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Media 2018

December 14, 2018

A Fresh Crèche

Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

A winged, interfaith figure welcomes viewers to consider marginalized youth, immigrants, refugees, and invite onlookers to consider issues of Inclusivity, Homelessness and, moving forward, Hope. This is Red Deer Lake United Church’s Nativity Scene as envisioned by artist Larry Stilwell for Rev Nick Coates’ challenge – make it ethnically appropriate and suggest how the scene might look today, in 2018.

Image of a nativity outside

Of his installation, visual artist Larry Stilwell says the life size characters look viewers “square in the eye”.

In its online statement, the church says that “by contemporizing some of the traditional imagery and by decolonizing some of the characters, the hope is to create a scene that sparks curiosity, engagement, and wonder, and causes people to hear that invitation and enter into this story in a new way.”

What caught our eye is Stilwell’s set of the modern international magi representing love and hope in a gift of music, healing and space exploration in a gift of knowledge, and warmth and teaching in a gift of blanket. The Three are the recognizable figures of singer-songwriter Michael Franti, scientist-neurologist Dr. Roberta Bondar, and AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

Check it out! Let Stilwell’s installation engage your imagination, too. Chacun à sa crèche!


December 14 2018
CalgaryHerald .com
Local church provides fresh and relevant take on the nativity scene

December 18 2018
Carolyn Kury de Castillo, GlobalNews .ca
Calgary nativity scene with new faces in manger meant to spark discussion

December 19 2018
Canadian Press via CBC .ca
Calgary church’s inclusive, cross-cultural nativity scene turns heads

December 19 2018
Brad MacLeod, CTVNews(Calgary) .ca
New Nativity

November 14-29, 2018

Bondar exhibition in Egypt

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Showcased during the UN Biodiversity Conference are some of Dr Roberta Bondar’s photographic images featuring wide-ranging bio-diverse portraits of both North American and African species from varied ecosystems. The Roberta Bondar Foundation presents this Travelling Exhibition and Learning Experience to support Dr. Bondar’s global efforts to raise awareness of species at risk and to include a glimpse of The Foundation’s newest research & education project, Avian Migration Aerial Surface Space [AMASS].

Image of photos in a gallery

As Sharm El Sheikh hosts the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties [COP14] to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, attendees aim to accelerate transformations needed to achieve the three objectives of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity: conservation; sustainable use; and equitable sharing of the benefits resulting from the utilization of genetic resources.

More information and photos!

October 15, 2018

Roberta Bondar donates landscape images to RVH collection

Barrie, Ontario
OrilliaMatters .com, Raymond Bowe

Image of people looking at an image in a gallery

‘I’ve always been able to bring technology to aid me with what I want to do in both art and science,’ says Bondar

Dr. Bondar donated eight of her landscape photographs to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre [RVH] through The Roberta Bondar Foundation. After several months display in Barrie hospital’s David McCullough Hearts and Minds Gallery, these images will form part of the RVH permanent collection.

Following the installation of these photographic images, Dr. Bondar addressed ethical leadership in her presentation “Leading Through Time and Space” to attendees of the RVH Leadership Program.

Pieces of the RVH collection display throughout the hospital.


October 16 2018
Craig Momney, Barrie CTV News
Astronaut Donates Art

October 15 2018
Jon Meyer, Barrie360 .com
Canadian Astronaut Donates Eight Photographs to RVH

August 25, 2018

Fort Smith observatory named for Canada’s first female astronaut

On Friday night, Dr. Roberta Bondar – Canada’s first female astronaut – was shocked when the Thebacha and Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society [TAWBAS] renamed its observatory after her!

Image of Roberta Bondar in front of poster

The observatory, located in the Fort Smith Star Park, will now officially be called the Dr Roberta Bondar Northern Observatory.

“It’s really nice to be alive [for the renaming],” she said. “It’s a huge honour.”

Mike Couvrette, TAWBAS Chair, says the society chose to honour Bondar because of the important role she has played in the growth of the society.

