Tag Archives: HR MacMillan Space Centre

Curiosity Collider Cafe event: Art. Science. Cadence in Vancouver, Canada on September 26, 2018

Curiosity Collider seems to have started the fall 2018 season with a lot of oomph. They just hosted (along with Nerd Nite Vancouver and Science Slam Canada) a science bar night on September 18, 2018 (as per my September 13, 2018 posting).

Barely a week after the bar night, there’s a Collider Cafe event on September 26, 2018 (from a September 21, 2018 announcement received via email),

When science collides with music and performance,
the beat never stops!

OUR #COLLIDERCAFE IS A SPACE FOR ARTISTS, SCIENTISTS, MAKERS, AND
ANYONE INTERESTED IN ART+SCIENCE. MEET, DISCOVER, CONNECT, CREATE. Are
you curious? Join us at “Collider Cafe: Art. Science. Cadence.” to
explore how art and science intersect in the exploration of curiosity.

When: 8:00pm on Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Doors open at 7:30pm.

Where: Café Deux Soleils 2096 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC (Google Map).

COST: $5-10 (sliding scale) cover at the door. Proceeds will be used to
cover the cost of running this event, and to fund future Curiosity
Collider events.

With speakers:

  • Devon More, Singer-songwriter & playwright: A Musician Philosophizes Science (talk + performance)
  • Kurtis Baute, YouTuber and self-proclaimed Whimsical Scientist: Science Communication needs Imagination
  • Douglas Bevans, Artist/musician and business owner: Hot Dog Water: The Musical
  • Victoria Gibson, Integrated Media Artist: Art About Science

PLUS, interact with Victoria Gibson’s multimedia installation “Share a tweet” after the event.

Follow updates on twitter via @ccollider or #ColliderCafe.

Head to the Facebook event page – let us know you are coming and share this event with others!

Looking for more Art+Science in Vancouver?
For more Vancouver art+science events, visit the Curiosity Collider events calendar.

There you have it!

Bill Nye saving science ?; a Blackout Night Sky Festival; and Eclipse: Total Alignment (science events in Vancouver Canada)

During August (2017), science in Vancouver (Canada) seems to be mostly about the night sky. The one exception is an event featuring American science communicator, Bill Nye. Here, in the order in which they occur, are the three science events mentioned in the head (scroll down to the third event [Eclipse: Total Alignment] if you are interested in Early Bird tickets, which are available until Aug. 4, 2017).

Bill Nye speaks

Billed as ‘An Evening With Bill Nye & George Stroumboulopoulos’, the event takes place at the Orpheum Theatre on Friday, August 11, 2017. Here’s more from the event page on brownpapertickets.com,

An Evening With Bill Nye & George Stroumboulopoulos
presented by Pangburn Philosophy

Friday, August 11, 2017
Doors: 7pm
Show: 8pm Sharp!

Bill Nye is one of the worlds most eminent promoters of science. He is a scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor. His mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work. Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has been doing most of his life. He will grace the stage on August 11th at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver to exchange dialogue with one of Canada’s most beloved public figures and tv personalities. George Stroumboulopoulos is a six-time Gemini Award and Canadian Screen Award winner for best host in a talk series, George Stroumboulopoulos has interviewed a who’s who of entertainment icons, world leaders and respected thinkers. George has also taken an active role in global initiatives and is a strong advocate for social issues.Special Note:

All PREMIUM ticket purchases grant you a copy of Bill Nye’s new book “Everything All at Once” plus fast-pass access to Bill’s book signing, taking place directly after the event.

All STUDENT discounted tickets are Will Call only at the Box Office, on the evening of the event. Student & Photo ID must be shown. No exceptions.

Service Charges Disclaimer
Note that all tickets are subject to an additional $3.50 for the Facility Fee and $5.00 for the Ticketing Fee.
Friday Aug 11, 2017 8:00 PM – Friday Aug 11, 2017 11:00 PM | CA$60.00 – CA$150.00

I got a message saying ‘sales are ended’, which suggests the event is sold out but organizers usually trumpet that detail right away so I don’t know. It might be an idea to try the Buy Tickets button on this page for yourself.

