Glowing flowers outside the Ontario Science Centre

NMS Bringing Cosmonautics and Booty Shaking to Science Centre

Russians know it as Cosmonautics Day, the official celebration of the first manned space flight in April of 1961 by Yuri Gagarin.

While the original Soviet success no doubt impressed the globe it was also something to be hated, feared and rejected by people on this side of the ocean (Pacific, or Atlantic, or Arctic).

The cold war space race days have moved into history (for now), but even still it might not quite be Dubya's favourite holiday.

Regardless, Yuri's Night is now an international celebration not only of Commie Cosmonautics, but of the first HUmanned space flight and what it meant for the whole human race.

I may have been missing out, but the only Yuri's Night event I can recall in Toronto in previous years was extremely small and low-key.

This year, however, Newmindspace has managed to get the Ontario Science Centre on board as host of the celebration, which will be happening April 5th.

Toronto's Yuri's Night will be a week earlier than the 12th based on the OSC's availability, but getting a jump-start on the competition is what the Soviet space program was all about, now wasn't it?

The celebration will begin at 8 p.m. and run into the early hours of the morning. In addition to the Science Centre's regular complex of exhibits being open, space-themed exhibits and art installations are being showcased.

Dr. Robert Richards, space-laser expert from Optech and now also head of private lunar landing hopefuls Odyssey Moon, will be delivering a keynote speech.

And last but certainly not least, the event will feature the space-age musical stylings of San Francisco's Billy Cassaza and Toronto's Jelo, OS/2, The Phat Conductor, and Vaneska with Guy Michael's professionally loud mouth hosting the ceremonies.

The DJ lineup is pretty sweet, but thankfully NMS has decided to push this as a progressive, educational and family-suitable event, undermining the overexcited whoops of some who are still unable to associate the Science Centre with anything but certain early '90s electronic music all-nighters.

Tickets are $20 in advance (online or at Numb and Shanti Baba on Queen or Play De Record on Yonge) and will be more at the door if available, with partial proceeds going to the World Wildlife Fund.

Photo: Ontario Science Centre 2 by blogTO Flickr pool contributor fermata.daily.

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