It’s been a year since The Exploration Place reopened after some major renovations took place and organizers are taking the time to celebrate the new strategic plan, which has increased visitor numbers to the centre.
The renovations include the new Gaia Hall, Link Gallery, Mosaic Gallery and Origins Kitchen, a new-look Elements retail and expanded George Phillips Exhibit Gallery and Ted Williams History Centre.
The centre is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of Tracy Calogheros, chief executive officer, in her leadership role with the museum and science centre.
“Tracy’s leadership has been instrumental to The Exploration Place’s success for the past 20 years, and her vision helped make the recent Living Evolution renovation project a reality,” Helena Turdel, The Exploration Place board of trustees chair, said. “On behalf of the board of trustees past and present, it is my honour to recognize Tracy’s three decades of service to The Exploration Place, including 20 years as CEO.”
Calogheros began working at The Exploration Place in graphic design and marketing in 1994 and took on progressively increasing leadership roles until she was named CEO in 2003. Under her leadership, the centre has flourished by continuing to adapt its focus and programming to meet the needs of the community.
In addition to leading the organization through the Living Evolutions Project, Calogheros has also been a catalyst for the organization's work on Truth and Reconciliation, including the opening of the Hodul'eh-a: A Place of Learning exhibit in 2017. A supporter of science literacy, Calogheros has worked tirelessly with provincial, regional and national organizations to advocate for the role of museums and science centres in the national discourse.
With the new space up and running, the board of trustees and management team developed a new plan to guide decision making at the centre.
“In an ever-changing world, museums and science centres are a central pillar of civil society,” Calogheros said. “The plan laid out in Convergence reflects The Exploration Place’s ability to adapt to societal shifts.”
Titled Convergence, the new strategic plan will help guide The Exploration Place for the next five years. The plan is centered around the organization’s new mission: to provide a local lens on our evolving world by fostering discovery and engagement. It also includes a new vision statement: to strive to be a vibrant and trusted centre where diverse perspectives and traditions are celebrated. The Convergence plan leads The Exploration Place to its 60th anniversary in 2028.