For anyone unfamiliar with the event organizers, Pangburn Philosophy, there’s their home page and this video,

While I’m quite interested in science and art, singly and together, the discussion about science, religion, and/or god, discussed in the video, leaves me cold. I notice the Pangburn Philosophy organization has a series of events titled ‘Science and Reason’ and all of them feature Richard Dawkins who (as I understand it) has been very involved in the debate about science/reason and religion/god. The debate gets more attention in the UK than it has here in Canada.

Getting back to Bill Nye, there was a provocative essay about Nye, his new television programme, and the debate regarding science/reason and anti-science/alternative facts (which can also touch on religion/god). From an April 25, 2017 essay (titled: Can Bill Nye – or any other science show – really save the world?) by Heather Akin, Bruce W. Hardy, Dietram A. Scheufele, and Dominique Brossard for The Conversation.com (h/t May 1, 2017 republication on salon.com; Note: Links have been removed)

Netflix’s new talk show, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” debuted the night before people around the world joined together to demonstrate and March for Science. Many have lauded the timing and relevance of the show, featuring the famous “Science Guy” as its host, because it aims to myth-bust and debunk anti-scientific claims in an alternative-fact era.

But are more facts really the kryptonite that will rein in what some suggest is a rapidly spreading “anti-science” sentiment in the U.S.?

“With the right science and good writing,” Nye hopes, “we’ll do our best to enlighten and entertain our audience. And, perhaps we’ll change the world a little.” In an ideal world, a show like this might attract a broad and diverse audience with varying levels of science interest and background. By entertaining a wide range of viewers, the thinking goes, the show could effectively dismantle enduring beliefs that are at odds with scientific evidence. Significant parts of the public still aren’t on board with the scientific consensus on climate change and the safety of vaccines and genetically modified foods, for instance.

But what deserves to be successful isn’t always what ends up winning hearts and minds in the real world. In fact, empirical data we collected suggest that the viewership of such shows – even heavily publicized and celebrity-endorsed ones – is small and made up of people who are already highly educated, knowledgeable about science and receptive to scientific evidence.

Engaging scientific programming could still be an antidote to waning public interest in science, especially where formal science education is falling short. But it is revealing that “Cosmos” – a heavily marketed, big-budget show backed by Fox Networks and “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane – did not reach the audience who need quality science information the most. “Bill Nye Saves the World” might not either. Its streaming numbers are not yet available.

Today’s fragmented and partisan media environment fosters selective exposure and motivated reasoning – that is, viewers typically tune in to programming that confirms their existing worldview. There are few opportunities or incentives for audiences to engage with scientific evidence in the media. All of this can propagate misleading claims and deter audiences from accepting the conclusions of sound science. And adoption of misinformation and alternative facts is not a partisan problem. Policy debates questioning or ignoring scientific consensus on vaccines, climate change and GMOs have cut across different political camps.

None of this is meant to downplay the huge potential of entertainment media to reach diverse audiences beyond the proverbial choir. We know from decades of research that our mental images of science and its impact on society are shaped heavily by (sometimes stereotypical) portrayals of science and scientists in shows like “The Big Bang Theory” or “Orphan Black.”

But successful scientific entertainment programming needs to accomplish two goals: First, draw in a diverse audience well beyond those already interested in science; second, present scientific issues in a way that unites audiences around shared values rather than further polarizing by presenting science in ways that seems at odds with specific political or religious worldviews.

And social science research suggests that complex information can reach audiences via the most unlikely of places, including the satirical fake news program “The Colbert Report.” In fact, a University of Pennsylvania study showed that a series of “Colbert Report” episodes about Super PACs and 501(c)(4) groups during the 2012 presidential election did a better job educating viewers than did mainstream programming in traditional news formats.