The roll-off roof observatory, now named after the astronaut, has two telescopes for observing the sky.

August 23-26, 2018

2018 Dark Sky Festival

Wood Buffalo National Park Dark Sky Preserve

Image of welcome package at Dark Sky Festival

Dr. Roberta Bondar joined co-presenters Nicole Mortillaro and Roland Dechesne at the 4-day Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society‘s Dark Sky Festival.

This annual action-packed event occurs at the Fort Smith Star Park & Observatory and Wood Buffalo National Park Dark Sky Preserve.

Chief Frieda Martselos welcomes guests & Fort Smith community to the Traditional Lands of the Salt River First Nation:

Activities over this intense weekend include an Observatory tour, Night sky viewings, Model rocket making, AuroraNauts programs, seminars, workshops, astrophotography, WBNP nature excursions, Salt River FN ceremonies, Presenter’s workshops, Dinners, Rover competitions, Guest Presentations Q+A.



August 25 2018
Sarah Pruys, CabinRadio .ca
Fort Smith observatory named for Canada’s first female astronaut: Dr Roberta Bondar shocked!

August 24 2018
Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society [TAWBAS]
Dr. Roberta Bondar Northern Observatory

August 9, 2018

Avian Migration Aerial Surface Space [AMASS]

The Roberta Bondar Foundation
Toronto, Ontario

A new education initiative from The Roberta Bondar FoundationAvian Migration Aerial Surface Space [AMASS] seeks “to promote the protection of safe, sustainable habitats for migrating birds” with The Foundation’s regional and global partners. The Foundation aims to spark global conservation using its tools of “art and science, story telling and dynamic imagery to understand and communicate the scope and scale of international avian migratory pathways” and inspire people to act and to empower individual action.

The AMASS project will provide context and scale from different perspectives – surface, aerial, and spaceflight.

Comic book style collage of photos from WBNP fieldwork

The Roberta Bondar Foundation launched its first official onsite aerial activity at Wood Buffalo National Park in early August where it captured images and video footage of the endangered Whooping Crane, its nests, and its extensive habitat. The Whooping Crane is one of six migratory species to be examined.

The Foundation uses #AMASS to facilitate the project’s social media collation.

July 27, 2018

Peterborough kids embrace adventure at Bondar Challenge camp

Peterborough, Ontario
Peterborough Examiner, Cliffford Skarstedt

Children taking part in this year’s Bondar Challenge camp were at Beavermead Park Friday morning, learning about digital photography.

Spaces are still available for kids 9-15 in the Aug. 9-10 and Aug. 16-17 camps. The camps, presented by Riverview Park and Zoo and Otonabee Conservation and developed by the Roberta Bondar Foundation, run a day and a half and involve trips to the zoo, Beavermead and Warsaw Caves.

For further information or to register, visit the guest services building at the zoo, go to Riverview Park and Zoo Bondar Challenge or email


Aug 10 2018
Bondar Challenge takes kids to Warsaw Caves
Nature photography as part of the Bondar Challenge camp hosted by Otonabee Conservation and the Riverview Park & Zoo

Jun 9, 2018

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity

Montreal, Québec

Comic image of Roberta Bondar at UN Conference

Dr. Roberta Bondar delivered the Keynote address to inspire and cheer on the international delegates to the UN Convention of Biological Diversity #SB!2018.

This Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI) faced a week’s demanding agenda that included:
– Reviewing progress in the implementation of the Convention along with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020
– Global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism
– Cooperation with other conventions, international organizations and initiatives
– National reporting, and assessment and review

Her address, along with other program highlights, were live-streamed on Facebook.

After her Keynote address, Dr. Bondar sat for this interview.

