Minister Greg Rickford Opens Northern Nature Experience in Kenora

Minister Greg Rickford at Northern Trading Experience Event in Kenora
Minister Greg Rickford at Northern Trading Experience Event in Kenora

Minister Greg Rickford at Northern Trading Experience Event in Kenora
Minister Greg Rickford at Northern Trading Experience Event in Kenora

KENORA, ON –“Our Government is proud to have invested in this new visitor experience to enhance tourism and educational activities in Kenora and across the region,” said Minister Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor). “We’re pleased to support the efforts of tourism operators working together to further position Northern Ontario as a destination of choice for travellers.”

The Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre and Science North are collaborating to bring a new visitor experience to Kenora. As a major tourist attraction and tourism driver for the North, Science North is interested in expanding its reach in Northern Ontario. Thanks to an investment by Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor), Northern Nature Trading experiences will be installed in six Northern Ontario attractions. Minister Rickford was on hand, to officially open the most recent one, located at the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre.

Mayor of Kenora, David Canfield stated, “I am pleased to see two Northern Ontario tourist attractions working together to create a interactive visitor and informal learning exhibit that meets the needs of both the tourist and local audience. On the behalf of the City of Kenora I’d like to thank the federal government for their support of this initiative.”

“The Northern Nature Trading experience is based on a model that currently exists at Dynamic Earth through the Rockhound Lab and at Science North through the Nature Exchange,” said Guy Labine, Science North CEO. “I would like to thank the federal government for their investment in this exciting initiative. This project allows our science centre to strengthen existing relationships, and build new ones, with important partner attractions across the North. Our end goal is to create a new visitor experience at these attractions that encourages first-time and repeat visitation to each attraction.”

Visitors to the Northern Nature Trading experience in Kenora are encouraged to bring in their own items from nature and trade for other natural items that can be found in the constantly changing collection at the centre, which may feature items such as:

  • shells – augers, cowry, olive, periwinkle
  • rocks and polished stones – agate, amethyst, garnet, jasper, sodalite, tiger eye
  • plant parts – cones, acorns, driftwood, twigs, pressed leaves and flower petals
  • fossils – amber, ammonite, nautiloids, shark teeth

The goal of each Northern Nature Trading experience is to motivate people of all ages to be inspired with the science in the world around them. Learning as much information as they can about a particular item, and sharing that information with the staff will give visitors the opportunity to rack up points.  The points can then be used to add new items to their own collection, or banked for use at a later date.

“We are excited to collaborate with Science North to bring a new, permanent installation and visitor attraction to the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre.   We expect that the Northern Nature Trading experience will attract current and new audiences to our facility,” said Heather Gropp, Tourism Development Officer, City of Kenora. “We applaud Minister Rickford’s support for this partnership and thank FedNor for their generosity.

Science North currently has more than 50,000 registered Traders. Northern Nature Trading is now available in Kenora and Red Lake. Future locations of additional Northern Nature Trading experiences will be announced at a later date.