Social science can help us learn from our mistakes and better understand how to connect with hard-to-reach audiences via new formats and outlets. None of these shows by themselves will save the world. But if done right, they each might get us closer, one empirical step at a time.

I encourage you to read the essay in its entirety and, in particular, to read the comments.

The tickets for the Aug. 11, 2017 event seem a bit expensive but as they appear to be sold out, it proves I know very little about marketing science celebrities. I guess Stroumboulopoulos’ name recognition due to his CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) experience was part of the sales strategy since he doesn’t seem to have any science background. That said, good interviewers take the time to research and often unearth questions that someone with more expertise might not think to ask. I’ve been favourably impressed the few times I’ve caught one of Stroumboulopoulos’ interviews.

Blackout: Night Sky Festival

The day after Bill Nye, on Saturday, August 12, 2017, there’s a special event at the Museum of Anthropology on the University of British Columbia grounds in Vancouver. Cecilia Lu in a July 24, 2017 posting on The Daily Hive (Vancouver edition) writes up the event,

With the Perseid meteor shower returning next month, the Museum of Anthropology is putting on a unique stargazing festival for the occasion.

On Saturday, August 12 [2017], at the peak of meteor shower viewing season, Blackout: Night Sky Festival will see the MOA transform into an all-ages arts and astronomy celebration.

The museum will remain open until midnight, as stargazers enjoy the night sky amidst Indigenous storytelling, special musical performances, and lantern making.

The Museum of Anthropology’s Blackout event page provides more information,

Saturday, August 12 [2017] | 5 pm – Midnight | All-Ages + Licensed |
Adults $10 | Youth + Students Free | Tickets available at the door

Join the event on Facebook
Explore our connection to the stars during an evening of arts and astronomy.
Inspired by the global dark sky movement, Blackout brings together storytellers, musicians, artists and astronomers to share their relationships to the skies. Join us to witness the peak of the Perseid meteor shower and explore the museum until midnight during this all-ages event.
You’ll have the chance to peer into telescopes, make your own star lantern and experience an experimental art installation that reimagines the constellations. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy stargazing to a soundtrack of downtempo and ambient beats, punctuated by live music and throat singing.
Co-hosted with the UBC Astronomy Club, in association with Hfour and the Secret Lantern Society. Performers include Bronson Charles, Jerry DesVoignes, You’re Me, Andrew Kim the musical scientist and the Secret Lantern Society musicians.


Blackout Night Sky Festival Schedule

Indigenous Sky Stories | 5–6 pm
Join us in the Great Hall for celestial storytelling by Margaret Grenier and learn about what you’ll see in the skies that night from the UBC Astronomy Club.
Planets and Pulsations: The New Keplerian Revolution | 6–7 pm
Does Earth harbour the only life in the universe? Astrophysicist Don Kurtz examines how the Kepler Space Mission has revolutionized our view in an animated multimedia performance.
Late Night Gallery Viewing | 5 pm – midnight
Explore MOA all night long — including our brand new Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks.
Bar + BBQ + Music | 7 pm – midnight
Grab a bite to eat or drink from our licensed bar and enjoy the music that runs all night. Vegetarian and non-alcoholic options available.
Lantern Making Workshop | 7–9 pm
Make your own pinhole lantern inspired by constellations from around the world in this drop-in workshop hosted by the Secret Lantern Society.
Reclaiming the Night Skies | 8:30 pm – midnight
Experimental artists Hfour and the MOA’s Native Youth Program present an immersive, projected art installation that brings to life a series of new constellations, featuring soundscapes by Adham Shaikh.
Lantern Procession | 9 pm
Join the procession of freshly built lanterns and roving musicians as we make our way across the Museum Grounds and up the hill for a night of stargazing!
Stargazing + Meteor Shower | 9:30 pm – midnight
How many meteors can you find? Expand your knowledge of the night sky with the telescopes and expertise of the UBC Astronomy Club and HR MacMillan Space Centre, set to a background of live and electronic music. On view that night: Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, M13, M15, Ring Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, Dumbbell Nebula and the Perseid meteor shower.

