It all started with a spark.
Our organization began in 1967 promoting curiosity, innovation and collaboration, and encouraging children and youth to pursue higher education and careers in science and technology.
In 2011, we opened the doors to our reimagined science centre - a place that's, in fact, much more than a science centre. Our space is a place to explore and get your hands on science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).
Our visual identity is an important component of our brand. Details on the use of the TELUS Spark logo and other assets can be found in our brand toolkit.
We bring people together to learn, play and create with science, technology, engineering, art and math.
A community transformed by a culture of curiosity, risk-taking and problem solving.
Collaboration: We believe that encouraging debate and dialogue, embracing diverse perspectives, and that partnership with our communities results in better ideas and outcomes.
Curiosity: We are always wondering, always questioning, always seeking to learn.
Courage: We believe in innovative thinking and taking risks. We embrace change. Our courage to fail gives us the confidence to succeed.
Commitment: We're deeply passionate about our mission and pursue it in everything we do...and in how we do it.
SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM:
- Jennifer Martin - President & CEO
Jennifer Martin is the President and CEO of TELUS Spark, and it was her overall vision that guided completion of the first new purpose-built science centre in Canada in over 25 years when it opened in October 2011. This vision of a next-generation science centre – its new role of active engagement in and with the community - was honed over more than 25 years of experience, starting with 4 years at Science North in Sudbury, Canada and including 21 years at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.
With TELUS Spark, the long-standing model of the science centre has been altered. From a foundation of science centres that helped to popularize science and technology, Spark is leading the field in inquiry-based learning, and active experimentation and exploration as the focus for their exhibits and programs. In particular, the education team at Spark is breaking new ground on the rapidly changing role of informal learning techniques in advancing formal education settings.
Ms. Martin arrived in Calgary in 2007, well prepared for the challenge of repurposing what a science centre could be. Previously, as the Director of Visitor Experience at the OSC, Ms. Martin oversaw all facets of the development, design and delivery of the Centre’s exhibit and public program services, and in 2001 led a $47.5M capital campaign. The resulting Weston Family Innovation Centre, a 12,000 square foot renewal program that has led to significant change in visitor engagement at the OSC.
At 153,000 square feet, the $150 million TELUS Spark is connected locally and internationally on issues of 21st century learning and innovation. Spark brings people together to learn, play and create with science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). This includes over 50,000 square feet of exhibits and program space, a digital dome theatre, and over 85,000 square feet of outdoor “risk & play” learning experiences in the Brainasium.
Ms Martin holds a Bachelor of Science degree (biology) from Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario) and a Master of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business (Toronto, Ontario). She is also a 2009 Noyce Leadership Fellow, a Director on the Board of Beakerhead, and a Director on the Board of the international Association of Science and Technology Centres (ASTC). In 2017 she was recognized as one of 150 women in Calgary who have had an impact on this community.
- Barry Crean - Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Crean is Chief Operating Officer of TELUS Spark, where he oversees the operational excellence and long-term sustainability of all facets of the LEED Gold building. Mr. Crean has been a senior leader in science centres and museums around the world and has a reputation for creative solutions that deliver impactful experiences.
Mr. Crean served as the Associate Director of Exhibit Systems with the Ontario Science Centre, capping his time there with involvement in the $40 million Agents of Change project.
As a Project Management consultant, Mr. Crean worked with an Australian firm to introduce its advanced multi-media streaming system to North America. He provided project management services to a first-of-its-kind science centre in Saudi Arabia, oversaw exhibit development at the National Museum of the Philippines, and served as a coordinator to designers and clients developing the Thematic Area for EXPO2000 in Hanover, Germany. Mr. Crean has also served as technical manager for the Singapore Discovery Centre. Closer to home, he was on the ground floor of development for the Shania Twain Centre in Timmins, Ontario.
A native of Ancaster, Ontario, Mr. Crean now makes his home in Calgary, Alberta.
- Elka Walsh - Chief Education & Learning Officer
Dr. Elka Walsh is an accomplished senior educational leader with nearly 20 years of experience in higher education. As the Chief Education & Learning Officer at TELUS Spark, Dr. Walsh leads the development and evolution of educational programs by cultivating the power of play, creativity and innovation to ignite the passion to learn.
