CASC COVID-19 Update: A thriving science culture in Canada

Monday, May 04, 2020 8:57 AM | Deleted user

April 30, 2020

The CASC network supports a thriving science culture in Canada that values evidence-based decision making. We commend the recent First Ministers’ statement on shared public health approach to support restarting the economy that will be guided by science, as advised by public health officials.


Call with the Minister of Candian Heritage: This week, CASC President, Tracy Calogneros (CEO, The Exploration Place), CASC Executive Director, Marianne Mader, and CASC Board Member, Dolf DeJong (CEO, Toronto Zoo) participated on a joint call with the Minister of Candian Heritage office along with representatives from the Canadian Museum Association (CMA), Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada (ANHMC), Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), National Trust of Canada, and the Canadian Garden Council. Collectively, we highlighted our overlapping immediate and long-term needs in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and reviewed challenges unique to each of our communities. Details regarding the $500 million COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations will be announced soon.


The Prime Minister and the First Ministers made a statement about restarting the Canadian economy. The Government of Canada will continue to collaborate with the Provincial and Territorial governments and continue using public health as a foundation to guide as they work to restore economic activity and address future outbreaks. The full statement from the First Ministers can be found here.

REMINDER: the application portal for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is now open. Employers can apply for the CEWS through My Business Account or through the CRA’s online application portal.

State of Tourism in Canada. The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) issued their second dashboard report, which provides a weekly snapshot of recent key global, regional and domestic tourism health and economic updates, and insights on the impact of COVID-19 on the travel and tourism industry’s path to recovery. 

CANADA: Leading indicators continue to point to an easing of travel restrictions occurring gradually starting with inter- and intra-provincial travel (around mid / end of June / beginning of July), followed by regional travel (mid-July), and eventually international short-haul (mid- to late-August) and long-haul travel (into the fall).”

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


On the evening of May 29, 2020, CASC will host its Annual CASCADE Awards online. Though we cannot be together in person this year, we want to continue the tradition of announcing the recipients and having them give an acceptance speech in the presence of their friends and colleagues. 

More details on the event will be shared in the upcoming days.

View the 2020 CASCADE Award Finalists.

> Video Discussion Groups

Topic: Supporting Teachers/School Closures Chat

May 1, 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

May 1, 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. Please contact if you did not receive an invitation and would like to join.

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.


> 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: Curators launch a COVID-19 digital initiative that aims to reduce social isolation and document the pandemic.

TELUS World of Science Edmonton (TWOSE): As of April 17, they created over 200 Ear Savers and are planning to print many more. Approximately 40 pieces are printed daily.

> CASC Members are supporting families and educators.

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:

Online STEM Engagement 

Steamlabs: Teamed up with Make Magazine’s Family Maker Camp to bring DIY marble run creations to the world. Get inspired with design ideas. Tune in live Thursday April 30 and Tuesday May 5 at 1 pm EST on the Family Maker Camp Facebook PageWatch and comment LIVE.  

Youth Science Canada: Launched an Online STEM Fair, a showcase for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects that reflect the curiosity and creativity of Canadian youth. The online event will be live for the public Tuesday, May 19.

Virtual Exhibits

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada: Learn about their brand new Shipwrecks exhibit with the latest Deep Sea Diary blog post.

Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science: Is inviting the public to visit their three virtual exhibitions. Available in English and French. 

> #AstronomyAcrossCanada While we're apart, we can still feel united because we all share the same sky. Let's star gaze together!

Science centres are invited to post at sundown in their time zone about a constellation or object in their night sky on International Astronomy Day, Saturday May 2nd. Posts can include a photo, and/or fun facts about the constellation, and should end by passing along the torch to the next centre.

The hashtag #AstronomyAcrossCanada will be used both for the handoff in the evening and for more general posts about astronomy during the day. National branches of RASC and CASCA have been asked to participate with more general posts as well.


> ASTC Webinar on Virtual Engagement During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Wed, May 6, 2020 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

*ASTC has extended this invitation to ALL CASC members.

Come together with your peers in science and technology centers and museums for Virtual Engagement, Digital Experiences, and Online Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic webinar. This event is an opportunity to discuss approaches you have been using to virtually engage your communities, develop new digital experiences, and design and scale online learning while your museums are closed to the public due to the pandemic. Register now*. 

> NSERC Science Communication Skills Grant NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE The pilot application deadline was extended to June 15, 2020. Your application must reach NSERC before 8:00 p.m. ET. NSERC continues to communicate program-specific changes on its homepage via Latest News.

> World Astronomy Day Collaboration Opportunity: Science Centres and museums can connect with their local Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) chapter and cross-promote or collaborate on World Astronomy Day activities. Reach out to if you need help finding the lead for your region's local RASC chapter.