There are two eclipses during August 2017 (Aug. 7, 2017 and Aug. 21, 2017) and I find it odd that neither are mentioned in this astronomy-focused event at the Museum of Anthropology.  The Aug. 21, 2017 astronomical event is a total eclipse of the sun.. There’s more about it on this NASA (US National Aeronautics Space Administration) eclipse website.

Curiosity Collider and the Eclipse

[downloaded from http://www.curiositycollider.org/events/]

Vancouver’s art/sci organization (they have a wordier description here). Curiosity Collider is holding an event that celebrates the upcoming eclipse. From a July 28, 2017 notice (received via email),

Join Curiosity Collider and H.R. MacMillan Centre for this one night
only event

ART & SCIENCE EXPLORE THE MOMENTARY DARKNESS
ON AUGUST 17TH [2017], FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY, CURIOSITY COLLIDER AND THE H.R.
MACMILLAN SPACE CENTRE WILL HOST ECLIPSE: TOTAL ALIGNMENT where artists
and scientists interpret the rare alignment of the sun, earth, and moon
during a total solar eclipse. The event includes a performance show in
the planetarium theatre, and interactive multi and mixed media art
installations on the main level Cosmic Courtyard. Highlights include:

* a soundtrack of the solar system created by data sonification
* a dance piece that plays with alignment, light, and shadow
* scientific narration about the of the upcoming total solar eclipse
(on August 21st) and the phases of the moon
* spectacular custom planetarium dome visuals
* meeting the artists and scientists behind one-of-a-kind interactive
and multimedia art projects

This event is 19+ only. Beer and wine available for purchase, light
snacks included.

WHEN: 6:30pm on Thursday, August 17th 2017.
WHERE: H. R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC

COST: $25-30. Each ticket includes entrance to the Space Centre and one
planetarium show (7:30pm or 9pm). LIMITED EARLY BIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE
BEFORE AUGUST 4 [2017].

Interested in observing the partial solar eclipse in Vancouver on
Monday, August 21st [2017]? Check out the two observation events hosted by H.R.
MacMillan Space Centre [5] and UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy
[6].

You can find information about the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre’s eclipse viewing event here and the UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy’s eclipse viewing event here. Both event will have eclipse viewers for safety purposes. For instructions on how to view an eclipse safely, there’s NASA.

Curiosity Collider’s event page (it’s a scrolling page so there are other events there as well) provides details about participants,

This show is curated by Curiosity Collider’s Creative Director Char Hoyt, and developed in collaboration with the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. Participating artists and scientists:

I have not tried all of the links but at least one (Maren Lisac’s) is for a Twitter feed and it’s not particularly informative.

You can find the Eclipse event’s Facebook page here and information about tickets here.

Harold, thanks for the memories—Vancouver’s (Canada) HR MacMillan Space Centre enters a new era as of Aug. 2, 2013

Generations of Vancouverites have enjoyed planetary light shows at the HR MacMillan Space Centre (still popularly known as the planetarium) powered by Harold, a Zeiss Universal Mark III planetarium.  Over 40 years old, the two-ton projector with very precise optics is a kind of mechanical computer which can show the positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars in a virtual sky so realistic, it rivaled, for many years, those produced by the latest generation of planetarium projectors.

Tonight (Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm), the Space Centre will be unveiling its new full-dome digital projection system (which cost $500,000) to the general public. From the July 29, 2013 HR MacMillan Space Centre media release,

