To encourage discovery, appreciation and understanding of Manitoba, the world and the universe,” that is the mission statement of the Manitoba Planetarium, and over the last 4 decades it has become evident that they take their work very seriously. They provide nothing less than an out of this world experience (literally!) to the visitors who step into the Planetarium.
The shows at The Planetarium are designed to impart knowledge regarding the universe to their visitors. However, this is not done in a boring or theoretical fashion. In fact, you are encouraged to imagine yourself as brave explorers setting out on a voyage beyond the frontiers of the realm of earth. It’s a journey that will transcend time and take you into outer space, past planets, suns, moons, other astronomical bodies, and even beyond that!
The Planetarium was conceived as a project by the Manitoba Centennial Centre complex in 1961 in celebration of the centennial celebration of both Canada and Manitoba. Thanks to the patronage and financial support of the Saiyde and Samuel Bronfman Foundation, it was possible to finish the construction. It took nearly six years for the project to be completed and the official opening of the Planetarium was on May 15, 1968.
The Planetarium is located in the lower level of The Manitoba Museum and the Zeiss Model Vs Star Projector is its heart and soul. Without this precision opto-mechanical machine it would not be possible to make such a realistic recreation of the night sky, which is the central attraction of the Planetarium. The 154 projectors, working together, create the magic of the sun, moon, planets, 9,000 stars, and the Milky Way. What would cost in excess of $2 million today was bought in 1967 for $125,000 Cdn. However, the Zeiss projector does not work alone and is aided by more than 200 auxiliary projectors that ultimately result in the stunning effects that you see.
These projectors make it possible for you to not only see but also feel all the cosmic phenomenon that you may have only heard about – the rings of Saturn, the volcanoes of Mars, and various other sights that will leave you spellbound. These days, the Planetarium uses the latest technology in computer animation and special effects, which add a whole new dimension to your experience.
In earlier days, the shows of the Planetarium were pre-recorded and ran pretty much like a movie. However, these days, all the shows are delivered live by the astronomer who is also prepared to answer questions you may have.
It is easy to see that a lot of thought has gone into the astronomical and entertainment programs that are conducted here, and that is why the Manitoba Planetarium is a great hit with both adults and children. This is one science lesson that children will not try to wriggle out of or forget in a hurry.
190 Rupert Avenue
Phone: (204) 956-2830