Jun 29, 2018

The Chancellery of Honours | La Chancellerie des Distinctions Honorifiques

Ottawa, Ontario

Roberta Lynn Bondar, C.C., O.Ont.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

As a scientist and environmental advocate, Dr. Roberta Bondar continues to inspire Canadians. Following her pioneering spaceflight, she remained active in international space medicine, notably leading a research team at NASA that drew connections between astronauts’ recovery from microgravity and neurological illnesses on Earth. A world acclaimed photographer, she has demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability through her stunning works that reconnect people to our natural world. Leading by example with the establishment of her eponymous foundation, she is a champion of education and the environment.

This is a promotion within the Order.

The Chancellery of Honours | La Chancellerie des Distinctions Honorifiques Official Announcement


July 1 2018
Sir James Dunn’s 1963 Sports Woman of the Year makes headlines across Canada
Excuse us, but those Canada Day headlines about Dr. Roberta Bondar are 26 years late!

June 8, 2018

Dr. Roberta Bondar receives Inaugural Friend of Nature Award

Riverwood Conservancy
Mississauga, Ontario

At a special evening event, the Riverwood Conservancy honoured Dr Roberta Bondar with their Friend of Nature Award — the award’s launch and inauguration. The Riverwood Conservancy comprises 150 acres of City of Mississauga and Credit Valley Conservation river and wildlife areas, trails and public spaces.

L – R: Douglas Markoff Executive Director Riverwood, Ulrich Krull, Principal University of Toronto Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga, Dr Roberta Bondar holding inaugural “Friend of Nature Award”, Hazel McCallion, former Mayor Mississauga, & Kevin Sherwin, Chair Board of Directors
L – R: Douglas Markoff Executive Director Riverwood, Ulrich Krull, Principal University of Toronto Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga, Dr Roberta Bondar holding inaugural “Friend of Nature Award”, Hazel McCallion, former Mayor Mississauga, & Kevin Sherwin, Chair Board of Directors

Visit our gallery for more photos!

May 24, 2018

Dr. Roberta Bondar Lauds Volunteers

Toronto, Ontario
Circle of Care, Temple Sinai

Dr Roberta Bondar delivered a keynote address for the volunteer appreciation evening for Circle of Care at Temple Sinai. Bondar referenced her early years of volunteer activities growing up in her hometown of Sault Ste Marie. She reminded the audience of the impact they make on lives they support, encourage, and inspire.

“We can’t move forward as a society without volunteers.”

Dr. Roberta Bondar
Image of six people in a row


May 25, 2018
Circle of Care, Website
Dr. Roberta Bondar Honours, Inspires Circle of Care Volunteers

May 11, 2018

First School-wide School-Based Bondar Challenge [SBBC]

Image of an award plaque

Dr. Roberta Bondar honoured World Migratory Bird Day Weekend at Island Public/Natural Science School to recognize its completion of the First School-wide School-Based Bondar Challenge

That’s 11 classrooms totalling 262 students ranging from JK through 6th grade. That’s 262 students who composed 524 photographs!

Principal, Scott Woolford welcomed proud parents and their talented young image makers as they checked out the final display. Joining the throng for the Toronto District School Board were John Malloy, Director of Education, Jane Phillips-Long, Superintendent of Education, and Chris Moise, Trustee.

The Roberta Bondar Foundation also gifted the school with two hummingbird feeders for their outdoor classrooms; more motivation for students to engage with the feathered speedsters in their environment.

Image of Roberta Bondar talking to a group of kids

March 23, 2018

Global Peatlands Initiative adds video message of support from Astronaut Dr Roberta Bondar

Nairobi, Kenya
Global Peatlands Initiative
UN Environment, Ecosystems Division

The Roberta Bondar Foundation joins its president in congratulating UNEP and ministers from the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Indonesia who signed the Brazzaville Declaration asserting their commitment to collaborate, to preserve and protect the largest tropical peatland area in the world – the Cuvette Centrale.


Thursday, March 8 2018
7 pm – 8 pm

Curiosity, Creativity and the Safety Net of Science

Ottawa, Ontario
Canadian Museum of Nature

Join Canada’s first female astronaut in space, Roberta Bondar, M.D., Ph.D., for an inspirational talk as the Canadian Museum of Nature celebrates International Women’s Day.