The digital upgrade heralds [pun intended?] an exciting new era for the beloved Vancouver space institution and the expectation that this new state of the art system will astronomically increase its appeal as a BC entertainment destination. On par with digital systems already adopted by other planetariums across Canada, the Space Centre is debuting a Colorspace system with six video projectors to create a 4K image, replacing the 35mm slide-based full-dome system that’s been in use for decades.
“This new system is a quantum leap forward in technology. The old technology was based on racks of slide projectors, home-made special effects projectors working with the Zeiss star projector to create a show. Now we can do the entire show with the new digital projection system. It will be visually stunning with full-dome video motion whose quality will be many times greater than our current system and available nowhere else in BC,” said Rob Appleton, Space Centre executive director.
The Space Centre is also introducing two brand new programs with the digital system launch: The Searcher and IBEX: The Search of the Edge of the Solar System. A third program, an immersive music show with an autumn 2013 ETA [estimated time of arrival], is currently being designed by students from the Centre for Digital Media. A fourth and fifth show will be released in autumn 2013 and spring 2014 respectively.
“In addition and more importantly, the new digital system allows us to present live shows on astronomy that will blow people’s socks off. These shows will be guided by an interpreter but will also have the ability to be audience-driven – literally – with the use of an iPad,” added Appleton

Harold, the mechanical star projector, is not being rolled into oblivion yet. Starting Nov. 2013, Harold will return from vacation to work on a part-time basis.

To honour this extraordinary device for which so many Vancouverites feel great affection, the Space Centre is running a contest (from the news release),

The first digital shows premiere Friday, Aug. 2 at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Visitors who attend the new digital Space Centre shows from Aug. 2 to 16 will be entered in a draw to win one of 50 Harold
“Thanks for the memories” t-shirts. Visit www.spacecentre.ca for more information about the draw and show times.

Here’s the t-shirt design shown on the Space Centre website,

Enter to win 1 of 50 limited edition “Thanks for the memories” Harold t-shirts!  [downloaded from http://www.spacecentre.ca/]

Enter to win 1 of 50 limited edition “Thanks for the memories” Harold t-shirts! [downloaded from http://www.spacecentre.ca/]

Good luck on winning the “Harold’ t-shirt and I wish all the best for the Space Centre’s latest changes.

You are very star—an immersive transmedia experience in Vancouver (Canada)

Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre is launching a new show next week with previews June 12 – 14 and and an opening night on June 15, 2013. Here’s a trailer for this transmedia theatre event,

The trailer intrigues me as does this description of You Are Very Star, from the event page,

YOU ARE VERY STAR is an immersive, transmedia experience from Vancouver’s legendary ELECTRIC COMPANY THEATRE that will transport you back to 1968 and ahead to 2048, from the height of the Space Race to the dawn of a new augmented humanity, as characters in each story look forward or back to 2013 as a mysterious time of wonder.

Pushing at the boundaries of where theatre exists, You Are Very Star is encountered on-line, through social media, as a site-specific treasure hunt and as live theatre inside Vancouver’s beloved planetarium.

Perched like a spaceship in Vanier Park, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is, for a limited time, a portal to the most important moment in history: right now. Your presence will change the world.

As for the location (also noted in my Science events in Vancouver (Canada) for June 7 and June 13, 2013 posting), you really need to check out the map and the directions. The HR MacMillan Space Centre is one of two tenants (the other is the Museum of Vancouver) in a facility located in a park near Kitsilano beach. The Bard on the Beach Shakespeare festival which takes place beside the facility starts June 12, 2013 and this is a very popular festival. Taking the bus means a 10 -15 minute hike, as well as, the festival hubbub and parking in that area is likely to be at a premium.

Despite any extra effort involved, I strongly suggest checking out You Are Very Star not just because the trailer is intriguing and mysterious. The Electric Company Theatre has a long history of innovative theatre integrated with feats of technical magic and is well known for this locally and nationally. The production I’m most familiar with is Studies in Motion: The Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge. The production premiered in 2006 and featured the most breathtaking lighting design I’ve seen yet.  The show is mentioned in the Wikipedia essay on Eadweard Muybridge (for anyone unfamiliar with Muybridge, he was a photographer whose most outstanding contribution was a still series of studies on motion; he also pioneered motion-picture projection),

The play Studies in Motion: The Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge (2006) was a co-production between Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre and the University of British Columbia Theatre. While blending fiction with fact, it conveys Muybridge’s obsession with cataloguing animal motion. The production started touring in 2010.