Prior to joining TELUS Spark, Dr. Walsh was the Director of Institutional Planning and Analysis at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), where she led a team to curate the institution’s strategic plan and partnerships.
Dr. Walsh has presented her research on innovation in higher education, the impact of Industry 4.0 on the future of higher education and emerging quality assurance systems at various international conferences. She has published a chapter on new policy models for degree granting institutions entitled “Taking Up the Challenge: The Evolution of College and Polytechnic Baccalaureate Degree Granting in Alberta and SAIT” along with Dr. David Ross, and Jacqueline Lambert in the edited book: The Community College Baccalaureate: Supporting Regional Economic Development.
Dr. Walsh has adopted Calgary, Alberta as home after moving with her family from Toronto, Ontario. While in Ontario, Dr. Walsh held various senior positions with the Government of Ontario and higher education institutions. Dr. Walsh also taught political science and public policy at Humber College and McMaster University.
Dr. Walsh holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Public Policy, a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from McMaster University and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto.
- Vacant - Chief Experience Officer
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
- Sheila Leggett - Chair
Sheila has a broad variety of experience serving on Boards throughout her career making her ideally suited to join the TELUS Spark Board of Directors. She enjoys working with her Board colleagues on continuous improvements in the area of governance practices and thinks it’s important for all of us to consider ways in which we can expand our individual service to the community.
Sheila believes strongly in the purpose and potential of TELUS Spark and sees science centres as a place for inspired learning and fun for people of all ages. She recognizes the value in having a place where members of communities, individuals, families and groups can come together and explore, share and communicate all while having fun. She sees TELUS Spark as an important social gathering spot where experiencing things together leads to stronger communities.
Sheila’s aspiration for Calgary is to be the collective best we can be, by working together to build a city that promotes and celebrates cohesiveness locally, provincially and nationally. She believes that TELUS Spark is an inspiration to the Calgary community and beyond to discover and be excited about the intersections of science, technology, engineering, art and math.
- Sean McLean - Vice Chair
As managing partner of a global leadership advisory firm and with a background as an educational leader, Sean brings valuable private and public sector expertise. This provides him with the skill to recognize that the continuous growth and development of TELUS Spark’s Learning Centre is as important as maintaining a fiscally responsible and sustainable business model.
In an increasingly dynamic and connected world, Sean believes it is critical to develop curiosity, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and problem solving capacity in children and youth. TELUS Spark’s vision, mission, values, history and, most importantly, the ability to make broad and positive impacts, both locally and globally, aligned perfectly with those beliefs.
A third generation Calgarian with three children, Sean wants children born in Calgary to have virtually endless opportunities to achieve their full potential. He sees TELUS Spark as a role model for future generations and a force for innovation that drives positive change.
- Brad Grundy - Treasurer
As a former TELUS Spark employee, Brad has a strong connection to the science centre. Now in public education, his return to our Board of Directors brings with him valuable financial, leadership and strategy experience.
Brad believes learning is fundamental to the success of our society and an important part of our future. His aspiration for Calgary is to realize a livable and sustainable future. He recognizes that this will require increased innovation and risk taking and that TELUS Spark has an important role to play in building that culture in Calgary.
- Graeme Harrison - Corporate Secretary
Graeme Harrison regonizes the importance of science education in today’s world. He believes that science centres help the public, especially young people, better understand how our complex world works.
Through his legal and corporate governance experience, Graeme looks forward to volunteering his time as a member of the board to help TELUS Spark carry out its mission. He wants to see Calgary's economy and culture diversified and believes that TELUS Spark contributes to this diversification by encouraging people of all ages to expand their minds and engage in a wider variety of pursuits.
- Alex Bolton
Alex has spent most of his career working at the intersection of science and policy. Since joining the Board in 2015, he has made it a priority to highlight the importance of increasing the social relevance of TELUS Spark.
He brings 30 years of diverse technical and management experience within the energy and government sectors. His broad exposure to issues related to the application of science and its use in policy and regulation as well as the management of knowledge and technology innovation make him ideally suited to his role.
Alex recognizes that science and innovation will be critical to solving some of society’s most significant challenges and that TELUS Spark has an important role to play in inspiring the next generation of scientists and innovators who will make valuable contributions to a more sustainable future.
