Close up image of a robot at a science festival

Quantum to Cosmos Festival

It’s been called “the Woodstock of science festivals”: the largest and most comprehensive science outreach festival ever held in Canada. From October 15-25, 2009, PI held Quantum to Cosmos: Ideas for the Future, an all-out celebration of the power and fun of scientific ideas, to mark PI’s tenth anniversary.

Q2C brought people into the big tent of science – literally – with a 5,000 square foot exhibit centre filled with demonstrations, hands-on activities, experiments and an immersive 3-D tour of the universe narrated by PI Distinguished Research Chair Stephen Hawking. The festival’s rich tapestry of events included lectures, panel discussions, pub talks, cultural activities, a documentary premiere, and a science film festival. Virtually all events were streamed live in high definition over the Internet.

A young boy looking at a robot at a science festival
The Quantum to Cosmos exhibit centre featured a scale model of the next Mars rover, Curiosity, supplied by NASA.

With 40,000 on-site and over one million TV and online viewers, Q2C tuned in and turned on vast new audiences of all ages and from all walks of life to the fascination of science and the power of theoretical physics.

“I’m thinking I’m going to want to learn some physics when I get older.”

– Aaron E., aged 10, after attending PI’s Quantum to Cosmos Science Festival

Two people riding around in a ride shaped like a sphere


Q2C by the Numbers:

  • 1 documentary premiere of The Quantum Tamers: Revealing Our Weird & Wired Future
  • 2 satellite events in Ottawa and Toronto
  • 4 cultural events (3 concerts and 1 art talk)
  • 5 nights of “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” broadcast live from PI’s atrium
  • 6 nights of Science in the Pub
  • 14 science-inspired films
  • 30 talks and panel discussions
  • 79 presenters
  • 120 tireless volunteers
  • 5,000 square feet of exhibits and presentations
  • 40,000 on-site attendees
  • Over 1,000,000 online and TV broadcast viewers

To watch the presentations from the festival, visit Inside the Perimeter.