While it’s not possible to review a show before you’ve seen it, one can be inspired not just by descriptions of past productions but also with the company’s description of its artistic impulses,  Mission and Vision page,

We aim to defy audience expectations, and our love of theatrical spectacle drives us to work in expansive spaces – creating productions that go beyond the confines of the traditional stage to fully inhabit the venue and the audience. As with projects like No Exit and Tear the Curtain, the theatre itself is given a metaphoric presence and the role of the audience (the act of watching) becomes thematic content.

We have devised several plays where narrative is drawn directly from the venue; over the years our performances have inhabited a harbour, a swimming pool and a heavy equipment factory. This site-specific approach to storytelling extends to our work in traditional venues as well: our commissioned piece for the Arts Club Stanley Theatre is a film/theatre hybrid inspired by the Stanley’s dual identity as playhouse and historic cinema.

Frequently, our work looks to the past to define or uncover the present. These plays investigate the forces and historical figures that shape our perception of the modern world. We are fascinated by the role of technology in our lives, especially how it extends or replaces our physical senses. Invention, the obsession to change the world, the impulse to create, the spirit of the pioneer and the danger and promise of the frontier have been recurring themes in much of our work.

The tension between immediate and mediated remains a constant source of inspiration for a body of work that blends the boundary between stage and screen. The captivating, seductive allure of the ideal cinematic reproduction is in counterpoint with live presence, an athletic attempt at precision and the threat of the accidental. And while we are innovators in multimedia performance, we remain firm believers in the importance of live theatre to promote community interaction in the age of youtube.

As theatre-makers we continue to strive for a theatrical polyphony where narrative, choreography and design are developed in tandem, coexisting on stage without one element being subservient to the other. This continues to be a stimulating challenge within the expectation for popular theatre to be a purely narrative-driven art form.

Of course, this list is always in process. With each project we strive to build from what we know and to abandon it, jumping into territory we’ve never visited.

Getting back to this new show, the Electric Company Theatre’s May 15, 2013 news release provides some details about You Are Very Star,

The Electric Company, known for their innovative, spectacle-infused and thought-provoking work, is pleased to present You Are Very Star, an immersive, transmedia event. Part live theatre, part site-speciifc, interactive experience, You Are Very Star will take place at the H.R.
MacMillan Space Centre, Vancouver’s beloved Planetarium, June 12-29, 2013.

Part One: Orbiting the Cusp of Greatness (written by Craig Erickson with story development with Kevin Kerr), takes place in 1968, and will be experienced in the auditorium of the basement of the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. The Interlude (by Georgina Beaty, Kevin Kerr, Naomi Sider and Veronique West), takes place in the Cosmic Courtyard and Lobby.  Part Two: Transcendence (written by Kevin Kerr; story development with Sarah Sharkey), takes place in the Star Theatre in 2048, a world where we live inside technology, and are able to create conscious copies of ourselves. You Are Very Star struggles with centuries-old questions as large as the universe: Why are we here? What is our purpose? And can we transcend this earth—physically or mentally?

“The journey of the piece is an exploration of our relationship to dream and memory and how we negotiate the world we inhabit in relation to our expectations of the future and our memories of the past,” says writer Kevin Kerr. “Some believe that accelerating advancements in technology are destined to bring about an ultimate transformation of human consciousness and the birth of a new species that can design its future evolution. It sounds crazy, and it probably is, but there’s something in us that believes we can “beat the system”, to cheat death, to ultmately solve the riddle, why are we here? I love that we quest for that answer, but I wonder about the costs incurred as we do.”

