2017 Annual Report
Calgary Science Centre Society
We bring people together to learn, play and create with science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).
Our community transformed by a culture of curiosity, risk-taking and problem solving.
Collaboration: We believe that encouraging debate and dialogue, embracing diverse perspectives, and 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 are deeply passionate about our mission and pursue it in everything we do, and in how we do it.
Notable highlights in 2017:
- TELUS Spark celebrated its 50th Anniversary and threw a great birthday celebration on Neighbour Day, where we offered free attendance and had an all-day event with outdoor programming. We also had a ‘Retrospective Exhibit’ featuring the history of Spark and its origins as the Centennial Planetarium
- TELUS Spark successfully installed and transitioned to a new financial management system
- Community Access program of 48 partners representing a cross-section of social needs brought TELUS Spark 15,000 visits
- The International Play Association Conference Gala was hosted by The City and TELUS Spark hosted the gala and, we signed the Calgary Play Charter
- TELUS Spark volunteers contributed 17,000 hours
- In June the Perimeter Institute and TELUS Spark jointly hosted the Governor General of Canada by presenting Quantum: The Exhibit
- Over 75,000 students and teachers participated in various workshops, semester long prototype projects and one-week science intensives
- On August 21st we had 3000 guests visit us to watch the Solar Eclipse. Guests were able to watch from telescopes, they were also able to make their own viewers. We also had live feed from NASA playing in our atrium and received positive national media attention
- Received a Calgary’s Child award and two honourable mentions, Winner “Best Place to Take Your Kids on a Crummy Day”, Honourable Mention “Best Museum for Families”, Honourable Mention “Best Halloween Event”
- The City of Calgary invited TELUS Spark to develop their Climate Change Education Plan which will be completed through multiple phases
2017 was a very important year for TELUS Spark, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary. It was a significant milestone as we continued to contribute to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and innovation in our city and region. Although we had challenges with a softer economic climate, it did confirm that TELUS Spark needs to stay on course with plans to diversify revenue streams.
In 2017 the TELUS Spark operating plan focused on three core areas: Our Community, Our Business and Our Team. With our audience at the center we worked to ensure we were a positive and supported force in our community, our revenues where diversified and stabilized and our team was innovative, engages and safe.
To give our guests the best quality in every aspect of their visit we refocused and expanded our signature program strategy, offered a blockbuster feature exhibit, Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience, offered the unique temporary exhibits Power of Ideas and Quantum: The Exhibit, piloted enhancements to the adult experience in the Creative Kids Museum (CKM), developed and delivered Energy Sustainability initiatives, deepened collaborations with government and community partners and celebrated our 50th Anniversary.
Several large-scale initiatives to diversify and stabilize our revenues were undertaken in 2017. We migrated to a new financial system and began updating existing IT infrastructure, brought our catering, food services and retail operations in-house. We launched and opened the Social Eatery and integrated the Spark Store with our internal operations and continued to refine our corporate team builder programs.
Our third major employee engagement survey was undertaken in 2017, following previous surveys in 2013 and 2015. The results were carefully considered and a number of initiatives have been established to address shortcomings and move towards an even more engaged employee team. A new compensations system was introduced alongside a new competency framework for employee feedback to complement the existing “Aligning Performance for results’ (APFR) program.