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Colonel Chris Hadfield has North Bay looking up

"I dream about where our next power source is coming from to get beyond the moon. It has to come from inside the atom. That's where the sun put all the energy."
YYB Chris Hadfield KAS
Colonel Chris Hadfield speaks to a packed Capitol Centre Saturday night.

Super Canadian Colonel Chris Hadfield commandeered the Capitol Centre in North Bay Saturday night with the message that the sky is not the limit.

Being the star attraction for North Bay’s Space Week, he shined bright under the lights as he dared young impressionable minds to achieve their full potential. The seats were packed as the audience hung on his words accompanied with his photos and videos of his experiences up in space.

Having flown in three different rocketships and having lived in space for half a year, Colonel Hadfield is now on a mission to connect young minds to space.

He gave kudos for educational activities involving a thousand local school children at Canadian Forces Base North Bay as part of World Space Week. Hadfield said it is natural that the space industry launches off in North Bay with the infrastructure in place.

Hadfield has visited over 1000 schools to share his story with children. The colonel thrives on sparking interest in science. He hopes to be useful as well as entertaining.

“How can my experiences help someone internalize at the end of the evening, no matter what age they are and what they can apply to their own lives? What really matters is us and each other.”

On stage, Hadfield instills wonder about exploring the universe and motivates audience members to believe that impossible things happen.

Showing a photo of himself little enough to fit inside an empty box of Instant Quaker Oats, Hadfield said he remembered being that Canadian boy dreaming of flying into space.  

At the time the Canadian Space Agency didn’t exist. Hadfield would graduate as an engineer and became a pilot at the young age of twenty.

When Hadfield opened to questions from the audience, he was delighted that a young boy, who asked about his most dangerous time in space, was attending his show dressed in an astronaut outfit.

Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, explained that a chemical from his goggles had contaminated his eyes making him blind while he was vulnerable on a space walk.

Showing that hard work can make your dreams come true, the colonel injected Canadian patriotism into his talk.  

His website calls Colonel Hadfield, “Humble and charming because that's how Canadians are raised.”

The space superstar had the Capitol Centre giggling about astronaut diapers and throwing up breakfast.

He also hushed the audience with the beauty of his photos of earth. He took 45,000 photos of earth in his five months on the International Space Station.

He showed a photo of what North Bay looks like from space and talked about the social power of the internet.

“The internet is the democratization of thoughts.” He has had 26-million views of his YouTube cover of Space Oddity.

He wrapped the evening up by playing a duet with internationally acclaimed North Bay guitarist Sean Kelly.

The song is from the Colonel’s freshly released Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can, of which profits will be donated to music education.

He has raised over $100,000 from his book, An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth: for the Canadian Red Cross in Syria.


KA Smith

About the Author: KA Smith

Kelly Anne Smith was born in North Bay but wasn’t a resident until she was thirty. Ms.Smith attended Broadcast Journalism at Canadore College and earned a History degree at Nipissing University.
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