There are a couple of pictures from the production. Here’s one from a rehearsal,

Rehearsal in progress for Electric Company’s You Are Very Star. 2013, photo by Tim Matheson. Courtesy of Electric Company Theatre

Rehearsal in progress for Electric Company’s You Are Very Star. 2013, photo by Tim Matheson. Courtesy of Electric Company Theatre

This too is a rehearsal shot,

Chirag Naik, Marsha Regis, and Dalal Badr in rehearsal for Electric Company’s You Are Very Star. 2013, photo by Tim Matheson. Courtesy of Electric Company Theatre

Chirag Naik, Marsha Regis, and Dalal Badr in rehearsal for Electric Company’s You Are Very Star. 2013, photo by Tim Matheson. Courtesy of Electric Company Theatre

If you’re ready for an adventure, here are details about show times and ticket prices,

June 12 – 29, 2013

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
1100 Chestnut Street, in Vanier Park
8:00pm Tues – Sun
2:00pm Sun
12:00pm Thurs June 20

TICKET PRICES

Preview (June 12-14) $15
Regular $30
Weekday Matinee (June 20) $20

You can purchase your tickets here or call 1-800-838-3006.

Science events in Vancouver (Canada) for June 7 and June 13, 2013

There’s a University of British Columbia CIHR (Canadian Institutes for Health Research) Café Scientifique event taking place tonight, June 7, 2013, from the event webpage,

June 7, 2013

Blusson Spinal Cord Centre [this is one of the buildings that form the Vancouver General Hospital complex]
7:00 pm

Map & Directions

Join ICORD engineer Dr. Peter Cripton and physician Dr. Peter Wing for refreshments and informal discussion about strategies and devices to prevent spinal cord injuries.
Moderated by Dr. Chris McBride, Executive Director, SCI-BC

No charge • Everyone welcome • Registration required.

You can register here but there is currently a waitlist. I think the reason for event’s popularity can be intuited by reading this event description,

Join ICORD engineer and UBC mechanical engineering prof. Peter Cripton and spine surgeon Dr. Peter Wing at the next Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Café Scientifique for an informal discussion about strategies and devices to prevent spinal cord injuries.

The Café provides a forum for health researches to connect directly with the public and broad local research communities in an informal setting. Cripton and Wing will be joined by film and animation producer and injury prevention speaker Kirsten Sharp. [emphasis mine]

The words film and animation attracted my attention and I’m assuming the same would be true of others who might not usually attend a talk about spinal cord injuries.

For those who require a little more notice, there’s a Thursday, June 13, 2013 Women in Science event at the HR MacMillan Space Centre, from the event page,

Thursday, June 13, 7:00 pm
Transforming Human-Robot Interaction – Dr. Elizabeth Croft
Depictions of robots vary from the helpful humanoid to destructive, evil entities. In reality, most robots are used in lab or industrial settings.  These robots are fast, strong and accurate, but not ideal co-workers. They don’t communicate well with humans, and are not always designed for safety when in close proximity to people.  Dr. Croft is finding ways to help humans and robots to work together.
Dr. Elizabeth Croft, B.A.Sc. (88, Mech, UBC), M.A.Sc (92, Mech, Waterloo), Ph.D. (95, Mech, Toronto), PEng, FEC, FASME
Dr. Croft is a professor at UBC; NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, BC-Yukon at UBC; and leader of the WWEST program for women in engineering, science and technology.  The focus of this initiative is to promote science and engineering as a career choice for women and other under-represented groups, and to identify and eliminate barriers that result in attrition from these career paths. She is the founding faculty advisor for the UBC Engineering Tri-Mentoring Program, and is director of the Collaborative Advanced Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory at UBC.

I found some additional information on the event page (at the bottom),

7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Admission by donation

As for the location, you really need to check out the map and the directions. The HR MacMillan Space Centre is one of two tenants (the other is the Museum of Vancouver) in a facility located in a park near Kitsilano beach. The Bard on the Beach Shakespeare festival which takes place beside the facility starts June 12, 2013. This is a very popular festival and June 13, 2013 is the festival’s opening night for its production of Hamlet. Taking the bus means a 10 -15 minute hike, as well as, the festival hubbub and parking in that area is likely to be at a premium.