In 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to visit space in his ship Vostok 1. Flying high above our blue planet, he remarked, “Circling the earth in my orbital spaceship I marvelled at its beauty. People of the world, let us safeguard and enhance this beauty, not destroy it!”
Forty years later, two space enthusiasts from California, Loretta Hidalgo and George Whitesides, realized that this occasion was not being fully celebrated by the citizens of our planet, Spaceship Earth. Indeed, when humans begin to live in space, on other planets and their satellites, the anniversary of Yuri’s maiden voyage may be the most important and widely-celebrated date in human culture.
This year, over 100 Yuri’s Night events are planned all over the world, on all seven continents and at the International Space Station. Toronto’s will be hosted by Newmindspace and will take place on April 5th at the Ontario Science Centre.
Yuri’s Night Toronto will feature a keynote speech by Dr. Robert Richards, founder of the Google Lunar X PRIZE team Odyssey Moon, art installations, information booths from groups like the Canadian Space Society, DreamSpace and The da Vinci Project, and musical performances by some of the finest DJs from Toronto and beyond, like JELO, The Phat Conductor, Billy Casazza, Vaneska, and OS/2.
Not a rave, not a convention, but a unique celebration of space exploration and the potential it holds for our species.
Partial proceeds will be donated to WWF-Canada to help them in their ongoing quest to save Earth from global warming.
Find out more information and ticket info on the official Yuri’s Night Toronto website.
Kevin Bracken is the co-founder of Newmindspace.
Photo of Yuri’s Night Bay Area 2007 by Scott Beale of Laughing Squid