What's On

Category: Travelling Exhibitions


Jan. 16 - May. 31, 2016 TELUS Spark, 220 St. George's Drive NE, Calgary, Alberta

Celebrate the potential of the human body.  BODY WORLDS Vital opens at
TELUS Spark on January 16, 2016 at Noon. 



"I've never seen an exhibit where people were more actively engaged in learning. People are absolutely mesmerized by what they get to see."

-Diane Perlov, SVP Exhibitions, California Science Center

One of the world's most groundbreaking travelling exhibitions is coming to Calgary's science centre. BODY WORLDS Vital celebrates the living human body in its optimal state - healthy, vibrant, vigorous and in motion. The exhibition presents the leading health concerns of contemporary times, the causes of these conditions and diseases, and ways to prevent or manage them.  

The exhibition will include real human bodies that have been donated to science and preserved through a complex plastination process that preserves the structures in incredible detail. The bodies are displayed in dynamic poses that make the connection between body and movement. This in-depth exhibition is designed to inspire visitors to learn more about anatomy, life sciences and healthy living.

BODY WORLDS exhibitions are the original and first exhibitions that displayed human specimens to a large public audience.  Created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS is the result of the German scientist and pyhysician's three-decade-long research and development endeavours in Plastination science - von Hagens' groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving the body after death for scientific and medical study, which he invented in 1977. Learn more about BODY WORLDS at www.bodyworlds.com.

In Calgary for a limited time only, January 16 - May 31, 2016.


Tickets to BODY WORLDS Vital at TELUS Spark go on sale in January!

Adult (18-64) $24.95 | Senior (65+) $22.95 | Youth (13-17) $20.95 | Child (3-12) $17.95 | Children under 3 are free

Tickets to BODY WORLDS Vital include general admission to the full science centre.

Special price for TELUS Spark Members! $5.00 each for all ages (available in person only).

All prices plus GST.

More Connections at the Science Centre:

Make the most of your BODY WORLDS Vital experience by exploring other amazing body connections at the science centre.  Check out the travelling exhibition, then:

  • Explore what it means to be human - from your senses to physical appearance - in the Being Human Gallery, located on the second level.
  • Make the connections among risky play, physical activity, the brain and body development in The Brainasium. Get your heart pumping as you climb, swing, slide and move.
  • Check out Adults Only Nights in February and May as we explore the body connections of love and even future humans.
  • Check out the live science demonstration, Here's Looking at You to discover all the science going on inside of us. Prepare to find out just how amazing we are as you get hands-on with the digestive system, hear a huge heartbeat and compare our strength to the strongest of the strong.
  • And More! Enjoy the day exploring the science centre to encounter more amazing body connections. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Why is this exhibition coming to TELUS Spark?

As a leader in innovative science education, we are thrilled to host a major exhibition of this calibre for Southern Albertans, providing educational content about health, wellness, anatomy and physical sciences.

When can I visit BODY WORLDS Vital?

The exhibition will run from noon on January 16 through to May 31, 2016. The travelling exhibition will be open to ticketholders during regular TELUS Spark operating hours. Please click here to view hours. 

Why are real human bodies displayed in the exhibition?

The Plastination process of preserving real human tissue preserves structures in incredible detail.  Models and textbooks just can't compare. The authenticity of the specimens on display enables visitors to experience the wonder of the human body and marvel at its unique elegance and complexity. Further, viewing real human bodies allows us to understand how each body has its own unique features, even on the inside.

How are the specimens made?

The specimens on display are created through a process called Plastination.  Invented by scientist and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977, Plastination is the groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving anatomical specimens for scientific and medical education. Plastination is the process of extracting all bodily fluids and soluble fat from specimens, replacing them through vacuum forced impregnation with reactive resins and elastomers, and then curing them with light, heat, or certain gases, which give the specimens rigidity and permanence.  Plastinated specimens are dry and odorless, yet retain their natural structures down to the microscopic level.

Where do the bodies in BODY WORLDS Vital come from?

The whole-body plastinates in this exhibition are comprised of people who, in their lifetime, donated their bodies for Plastination with the express purpose of educating future generations about health. The specimens in the BODY WORLDS exhibition come from the Institute for Plastination’s body-donor program. Dr. Gunther von Hagens established the body donation program in 1983, shortly after he invented Plastination. Dr. von Hagens’ Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany now manages the program for body donation. All donors are adults who gave their consent, during their lifetimes, to use their bodies for Plastination and specifically for the BODY WORLDS exhibits. Independent ethicists have reviewed the Institute for Plastination’s donor program and protocols and have verified that the specimens were properly donated for the purpose of public exhibition. Over 15,000 registered donors worldwide have bequeathed their bodies to von Hagens' Institute for Plastination, including 115 Canadians and 30 Albertans. Learn more about body donation and Plastination at www.bodyworlds.com.

"Throughout viewing this amazing exhibit, I had a deep feeling of gratitude to the people who chose so generously to donate their bodies for our education. I came away with not only a better understanding of our bodies, but also a deepened respect and profound intent to make healthy choices." - Visitor to BODY WORLDS

Why are the bodies posed like that?

The plastinates are posed to emphasize certain systems of the body. Athletic poses highlight specific muscle groups in the body, and organs may be arranged so that visitors can see their relationships to the rest of the body. 

Why aren’t the bodies wearing clothes?

The plastinates are posed without clothing or skin to provide the best opportunity for visitors to see the inside of the human body.

Who is BODY WORLDS Vital best for?

The exhibition will be open to all audiences, but the exhibition may not be right for everyone.  BODY WORLDS Vital includes human bodies, organs and body parts, as well as body plastinates with genitals. We ask that visitors take some time to learn about the exhibition and determine whether it's right for their families.

What should I expect to learn from the exhibit?

Many people gain a greater appreciation for the intricacy and inner-working of their own bodies.  The exhibition includes information on common diesease and preventive care. We anticipate many visitors to the exhibition will be encouraged towards wellness and healthier lifestyles. 

"We hope for the message of vitality, fitness and health to be contagious and relayed by visitors to their social netowrks," said Dr. Gunther von Hagens. "I hope for visitors to Vital to be inspired by the body's potential and capacity of change," said Dr. Angelina Whalley, the scientist and creative designer behind BODY WORLDS