“I’ve had a lifelong interest in science education and kids, and Centre Stage is perfect for the kids. You won’t snag everyone—maybe it’s one in five, maybe one in ten, but for those kids, planting that kernel of interest is so important.”
A Doomed Dome
Peter jokes that it’s a little ironic he’s receiving the honour of Science World’s 2021 Patron.
“When Jimmy Pattison retired the night Expo 86 ended, I took over as the chairman in charge of the destruction of the dome,” he laughs.
The temporary structure at the centre of the world’s fair was built to be torn down. But, Peter says a passionate campaign by BC’s Economic Development Minister Grace McCarthy saved it from its fate.
And now, as a long-time philanthropist and advocate in support of growing the economic potential of BC, Peter likes to imagine what could happen if Science World had an unlimited budget.
“I mean, with the ways we can educate kids in science today? There’s infinite possibilities for how Science World can attract an interest in the next generation of kids.”
Because while it’s true that the dome continues to leak and needs to be re-skinned—an expensive upgrade project in our near future—Science World’s history is deeply connected to the sparkling geodesic dome at the head of False Creek.
“Everyone I talk to who passes through Vancouver says, ‘Oh! I’ve been to Science World, I was at your stage,’” says Peter. “These are the kinds of world-class attractions that bring people to the city and keep them here.”
“At a young age, just the little bit of exposure that kids get in Science World is very important. It helps them see more life choices. We should all really value Science World for that.”
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