Science gala shoots for the stars

Friday's event will help re-establish the Centre of the Universe science education centre in West Saanich

The group behind the re-establishment of the Centre of the Universe science education centre in West Saanich will shine with local star power for its downtown Victoria gala this weekend.

CBC’s Bob McDonald, host of Quirks and Quarks, is among the entrainment as he’ll deliver a brief and entertaining talk about his “Motorcycle trip to Pluto,” said Ben Dorman, chair of the newly organized Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.

The evening, called Science and Culture in the Inner Harbour, is set to be a swanky one. It starts Friday at 7 p.m. in the new Robert Bateman Centre in the former Steamship Building. McDonald is among the many well-known supporters donating to the silent auction, offering a three-hour tour on his sailboat.

“It’s going to be a mix of science and the arts, we have a lot of wonderful items available through the silent auction,” Dorman said.

The future is looking bright for the society which formed earlier in 2015 with a goal to restore and enhance the public programs available at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory before the former federal government terminated support.

Not only is the fundraising campaign moving along steadily but the federal Liberal party’s outlook on science is promising, Dorman said.

The Friends of DAO hopes to open the observatory and Centre of the Universe to elementary school field trips.

“We have to be visible, we have to start showing we can make a difference,” he added. “We were a great place to see the lunar eclipse back in September and we hope to reopen the observatory to the public on winter nights in 2016, as we do in the summer.”

Public outreach programs for science are important and Dorman says Friends of the DAO want to see how to best support science education with our kids.

Vox Humana and two guitarists are performing. Robert Bateman and Richard Hunt have contributed artwork for the auction, and local businesses have given a tremendous array of prizes, including a zip lining adventure and more, Dorman said.

Tickets are $40 for a pair or $25 for the single. Wine is provided by Salt Spring Winery and food, tea and service is by The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden.

For more information visit observatoryhill.org/content/events

 

 

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