of Canadian ingenuity, throughout 2017.

Travelling science exhibitions, major city-wide festivals, and dynamic online experiences are among the year-long activities in Innovation150, a nationwide partnership announced this week in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Innovation150 is an interactive celebration of Canadian ingenuity that will offer opportunities for youth, families, and communities across the country to experience innovation first-hand.

As a Signature Initiative of Canada 150, the Government of Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations, Innovation150 will share Canadian innovations of the past and focus on the creative thinking and innovations that will drive our future. 


The Honourable Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly unveiled the initiative today at Halifax’s Discovery Centre, where she announced $5,875,000 in funding for Innovation150 programming from the Government of Canada, through the Canada 150 Fund. Innovation150 is one of several Signature Initiatives planned to celebrate the country’s past, present, and future nationwide in 2017.

“The Innovation150 project will highlight the innovation and creativity that represent us so well, and I am sure it will be able to inspire a whole generation of young Canadians,” said Minister Joly.

“The festivities for the 150th anniversary of Confederation are a unique opportunity to promote and celebrate our outstanding talents in this fields of science, innovation, and culture.”

Perimeter Institute leads a partnership of Canada's top science outreach organizations to bring Innovation150 to life, including Actua, the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, the Canadian Association of Science Centres, and the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation.

"Canada’s greatest resource has always been the ingenuity of its people,” said Neil Turok, Director of Perimeter Institute. 

“Innovation and the brave pursuit of opportunities have always characterized us, from Indigenous peoples' deeply rooted knowledge of this harsh, beautiful landscape to today’s increasingly urban, diverse, and progressive society. Through Innovation150, we will honour all the dreamers and doers that have made Canada innovative, and encourage future innovators – especially youth – to pursue ideas, inventions, and initiatives which will solve big problems and open new pathways for the world.”

Art McDonald, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics and Perimeter Institute Board member, served as an official Canada 150 Champion at the launch. McDonald said he hopes Innovation150 will show youth that "Canada can do things that will really have an impact on the world stage in innovation, science, and technology."

Innovation150 will provide Canadians of all ages with access to an integrated portfolio of exciting science, technology, engineering, and math-related activities, including:

  • Power of Ideas National Tour – A highly engaging, travelling celebration that will feature an interactive science exhibit from Perimeter Institute where youth can explore the incredible power of the human mind, plus a speaker series, a MakerMobile from Actua, and in-classroom legacy resources – brought directly to 80 communities coast to coast to coast.
  • MakerMobile – A moving maker space, produced by Actua, that will be full of exciting technology like 3D printers that will allow youth to experiment with hands-on learning and create their own innovations. Part of the Power of Ideas National Tour and in partnership with Actua's national network, the MakerMobile will be focused on visiting remote and Indigenous communities and engaging youth that would otherwise not have access to these experiences.
  • Quantum: The Exhibition – A fully bilingual, interactive, travelling exhibition sharing the wonders of the quantum world and the emerging quantum technologies that will shape our future. Quantum: The Exhibition will travel to science centres across Canada, launching at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener in October 2016. For more information, visit
  • Innovation Celebration Festivals – Bringing together all travelling components, the Innovation150 Festivals will amplify the excitement of the Canada 150 celebrations and inspire curiosity and innovation through a full range of activities. Hosted by the nation’s leading science centres, these large-scale festivals will include activities to showcase innovation and engage entire communities.  
  • Innovation150 Digital Hub – This go-to digital showcase about Canadian thinkers and new concepts will be the online nexus for Innovation150 activities, with opportunities to explore stories of innovation, share new ideas for a brighter future, and participate in exciting contests to experience Canadian innovation firsthand.
  • Public Awareness Campaign – Highlighting the past, present, and future of Canadian innovation, this national awareness campaign will engage youth, families, and communities with Innovation150 through integrated promotions, media engagement, and interactive online content.

The program starts in Waterloo Region, Ontario, in October 2016 and then travels across Canada throughout 2017.

“Innovation150 will engage Canadians of all ages in truly meaningful and enriching experiences that spark new ideas and build greater capacity for innovators of the future,” said Greg Dick, Director of Educational Outreach at Perimeter Institute. 

“This is vitally important to the success of Canada as a nation in an internationally competitive world where new knowledge and innovation will be key.” 

About PI

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. 

For more information, contact:
Mike Brown
Manager, Communications & Media
519-569-7600 x5131