He sees the need for a platform for broader public dialogue surrounding climate change, sustainable energy systems and the impact of evolving technology on our way of life. He believes science centres have a unique opportunity to be a source of credible and unbiased scientific information and a place for engagement and respectful discussion of issues.
- Kirstie Boyle
A leader within the technology and entrepreneurship community, Kirstie brings a different perspective to the Board. Her experiences helping grow innovative organizations align well with TELUS Spark’s vision of a community transformed by a culture of curiosity, risk-taking and problem solving. Having experienced the challenges and successes of supporting and growing for-profit and non-profit organizations and initiatives, Kirstie looks forward to applying these learnings to help support TELUS Spark’s goals.
Kirstie’s career path into science and technology was significantly impacted by her regular visits to local science centres while growing up. She recognizes that being encouraged in science through exploration and play helps foster an innovative mentality, and believes that TELUS Spark is inspiring an innovative mindset in future generations. As a member of the Board of Directors, Kirstie looks forward to helping TELUS Spark continue to drive positive change in the community through innovation.
- Jason Green
- Colin Jackson
- Lorraine Moore
Lorraine brings more than 25 years of fundraising, finance and energy experience to the Board of Directors. Her work with executive teams across North America has helped shape her vision for Calgary as a vibrant, active and strong community. She sees TELUS Spark as a gathering place in the community; a place where people and enthusiasm for careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) related fields can be showcased.
Lorraine believes that many professionals already working in STEAM related careers hold fond memories of their visits to science centres in their younger years. She sees Calgary as the perfect destination for Canadians and other tourists to experience inquiry-based learning at TELUS Spark and receive their own inspiration.
- Theresa Redburn
Theresa’s studies in engineering have provided her with a solid background in math and science. Currently working in a corporate executive position, and having held a number of volunteer board positions, she is well suited for her role as a TELUS Spark Board member.
Theresa believes science, technology and innovation are key to Canada’s future growth and prosperity as they will deliver competitive advantages to Canada in the global marketplace.
She sees TELUS Spark as a place which fosters the development of the leaders of tomorrow through innovative learning programs. She believes the science centre provides a platform for conversations that matter and a space which inspires minds to think about the possibilities of tomorrow.
- Duane Schellenberg
Duane, his wife and their five year old son, Parker, have been TELUS Spark regulars since before Parker was two years old. He believes that TELUS Spark provides an incredible environment, particularly for kids, to build interest in concepts driven by science, engineering and math, and to engage with them in a way that can build critical and creative thinking. As a member of the board, Duane hopes to contribute to fostering these types of stimulating learning experiences that help build innovative thinking and understanding of science across our community.
Duane has seen the way Calgary has changed in recent years, particularly within the energy sector. He recognizes that much of the innovation driving these changes is happening in scientific and technology fields that require not just a strong fundamental foundation, but an ability to marry those capabilities with creative thinking. It is Duane’s hope that Calgarians can utilize the culture and capabilities that have driven our innovative achievements in energy to also build leadership in other future-oriented fields like technology and medicine. He believes that TELUS Spark can help foster greater understanding of science across our community, as a place for conversation about, and inspiration for such innovative ideas.
The top item on Duane’s bucket list would be to run the Marathon du Médoc, a marathon through the Bordeaux region of France, complete with costumes and refreshment stations featuring oysters, cheese, steak, and of course, lots of wine.
- Kelly Schmitt
Having spent 10 years working in the technology industry, Kelly Schmitt is passionate about expanding the Calgary economy and seeing other industries flourish, in addition to oil and gas. She believes that Calgary is a great city –with one of the highest qualities of living of all the large Canadian cities – but she wants to see it get even better. As a member of the Board, Kelly hopes to aid in diversifying the economy to help Calgary reach its full potential. Watching her young son learn and explore has helped Kelly recognize the importance of science centres in our community. She believes that TELUS Spark’s focus on science and technology make it a great place to facilitiate learning and that it will help inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in Calgary.
- Linda Shea
TELUS Spark’s Sustainability Partner is Devon Canada Corporation
TELUS Spark is a LEED® Gold Certified facility. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a sustainability rating system that is recognized as the international mark of excellence for green building.