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A Weekend of Family Activities to Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan

Montréal, April 5, 2018 - 

On April 7 and 8, Espace pour la vie invites families who are fascinated by starry skies, planets and astronomical phenomena to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. The festivities include two programs for young audiences, The Blind Man with Starry Eyes and Aboard SSE-4801, continuing activities on the theme of astronomy and the simulated exploration of an exoplanet by a remote-controlled probe directed from the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris.

The new planetarium opened in 2013 thanks to generous support from Rio Tinto Alcan.  The Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie, the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine and the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and Canada Economic Development also contributed to its construction.


Saturday, April 7

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Science presentations every 30 minutes

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Special robotics workshop hosted by Échofab

1:45 to 3 p.m.
“Expédition Paris–Montréal – Y a-t-il une vie sur la planète Montréal?” Live from Paris, the exploration of exoplanet Kepler-442b (a model 9 feet across) by means of a robotic probe (30 cm x 30 cm) controlled live from Paris.



11:30 a.m. to noon – Double feature for kids:
The Blind Man with Starry Eyes / Aboard SSE-4801

3:30 to 7 p.m. Double feature:
Space Next / EXO
Sunday, April 8

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Science presentations every 30 minutes

10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Autograph sessions by members of Les Petites Tounes, the music group that produced the soundtrack for Aboard SSE-4801



11:30 a.m. to noon  – Double feature for kids:
The Blind Man with Starry Eyes / Aboard SSE-4801

3:30 to 4 p.m. Double feature:
Space Next / EXO

“When the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan arrived on the site, five years ago, Espace pour la vie truly became Canada's largest natural science museum complex, one of the most popular museums in North America. The planetarium offers original, memorable and meaningful experiences, focusing on science but also artistic and poetic. It lets us view the beauties of our planet from a different perspective, seeing how we are all in this together. Along with the Biodôme, Insectarium and Jardin botanique, it helps to bring humankind closer to nature. It encourages visitors to adopt environmentally responsible behaviour that promotes biodiversity,” explains Espace pour la vie Director Charles-Mathieu Brunelle.


Some memorable things have happened in the past five years at the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan! 

Here are a few highlights.

March 16, 2013
An open house drew thousands of visitors, three weeks before the official opening. 

April 6, 2013 
The Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan officially opened. The Continuum multimedia show set the tone for the new institution’s innovative program, taking audiences on a veritable odyssey through the beauties of space. The film, created by Montréal artists Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, launched the planetarium’s two theatres as part of a double feature with From the Earth to the Stars.

March 31, 2015 
Like a message in a bottle cast into the sea, the planetarium team chose 25 letters written by children of today for children of the future, and tucked them away in the old planetarium’s projector. The “time capsule” is to remain safely conserved for the next 35 years, and will be opened in 2050. 

October 15, 2015
The Canada Green Building Council awarded the planetarium LEED® NC 1.0 – Platinum certification. In the LEED® system, this is the highest distinction for green buildings. Its esthetically bold architecture is also exemplary in terms of “green” resource management. 

August 21, 2017 
Over 35,000 people gathered at the planetarium between 1:22 and 3:50 p.m. to observe the partial solar eclipse, along with the institution’s science educators and a number of vision professionals. An exceptional success! 


1,447,800 visitors since it opened, including 137,500 children from daycares and school groups

20 different presentations for the general public and school groups 

(not including shows and activities in the theatres)

17 shows presented to the general public
8 original productions created by the Planetarium team
5 licensed shows 
3 original shows developed by Quebec creators (Continuum, Vertiges, Kyma)
1 co-production with the La Nef musical company (Mira, The Little Star)

1 permanent exhibition, EXO, presented at all times to the general public 
6 temporary exhibitions have also been presented 

The largest public collection of meteorites in Quebec (with over 300 examples)


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Contact our team

Karine Jalbert
Communications Co-ordinator Montréal Space for Life
514 872-1453

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