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Our Future

Our Future video thumbnail

A Five Year Plan

As we look to the future, we know that we have challenges to address. Our traditional audience (families with children age 12 and under) is shrinking as the population in Northern Ontario ages. We need to attract new audiences. We have two big science centres in a relatively small market place; change is necessary to ensure repeat business. We must continuously look for ways to fund this change.

The 2013-18 Strategic Plan maps out the Strategic Priorities and Goals that will help us address our challenges and achieve our Vision, while remaining true to our mandate.

Our mandate is as follows:

Science North exterior - dusk

1. Operate a science centre

Science North is the second largest science centre in Canada in terms of square feet, budget and staff. We are recognized on an international level for our style and approach to science communication.


Older adults panning for gold at Dynamic Earth

2. Operate a mining technology and earth sciences centre

Science North operated the Big Nickel mine in the early years, even before the science centre opened. In 2003, it reopened as Dynamic Earth following major investments. It is the eighth largest science centre in Canada.


Outreach van

3. Offer a program of science learning across Northern Ontario

Our Northern Ontario mandate is important, but service to the North has grown and shrunk over the years and is now growing dramatically due to the increase in operating funding. We now have an established base in Thunder Bay and are expanding our service to Northern Ontario.


Creatures of the Abyss - Hong Kong visitors

4. Sell consulting services, exhibits and media productions to support the centre's development

Since 1996 our external sales of exhibits and consulting services has become an important source of earned revenue. These revenues allowed Science North to grow in times of fiscal restraint. External sales have averaged $2.5 to $3 million per year and profits are reinvested in developing new experiences at Science North for our audiences.


Planning session

Background to the Strategic Plan

Our planning was guided by Science North's professional values and core planning principles:

  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Corporate viewpoint
  • Long-term perspective
  • Accountability
  • Innovation and Improvement
  • Value to our Customers

Science North’s staff, Board of Trustees and volunteers have all been engaged in the development of this plan. We reached out externally to partners and various stakeholders through both web surveys and one-on-one consultations to get feedback. We also surveyed more than 1,000 non-visitors to gain more insight into why they don't visit.

We want to hear from you!

After reviewing our Strategic Plan, please let us know what you think by visiting our Comments page.