To celebrate this milestone, we created a year-long programme of events and activities that included many of the very special people who have been integral to our success – friends, funders, ambassadors, colleagues, partners, staff and trustees, and most importantly our visiting public.
It all began with an enormous birthday party on Sunday 9th July to mark the day we actually opened in 1992. With lots of entertainment both indoors and out, more than 1,500 visitors to our museum and even more enjoying the celebration in our grounds, the opening of our new Spark Gallery featuring its first temporary digital arts exhibition digiPlayspace, and guest appearances by ambassadors poet Matt Abbott and cITV presenters London Hughes and Sam Homewood, it was definitely a day to remember.
Many more of our ambassadors participated in other events throughout the year and all of them were filmed talking about their own experiences of Eureka! and why they believe it is such a memorable and meaningful part of a child’s life. We also put out an open call, inviting anyone who had their own special memory about Eureka! to tell us their story and we shared many of these over the course of the year. You can read, watch and listen to their stories on our Eureka! stories website.
As anyone who has paid us a visit knows, our warm, always-smiling and helpful staff and volunteers make the Eureka! experience what it is. So we wanted a special party to celebrate their contribution and this took place in the early part of August. Just a little later in the year one of our many very talented staff members, Dan Blamires, chose to mark the 25th anniversary by presenting me with a pencil sketch of Eureka! which will soon hang in a prominent spot in the museum.
In September, we held a fun and unforgettable gala dinner to further acknowledge the support we’ve received over the years and the success that we have achieved as a result. In 25 years we’ve attracted more than £22.5M in capital investment to Halifax, employed more than 2500 people and won 60+ awards. We were delighted that our Founder and Life President Dame Vivien Duffield of the Clore Duffield Foundation and the first Director of Eureka! Gillian Thomas joined us for this celebratory evening.
Dame Vivien shared many heart-warming and humorous stories of the early days getting Eureka! started with our guests and paid special tribute to the people of Halifax for the support and enthusiasm they have shown over the years.