For 30 years Science North has created a reputation as one of Northern Ontario's premier tourist destinations. But according to those who work there, the science centre also has a lot to offer the business community.
Renee Lepera, Science North's senior manager of visitor services and sales, said the centre's secondary science museum, Dynamic Earth, has long been Sudbury's best kept secret as a meeting and conference space.
For five months out of the year, Dynamic Earth is closed as a science centre, but remains open to any organization that would like to rent the space. "That entire building is available for rentals from Nov. 1 to when we re-open again in March," said Lepera.
The space, located on Big Nickel Mine Drive, adjacent to Vale-owned property, includes the Atlas Copco Theatre, equipped with the latest audio-visual technologies.
The theatre, Lepera said, can accommodate more than 100 people, and is ideal for presentations and meetings.
Dynamic Earth also has 2,000 square feet of space, normally used for exhibits, that is available to accommodate any conference or business meeting during the off-season.
Lepera said mining companies have taken to the space, because it offers a thematic backdrop that relates to the industry - including an underground mine used for museum visitors - and is conveniently located near Vale's property.
"The ambiance is attractive because it's focused on mining," said Dick DeStefano, executive director of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association.
DeStefano said the Canadian Institute of Mining uses the space every month, and mining companies take advantage of its multimedia offerings for special presentations.
He said Dynamic Earth's only downside is that it is too small for events with more than 200 people.
Insurance companies, travel agencies and financial groups have also used the space for a variety of events.
The iconic Science North building, on Sudbury's Ramsey Lake Road. also has several spaces available to the business community.
Unlike Dynamic Earth, Science North is open to visitors year-round, but event organizers can take advantage of the space outside of regular visiting hours.
The Vale Cavern offers a unique space in a cave blasted out of solid rock. Because the cavern is usually used to exhibit Science North's Wildfires 4D film - complete with 3D glasses, moving seats and simulated weather effects - it is often only available for events that are directly tied to the science...