Dinosaur World Tour (Vancouver)
The Dinosaur World Tour: The Greatest Show Unearthed, was a massive summer exhibit event from Saturday June 3rd until Friday August 18 and then from August 19 to September 4, 1995 the exhibit became the featured pavilion at the Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver before moving on to Sydney for the summer of 1996–1997. Starring 42 real dinosaur skeletons it was produced by The Ex Terra Foundation joining forces with Headquarters Entertainment Corporation as presenter to create this spectacular exhibit utilizing real dinosaur skeletons — the exhibit included a hands-on archaeological dig for students to sift through dessert sand to recover REAL dinosaur bone fragments.
The exhibit showcased the cooperative expeditions between the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, The Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, and the Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta with key leadership from James “Jim” Ebbels, Executive Director, The Ex Terra Foundation; Dale Russell, Paleontologist, the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa; Philip Currie, Paleontologist, head of dinosaur research at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller, Alta.; Dong Zhiming, Paleontologist, Beijing’s Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and Brian Cooley, Palaeoartist, Canada.
The Dinosaur World Tour
The Greatest Show Unearthed, covered six acres of exhibition space consisting of several areas. Freighted by 48 x 40 foot shipping containers for the exhibit, and mixed about 15 tons of Gobi Desert fossil science with Disneyland-style family fun, audiovisual aids and interactive elements aimed at beguiling families—and especially children.
With more than 80 fossils on display, the core of the show is formed by the remains of dozens of dinosaurs—including 11 previously unknown species—most of them discovered by the Chinese-Canadian team during five years of bone-hunting in the Gobi Desert, Western Canada and in the Canadian Arctic between 1986 and 1990 which braved temperatures of 35°C and fierce sandstorms in the desert.
The project’s logo featured the English word “dinosaur” adjacent to its Chinese translation: “恐龙”.
Giants of history: The Greatest Show Unearthed‘ presented dinosaurs in a new light. Fossils featured prominently in the tour included samples from a Centrosaurus bonebed, a Daspletosaurus skull, a well-preserved ornithomimid, a nearly-complete Prosaurolophus skeleton, a stone slab containing twelve juvenile Pinacosaurus, a Mamenchisaurus skeleton, and the Tyrannosaurus skeleton known as “Black Beauty”.
The exhibit demonstrated the remarkable ability that dinosaurs have had to capture the human imagination ever since the 19th century. It was then that growing interest in European fossil discoveries prompted British naturalist Richard Owen to coin the term dinosaur, from the Greek words for “terrible lizard.”
I was CEO of Headquarters Entertainment Corporation which presented the exhibit and managed all ticket sales, logistics, merchandising, marketing & promotion, including evening school sleepovers and corporate showings.
Special thanks to Tina Vanderheyden (President), Shirley Burdon (Administration), Maureen Verkaar (Publicity) and Julie Vianni (Sales) for Headquarters Entertainment Corp.
Major sponsors included Canadian Airlines International, The Pacific Palisades Hotel, Atrium Inn, A&B Sound, Subway and BC Tel Mobility.