Image of Roberta Bondar with a camera

“Curiosity should never leave us. Without it, creativity is never the voyage of discovery that it can be. Science provides a way of asking questions and exploring the world around us, while giving us a safety net of understanding.” 

Dr. Roberta Bondar

In 1992, Dr. Bondar flew on the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery. She was the world’s first neurologist in space and conducted over 40 research experiments for 18 countries on this international flight.

A passionate and accomplished photographer, Dr. Bondar’s landscape photographs are featured in travelling exhibitions, books and other publications. The exhibition, Light in the Land ~ The Nature of Canada, presented by The Roberta Bondar Foundation, is currently on view at the museum.


March 13, 2018
School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
Gowlene Selvavijayan, centretownnews .ca
Pioneering astronaut urges girls to shoot for the stars
“During her talk “Curiosity, Creativity and the Safety Net of Science,” Bondar captivated the audience with her experiences as a young woman trying to enter the field of science.”

March 3 2018

Lone Wolf Robotics Wins World Video Award

Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
Lone Wolf Robotics via SooToday .com

And right in time for International Woman’s Day comes the happy announcement that Lone Wolf Robotics Wins World Video Award as teammates, Tiana Bressan and Tia Bariciak share their source of inspiration, Dr. Roberta Bondar, in their STEM educational production.

Naturally, we find Dr. Bondar inspiring… and she is also very hard to keep up with. However, we have come to learn that both Tiana and Tia are also inspiring young women! And we’ve always thought their Lone Wolf Robotics were awesome, too!

January 27, 2018 to April 8, 2018

Dr. Roberta Bondar: The Light in the Land ~ The Nature of Canada

Light in the Land ~ The Nature of Canada, an exhibition of photographs by Dr. Roberta Bondar, visits the Art Gallery of Peterborough from January 27 to April 8, 2018.

Light in the Land Bookmark with red maple leaves

Capturing her personal experiences of Canada’s lands in texture, colour, composition and clarity, Bondar encourages visitors to experience her view of our country’s landscapes.

“Response here has been fantastic and our visitors are steady and consistently thrilled!

The exhibition continues to be an inspiration for guests of all ages. Thank you for everything you do!”

Fynn Leitch, Curator, Art Gallery of Peterborough


Jan 26, 2018
Clifford Skarstedt, Peterborough Examiner
Roberta Bondar exhibit inspires Snofest Adult Art Afternoon participants in Peterborough

Jan 26, 2018
Clifford Skarstedt, Peterborough Examiner
Preview held for Roberta Bondar exhibit opening Saturday at the Art Gallery of Peterborough

January 13 – March 31

The Light in the Land ~ The Nature of Canada

Terre de lumières : la nature du Canada

Light in the Land Bookmark with red maple leaves

Light in the Land ~ The Nature of Canada, an exhibition of photographs by Dr. Roberta Bondar, is on display in the rotunda of the Canadian Museum of Nature from January 13 – March 31, 2018.

Image of the Canadian Museum of Nature

Discover the fusion of art and science in the texture, colour, and composition of our landscapes as captured through the lens of Canadian astronaut, Dr. Roberta Bondar.

January 10, 2018

Roberta Bondar visits RMHC Toronto

Toronto, Ontario
Ronald McDonald House, Toronto

Image of Roberta Bondar with kids

On the trail of one of the Art Gallery of Algoma [AGA] Bondar Challenge participants, Dr. Roberta Bondar caught up with the young photographer in Toronto. Bondar presented Katelyn Godin with a framed print of her beautiful AGA Bondar Challenge submission. Katelyn’s classmates shared in the excitement as Dr. Bondar visited with them all, answering questions and telling stories about life in space.


Jan 12, 2018
Elaine Della-Mattia, Sault Star/Sault Star .com
Bondar visits Sick Kids to meet Saultite