Science World History


1977  The Junior League of Greater Vancouver and the Vancouver Social Planning Department join forces to found a non-profit society dedicated to creating a hands-on, informal learning centre for science and technology serving all of British Columbia.

1982  The demonstration Arts, Sciences and Technology Centre (ASTC) opens at 600 Granville Street in a building donated by Arthur Block.

1982–87  The ASTC Science World Society works with the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada in the search for a permanent, larger home.

1987  The three levels of government announce that the Expo Centre will become Science World British Columbia and Queen Elizabeth II dedicates the building “for the people of British Columbia.”

1987–89  The Provincial and Federal Governments announce their support of $5 million each, the City of Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver Regional District join with a further $1 million apiece and a capital campaign raises $7.1 million from the private sector for a total of $19.1 million to build an addition to the Expo Centre, redesign the interior and develop and build exhibits.

1988  Construction for a new addition gets underway.

1989  On May 6, the fully refurbished 10,200 square metre Science World, featuring dozens of hands-on exhibits in five new galleries and the largest OMNIMAX® dome screen in the world, opens to the public.

1990  Science World welcomes 705,000 visitors in its first year and visits 96 BC communities with its outreach program.

1991–92  The Exhibits Capital Campaign receives funds from the government and private sector for the remainder of the Main Gallery.

1992–98  Science World continues to provide world-class exhibits and learning experiences.

1999  Science World begins pre-planning for significant rejuvenation of its exhibits and facilities—Science World: The ReGeneration.

2000  The Quality Council of BC recognizes Science World with the Award of Distinction in the area of Customer Focus. Science World helps develop the blockbuster exhibition Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body.

2001  Science World co-produces the world-class exhibition China! 7000 Years of Innovation and opens three new areas in the ReGeneration program: Kidspace, Our World Gallery and the Science Theatre.

2002  Fundraising, design and fabrication begins for the main, permanent gallery, Eureka!

2003  The final exhibits for Eureka! are installed, signifying completion of Phase 2 of this high-energy gallery that explores the themes of water, light and motion.

2004  Science World enters into a groundbreaking $9-million naming-rights agreement with TELUS.

2005  Our iconic False Creek facility is renamed TELUS World of Science.

2005  Science World receives $5 million in funding from the BC Government to support the BC Program for the Awareness and Learning of Science (BC PALS), which entitles every K–7 student in the province to a free Science World experience.

2006  Science World enters into the next phase of ReGeneration, the Champions of the Future Campaign, to renew its infrastructure and pursue the construction of an outdoor science experience.

2006–07  Science World presents Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience the incredible structure of the human body in plastinated form. A record 830,372 people visit TELUS World of Science in this fiscal year.

2007  Science World opens BodyWorks, a transportable gallery that answers the questions of “What Can I Do?”, “How Do I Look?” and “What’s Inside Me?”

2008  BodyWorks wins the CASCADE award for Best Exhibit or Show at the Canadian Association of Science Centres’ annual conference. Major renovations to the lobby and Search Gallery are underway.

2009  Renovations to Search: Sara Stern Gallery are completed. Science World celebrates 20 years under the dome with a week-long series of events, including Free Family Day, presented by BC Hydro, which welcomed over 10,000 people.

2010  Science World begins extensive renovations to the building to repair the failed building envelope, expand the lobby, create additional gallery space, and green the building. It also undergoes extensive community consultation for the creation of an outdoor science gallery and exhibition space.

2011  Renovations continued. Indoor galleries take shape and work begins on the outdoor science park. The first post-renewal exhibition, Extreme Dinosaurs, arrives at TELUS World of Science in June. Contributions of $10.5 million from both the Federal and Provincial Governments and more than $11 million from the generous support of individuals, corporations and foundations in the community support the renovation efforts.

2012  Renovations are completed. The 35,000 square foot Ken Spencer Science Park opens, complete with live chickens. The building upgrades included green initiatives like solar panels and visitors experienced 30,000 square feet of exhibition space in addition to the Science Park.

2013  Science World assembles a number of agencies in the science promotion community to collaboratively address the growing shortage of qualified personnel in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. This collaboration results in the Science Charter for British Columbia. The Science Charter is dedicated to building a province that creates and employs scientific knowledge and technological innovation to enable a healthy, prosperous and sustainable society. Science World also participates in a nation-wide sing along with Commander Chris Hadfield, who is aboard the ISS, as a part of Music Monday in May. Science World develops the musical feature exhibition, AMPED.

2014  Science World celebrates its 25 years under the dome. Festivities include a cake-cutting ceremony, a never-before-attempted 25 science demos in 5 minutes and the elegant Geodesic Ball. The Ball kicks off the fundraising campaign for the new Wonder Gallery—a 3,300 square-foot early learner’s gallery which is due to open to the public in 2016. It will be a bright, welcoming space that will foster curiosity, exploration and discovery of science in our youngest, most impressionable learners—infants to five year olds.

Visitors share their favourite photos of their visits to Science World by submitting them to the Science World Memories Project. All photos are entered into a draw for a chance to win a 25-year Family Membership to Science World and a trip for 4 from Vancouver to Whistler on the Rocky Mountaineer, Whistler Sea to Sky Climb train.

2015  The exciting relaunch of the On The Road program. The program stopped running in 2012 due to lack of financial support from external sources. This year, there is a dedicated budget to the program, which will once again deliver science to communities across BC, who would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience such programming.

On Family Day, visitors experience the Science of Giving, powered by Chimp. Entrance to Science World is by donation and proceeds will be doubled (up to $25,000) and will go to support the Wonder Gallery.

Our Ken Spencer Science Park is this year’s recipient of the Nature’s Path Gardens for Good grant. It was one of three programs chosen out of the 120 entries from non-profit organizations making an impact at the local level. This generous award will allow the Science Park to expand its ability to grow nutritious, local food that will help educate Vancouverites about the gardening potential that exists in their own backyards and the produce will help out community kitchens in the Downtown Eastside.

The latest BODY WORLDS exhibition—ANIMAL INSIDE OUT opens. ANIMAL INSIDE OUT is an amazing educational tool that complements classroom studies and allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of and respect for the creatures that cohabit this planet.

Science World celebrates women who are making a big impact in STEM fields with the innovator speaker event called STEM Talks. The event will support Science World’s Scientists and Innovators in the Schools program—a BC-wide program that delivers presentations and hands-on workshops by passionate scientists, engineers, technologists and technicians to inspire the next generation of science leaders.

2016  The year opened with the launch of the Red Bull Stratos exhibit.

Science World’s new fundraising event—Science of Cocktails debuts and is an overwhelming success.

ANIMAL INSIDE OUT closes at the end of March and Top Secret: License to Spy becomes Science World’s summer feature exhibition.

Science World wins 3 awards at the annual CASC Conference, held this year in Vancouver: Best Exhibit or Show—Large Institution for their Ken Spencer Science Park; Best Program—Large Institution for their Future Science Leaders Program; and Bryan Tisdall was recognized for his incredible contributions to science promotion and Science World, with the Career Achievement Award. Science World was one of 3 hosts for the conference.

After nearly 19 years as Science World’s President and CEO, Bryan Tisdall retires. Dr Scott Sampson comes in as the new President and CEO of Science World.

2017  In January, we celebrated 150 years of Canadian innovation with the national launch of the Innovation150 Festival, right here at Science World! As part of the festival, visitors experienced QUANTUM: The Exhibition in our Feature Gallery

Made in Canada, our homegrown exhibition that celebrated Canadian innovation opened in the spring. It focused on the iterative design process and included a Maker Space.

BC Green Games celebrated 10 years of province-wide engagement.

We celebrated the opening of 3 galleries:

  • Wonder Gallery, for children age 0–5 and their caregivers
  • BodyWorks Gallery reopens with refurbished and new exhibits and content
  • Tinkering Space: The WorkSafeBC Gallery opens in what was formerly the KEVA Gallery

Parks Canada and Science World unveiled Sharing Space with Wildlife, an interactive exhibit located in the Ken Spencer Science Park. This exhibit educates children and adults on the importance of protecting wildlife by building wildlife crossing structures.

On August 21, 2017, we partnered with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) to host a viewing party for the Great American Eclipse of 2017. The viewing was attended by thousands of astronomy enthusiasts.

We hosted the Understanding the Overdose and Opioid Epidemic. This panel discussion included first responders and heath care professionals who discussed some of the myths around what drug addiction is and who it affects.