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Visitors Centre and Facility

Our 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art off-grid Visitors Centre.

Documents that will help you explore the project:
Two page brochure (6.8 MB pdf)
Detailed description of the offering (4 MB pdf)

The Visitors Centre

Digital Planetarium
At the core of the Visitors Centre is a one-hundred and sixty-nine seat, state-of-the-art, 12K digital planetarium, in fact the highest resolution planetarium in the world, with some 100 million pixels or 12 billion pixels per second projected on the hemispheric dome. Featuring a seventeen metre dome, sixteen 4K laser phosphor digital projectors, and a multi–kilowatt 7.1 digital sound system. There are several hundred shows currently available for display.

High Definition Theatre

A traditional theatre is also available, with a seating capacity of one-hundred and seventy people. It will be equipped with a 4K projector and seven-point-one digital sound system. This theatre will be used in conjunction with many of the educational and visitor activities. The theatre also features a stage and preparation area.

Boutique and Restaurant
The facility will have a nicely appointed restaurant with a seating capacity for up to one-hundred and sixty and an outdoor patio. The boutique will feature theme material and specialty items from around the world and clothing items with our company logo.

Board Rooms
Several rooms capable of seating forty individuals, will be available for a variety of functions, the rooms will be fully equipped with high end projectors, sound systems, video recording and streaming, and offer high speed Internet. Rooms may be joined for larger audiences and may be used has a conference room, board room, teaching class rooms and other functions.

Display and Exhibit Halls
Will cover a broad range of subjects and be regularly updated with fresh displays. Topics covered will include: astronomy, cosmology, history of astronomy, cultural influences and current research, photography, astronomically influenced art, space and space travel, Canadian achievements, and exhibits on the technology of our professional telescopes. There will be a dedicated display exploring the deep cultural meaning that our aboriginal peoples have with the stars. Guided tours will be available and guests may rent a range activated audio device which will vocalize the text associated with the displays and exhibits. A special display/exhibit space will be available including a atrium.

Features include a ticket counter, where heated winter clothing can be rented, the control room for the professional observatories will also be located here, a glass wall will permit visitors to witness the operation of the most powerful telescope in Canada. The front lobby will feature exhibits and displays including large 10K x 10K video walls. The entire facility is fully wheel chair accessible, including the public observatories. There is a south facing covered terrace.

Guided Tours
Tours of the display and exhibit hall, the professional and public telescopes, the off-grid building features and systems, as well as nature walks on the Planetary trail will be offered. All tours will be preceded by a multimedia presentation in the High-Definition lecture theatre, featuring 3D animations, a slide show, and a question and answer session. Our knowledgeable and experienced interpreters will be able to answer all questions related to the facility, its equipment and buildings, the night sky and astronomy in general.

Off-Grid and LEED Platinum Certified Building
The Visitors Centre will be the largest off-grid commercial building in North America, possibly the world, and will utilize LEED Platinum Certified construction and meet the Living Building standard, the highest construction standard in the world.

On Site Astronomer
We will have full time, on-site astronomers in charge of the professional observatories and scientific equipment. The facility will expose its discoveries and astronomical observations in the display and exhibit hall and on the 10K x 10K videos walls.

The Visitors Centre can be booked for special events and activities including business meetings, seminars, AGM’s, family reunions, anytime a very special destination is needed.

Group Visits
The facility staff will be well equipped to handle larger groups from educational, conferences, AGM’s, to corporate team building events etc. for either daytime or evening visits.

The Facility

Public Telescopes
The facility will be equipped with the most powerful publicly accessible telescopes in the world, featuring thirty inch and forty inch mirrors. The public telescopes are specially designed to be used without ladders for maximum safety, comfort and efficiency. The public telescopes will be housed in specially designed buildings adjacent to the Visitors Centre, and feature a roll-off roof permitting an unobstructed view if the night sky.

Wide-Field-Telescope Professional Observatory
The Wide-Field-Telescope (WFT) will be the most powerful telescope in Canada and one of the most powerful in the world. The WFT is dedicated to night sky photography and has a field-of-view twenty-six times that of the full moon. Being fully autonomous, it will be utilized by astronomers from all over the world.

Amphitheatre and Plaza
Guests to the Observatory will approach the Visitors Centre via the plaza, which, will be located directly next to, and surround, the Visitors Centre. The amphitheatre and several theme inspired architectural elements will be located adjacent to the Visitors Centre. The entrance pavement will feature the northern constellations.


©2017 The Madawaska Highlands Observatory, Canada.