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Science North honours Risto Laamanen

A memorial fund in honour of Science North’s longest-serving Board Chair, Risto Laamanen, has been established to benefit disadvantaged children across Northern Ontario.


Laamanen, who passed away suddenly July 7th, 2009, was president of Laamanen Construction, as well as the founder, chair and CEO of Wallbridge Mining Company Ltd., a junior miner with properties in the Sudbury Basin.

“The Gold Room at Science North has been renamed the Laamanen Room,” said Jim Marchbank, Science North CEO.  ”It is a lasting tribute to Risto Laamanen, who joined Science North’s Board of Trustees in 1992 and served as Chair from 1996 to 2009.  His leadership and encouragement of the many projects that have transformed Science North over the last decade and a half will be a living testament to his enormous contribution to our science centre and community.”

The Risto Laamanen Fund has been established to pay registration fees for disadvantaged children entering Science North camps and workshops, a part of the

Science North experience actively supported by Laamanen and his family.

The $27,000 fund was established as a result of donations received from Science North and from individuals when Laamanen passed away. The fund will ensure that hundreds of disadvantaged children will participate in the centre’s camps and workshops over the next two decades.

Under Laamanen’s leadership, Science North grew to become Canada’s second largest science centre adding the F. Jean MacLeod Butterfly Gallery, a special exhibits hall, IMAX® theatre, four large format films, an external sales business and a Planetarium. He was also a driving force for Dynamic Earth, a geoscience centre opened in phases in 2003, 2007 and 2008.

“Laamanen will be remembered for his vision, humility, generosity and his quiet determination. He was a true inspiration,” said Marchbank.

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