Entomica & John Dedes Bring Home Major Awards


“There’s no perennial hives when it comes to hornets.” Teachable moments is how an interview begins with Biologist, John Dedes at his office in the Great Lakes Forest Research Centre, where he is a Biologist and Insectarium Supervisor. His extensive knowledge, authentic curiosity, and passion for insects springs from within, as he shares information about hornets that, could make for a potential winning answer at the next Kiwanis Lakeshore Trivia Night.  An impressive collection of hornets nests and other creatures of the forests create an exotic display. “Whatever you see is done in a year, and they vacate them in the fall.”

John Dedes is definitely in the right profession. His passion for the insect world led him on a journey that ultimately saw the opening of Entomica at  Mill Market, in The Sault’s Canal District.

“A couple of years ago, I opened up Entomica, an insectarium.  I applied to  CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)  to be able to take the insects out of the containment facility. This allowed Entomica to be able to bring bugs into the community.  Part of the proposal to CFIA was to be able to go into seniors homes. We wanted to do something innovative. Something where we would be reaching all ages in our community. Rather than bringing seniors down to us, at our Mill Market location, we wanted to pack our bugs up and take them to where the seniors are.” ‘Science for Seniors’ was born.

As saultonline  first reported  first reported Entomica’s CEO introduced us to the innovative programme called ‘Science for Seniors’.  The Seniors Centre on Bay St. came alive with bugs, seniors, and science festival volunteers ‘winging it’ together during the 2nd Annual Sault Ste. Marie Science Festival.  ‘Science for Seniors’ made several stops to long term care and retirement residences as part of the 2016 Science Festival.

john dedesJohn Dedes also shared a major announcement with saultonline. He had just learned that ‘Science for Seniors’ was nominated for a major award.  ‘Science for Seniors’ was getting a lot of buzz in the science centres community. In mid May, Dedes travelled to Vancouver for the Canadian Association of Science Centres Conference 2016, and the Cascade Gala Awards.

‘The CASCADE Awards program is part of the final gala evening to culminate the two-day conference (Canadian Association for Science Centres) for Science Centre professionals. The conference provides an incredible opportunity for Science Centres to share best-practices, develop partnerships and learn from each other.

Saultonline is happy to report that, not only did ‘Science for Seniors’ win a major award, John Dedes also received an award of excellence for his work with Entomica.

science award (media release excerpts)

‘CASCADE Awards Distributed at Vancouver Aquarium.

Seven awards were distributed to recognize Best Programs, Exhibits, Shows and Individual Achievement May 7, 2016 (Vancouver)

– The Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC) wrapped up the 14th Annual Conference with the CASCADE Awards on Saturday, May 7. The CASCADES recognize outstanding achievement by both individuals and organizations Canada-wide.

-Individual awards are selected by the CASC Board of Directors based on nominations received by the deadline date.’

The Individual Award for Outstanding Achievement goes to…..

‘John Dedes, CEO of Entomica, located in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, received the “Making a Difference” Award for turning his passion for insects into an insectarium-like Science Centre.’

Institutional Awards are selected by an independent awards jury based on a review of nominations.

“Science for Seniors” at Entomica was awarded Best Program – Small Institution for engaging senior citizens with hands-on interactions with spectacular insects from all over the world. Other nominees in this category are London Children’s Museum’s “In-Class Outdoor Education Program”, and Churchill Northern Studies Centre’s “Marine Education Program.”

Congratulations John Dedes and Entomica from everyone at Superior Media. Insects are amazing, and like John Dedes says, “You’re never too old to learn.”

‘The Science for Seniors program reaches out to citizens whose opportunities for life-long learning are restricted by mobility or health issues. The program brings a stable of exotic insects to retirement homes, care facilities and senior citizen centres, to let its residents experience the rejuvenating and awe inspiring thrill of some of nature’s least-known treasures. This is done during a 1½ hour visit, which combines a plenary presentation about the insects’ peculiarities followed by free roaming among the exhibits and a volunteer-guided opportunity for personal interaction with insects of choice. The program is delivered once a year in conjunction with Sault Ste. Marie’s Annual Science Festival and in collaboration with Festival partners.’


Screen grabs used in story from the following link & will take you to the Cascade Awards where John Dedes is featured. Scroll through pictures; you’ll find him. http://www.canadiansciencecentres.ca/CASC-2016-Conference

‘The Canadian Association of Science Centres’ mission is to: “build capacity for its members to inspire a creative and prosperous Canada through science and technology engagement.” The Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC) represents 45.’

Entomica is here:  http://www.millmarket.ca



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