Travel Alberta

Canadian Association of Science Centres Names George Jacob Outstanding Project Leader for 2016

The Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC) named George Jacob, President & CEO of the newly opened Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, as the Outstanding Project Leader for the year at the Annual Gala held on May 6 at Telus Science World in Vancouver BC. Mr. Jacob received the award at a ceremony attended by hundreds of science museum professionals from across Canada.

Most recently, in September 2015, as its founding President & CEO, he delivered a stunning exhibit experience at the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. He completed interpretive content-design-build-install phases on budget in less than 8 months, making it the fastest project implementation in Canadian history. This includes one of the most powerful museum in-house branding exercises, web-presence, 3D printing studio and some of the most interesting custom-designed museum merchandise. The museum witnessed over 88,000 attendees in the first 8 months of operation, winning 8 awards – including the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Canadian Museums Association. It is the first and only museum in Canada to offer educational helicopter rides, with views over the world’s densest dinosaur bone-bed sites.

Mr. Jacob has an extensive portfolio of museum assignments in 11 countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan ROC, France, United Kingdom, United States, Egypt, UAE and Canada. In addition, he is also the author of numerous books on the future of museum design, exhibit design and cultural leadership, and has taught Canada’s first Master’s level studio in Museum Design at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba. Mr. Jacob trained as an intern at the Smithsonian, educated at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science (formerly under the MIT-Ford Foundation collaboration), University of Toronto and Yale School of Management on full scholarships.

A Canadian Commonwealth Scholar, he is the founding Director/President of 4 stellar institutions in his career and the only museum professional to publish 100 newspaper columns in one year. He has served on various professional boards, and has been an adjunct faculty for Museum Studies and Business Administration at various universities. With a successful track record of $480 million in over 100 museum assignments, he was honored to be the Project Director for production of the 1812 Star Spangled Banner permanent exhibit- Smithsonian’s most treasured national icon inaugurated by President George W. Bush in 2008. He was named the 50 most influential persons by Alberta Venture and inducted to the Royal College of Fellows, Canadian Geographic Society. He also serves on the Board of Directors of ICOM Canada (International Council of Museums).

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is an international institute for experiential learning dedicated to Alberta’s palaeontological heritage, through research, collection, preservation, exhibition, public programming, publications and innovative outreach.

About the Museum

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is Canada’s newest world-class facility, located in Alberta’s Peace Country on a 10-acre complex. The LEED Gold museum features extensive gallery spaces angled onto a unique set of nodal trusses, two classrooms, National Geographic partnered Aykroyd Family Theatre, research lab, Dine-O-Saur Restaurant, Kaleidosaur Gift Shop, an outdoor discovery fossil walk and large outdoor playground.

The permanent exhibit galleries of the museum engage the visitor in 360 million year time-travel through paleo fauna and flora discoveries from Pipestone Creek – the densest dinosaur bone-bed in the world. The exhibits use both conventional display methods and modern technology, transporting the visitor to the Pipestone Creek bone-bed and devastation of the flood plain, through the Cretaceous and Devonian periods to today’s oil exploration in Alberta.

The award-winning design draws on an abstraction of the palaeontological excavation experience, with two massive retaining walls of poured concrete and gabions pushing back the earth to reveal the main gallery wall, akin to a fossil dig. A triple-glazed zinc roof creates an exceptionally energy-efficient and sustainable building envelope to handle the temperature extremes in the Grande Prairie area, allowing the entire building to be heated and cooled by a displacement ventilation system located under the concrete floor of the museum.

The museum is named after Canada’s leading palaeontologist and the founder of the Royal Tyrell Museum, Dr. Philip Currie. Dr. Currie is Canada Research Chair, Palaeobiology, University of Alberta, and one of the foremost professional voices around the globe. The new museum honours his lifelong commitment to the discovery and study of our palaeo heritage.

Facility: $34 million

Exhibit Project Budget: $6 million

Exhibit Area: 12,000 Sq. ft.

Timeline: 13 months construction + 8 months exhibit Design-Build-Install

Opened: September 3, 2015

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum