Interesting insects

Staff members from Entomica, a live insectarium located in Sault Ste Marie, will be on hand at the roadshow event in Thunder Bay with an assortment of live insects to view and touch.

The Great Northern Ontario Roadshow was launched by Science North in Fort Frances a year ago and is making its way to Thunder Bay’s Marina Park this month.

Emily Kerton, the project lead with Science North’s Northwest Expansion Project says the creation of the roadshow project began in the early days of the pandemic and has slowly been rolled out. Funded by Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), the purpose of the roadshow project is to serve as an economic stimulus for communities recovering from the pandemic.

“Our hope was to bring this expo to communities all across Northern Ontario, said Kerton. “It’s visiting more than 40 communities over this year and in each of those communities, there’s an opportunity for businesses and other organizations to really showcase what’s going on within their own community and the region. The excitement behind it is showing people what is happening in your own backyard. What are some staycation opportunities that you can discover here in Thunder Bay? The hope is to bring thousands of people together to get excited about their own community.”

The roadshow’s success hinges on the partnerships developed with community partners such as the civic, chambers of commerce or economic development organizations in each community. The city of Thunder Bay and the Community Economic Development Commission (CDEC) have both partnered with Science North to bring the roadshow to Thunder Bay.

Arriving on tour from Timmins, the expo will be in Thunder Bay Aug. 20-21 before it moves on to be in Kenora Aug. 27-28. The schedule encompasses 35 smaller and 10 larger communities across the north, says Kerton.

“We’re doing multi-day events where it’s a bigger festival-like feeling with Science North bringing a huge science set up — kind of like a mini science centre experience,” she said, adding the roadshow operates on a smaller scale in the smaller communities.

In Thunder Bay, the event will take place in Marina Park in the band space where there will be a festival and events area in the big field and a stage setup where there’ll be music and videos and live entertainment happening all day. Vendors, businesses and Science North will be set up in the field from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days.

More than 20 vendors, which include Rock It Chocolate, K Kreations, the Thunder Bay Museum, children’s book author Maya Sagar and Entomica-which will have live insects, have registered to participate in the event.

The Great Northern Ontario Roadshow provides a great opportunity for small businesses and vendors to network with each other while showcasing their products and services in a safe and free-of-charge space.

Visit their website at for more information or a registration package to arrange your venue at the roadshow.