CASC COVID-19 Update: Helping Canadians during COVID-19

Thursday, April 16, 2020 2:27 PM | Deleted user

April 16, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the Canadian Science Centre sector we are redoubling our efforts to serve our communities even while our facilities are closed. You are the science champions reaching Canadians in their homes each day during this crisis.

Here at CASC we are thankful for the tremendous work of our members and your continued commitment to Planking the Curve, facilitating Science at Home, and in leading conversations about how to Support Canadians “after COVID-19”.


> This week CASC has sent a Letter to the Ministers of Finance, Canadian Heritage, Innovation, Science, and Industry, and Environment, emphasizing how our member organizations are helping Canadians during the COVID-19 crisis and it outlines specific recommendations for relief funding measures to support their work. See Letter here.

CASC also participated in a Heritage Panel as part of the Canadian Museum Association’s online conference Museums Together, along with representatives from the Canadian Museum Association (CMA), National Trust of Canada (NTC), the Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC), and Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA).  This group of associations is working collaboratively to advocate for the broader cultural and heritage sector. The panel explored common concerns and challenges and discussed what can be done by working together. It included Tracy Calogheros, CASC President & CEO The Exploration Place, Marianne Mader, CASC Executive Director, and Dolf DeJong, CASC Board Member and CEO, The Toronto Zoo. 


> Video Discussion Groups

Topic: Supporting Teachers/School Closures Chat

Apr 17, 2020 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

An invitation to join the scheduled Friday calls has been extended to all CASC member staff working in programs, education, outreach, camps and childcare. An email with an invitation will be sent via email. Please contact if you did not receive an invitation and would like to join

Topic: CEO Discussion Forum

Apr 17, 2020 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

CASC will continue coordinating a "CASC COVID-19 Response Discussion" for CASC Member CEOs and Executive Directors. Invitations are sent via email.

As we all continue to navigate this rapidly-evolving global situation, CASC is here to help, support, and connect our community during these challenging times. Please contact us at if you have ideas for how we can further support your organization.


> Webinar by AAM: Lessons Learned from SARS: How Museums Emerge After Crisis

On Wednesday, April 22, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST join key former members of the team who led the Ontario Science Centre through two crises in the early 2000s.

They’ll share their experiences and strategies for:

·  Reopening the museum

·  Supporting team members

·  Reassuring visitors and potential visitors

·  Financial recovery


·  Lesley Lewis, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Science Centre (from 1998-2014)

·  Jennifer Martin, former Vice President of Visitor Experience, Ontario Science Centre; former and Founding Chief Executive Officer, TELUS Spark

·  Julie Bowen, former Associate Director of Development and Design, Ontario Science Centre; former Vice President of Visitor Experience, TELUS Spark

> CASC Members Helping to Plank the Curve

We want to acknowledge and thank CASC members who are supporting health care providers face this global pandemic. A few examples of science centres and museums stepping up include:

Ingenium: Canada Science and Technology Museums has been 3D printing masks for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) 

TELUS World of Science Edmonton: The Alberta Government released its coronavirus model for Alberta on April 7, 2020.  Staff Scientist Mirabelle Prémont-Schwarz spoke with one of the specialists working on the model; Shakib Rahman, Data and Analytics at Covenant Health to find out more.

THEMUSEUM : Are hosting a webinar with grief therapists Andrea Warnick, Nicola Elbro and Lisa Robinson on Wednesday April 29th about “Supporting Children and Youth Through COVID-19”.

> CASC Members Sharing Online Educational Content

Canadian science centres and science museums are supporting families by offering free online educational contentThe "Science at Home" page on the CASC website is updated on a regular basis so that CASC members can see what each other are doing. We encourage you to share on your social media platforms and with your network using the following #AtHomeWithCASC  #ScienceChampions #LookForTheHelpers #ScienceAtHome. Here a just a few examples of what our members are doing:

C.I.EAU : Sharing on their blog (en francais). 

Musée de l'ingéniosité J. Armand Bombardier: Inviting the public for a tour of their facilities - Virtually!

Okanagan Science Centre : Sharing science at home activities regularly on Youtube.

Science East: Regular radio segment on CBC New Brunswick - Shift with Vanessa Vander Valk on “Science Experiments to keep the kids busy”. Live every two weeks on Wednesday afternoons. Next segment April 22, 2020. 

Thanks to Michael Edwards for the shoutout to the CASC network in the April 8 segment at 4:10 mark!

The Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre: Keeping children active Monday to Friday at 10 am with interactive, up-close visits with their animal ambassadors!


> CBC Creative Relief Fund 

Canadian creators can apply until 11:59 pm ET on Friday, April 24, and eligible applicants will be notified of their project’s status starting on May 8.

In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, CBC has launched THE CBC CREATIVE RELIEF FUND to provide immediate, urgent support to Canadian creators. The unprecedented new Fund will provide $2 million in development and production funding for a diverse range of innovative, original Canadian storytelling, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries.

> Pint of Science Canada - Invitation for Speakers from CASC Network

Due to the pandemic, Pint of Science Canada Festival May 11-13th will be online this year.

They have extended their "Call for Speakers" to the CASC network. They are looking for 15-20 min talks + Q&A. The audience would be for the general public and could focus on adults, youth-only, or families. If interested, please email your topic and target audience to Alexandra at by Monday April 20, 11:59 pm.

Science Odyssey 2020 is cancelled.

Powered by NSERC, Science Odyssey demonstrates how discoveries and innovations shape our daily lives and foster a strong science culture in Canada.

NSERC Science Communication Skills Grant Deadline: May 15, 2020

> Junior Astronaut Camp The registration period for youth to have a chance to win a spot to our Junior Astronaut Camp is extended until April 30, 2020.

> April 22 is Earth day 2020: The world’s largest civic event is going digital for the first time in its history.


> Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Update: Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Canada announced more flexibility for the CERB. It will now allow people to earn up to $1,000 per month from other sources while collecting the CERB without penalty, extend the CERB to seasonal workers who have exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to undertake their usual seasonal work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as to workers who recently exhausted their EI regular benefits and are unable to find a job or return to work because of COVID-19. 

> Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan Details on support for individuals and businesses.

> Statistics Canada is asking Canadians to share details of how COVID-19 is impacting their lives. The survey will only take 5-10 minutes to complete and will help the Government of Canada identify the implications of COVID-19 in our daily lives. April 16 is the last day of the survey.

> The Government of Canada has released new information on adding measures for more flexibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).