Toronto - Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is pleased to announce that two organizations have come forward to support Darwin: The Evolution Revolution, an exhibition illustrating the life and work of Charles Darwin, whose observations and discoveries nearly 150 years ago changed our understanding of the origin and nature of all species. His work remains highly controversial to this day. Upon learning that the exhibition did not have a corporate sponsor, an unusual circumstance for the Museum, both the Humanist Association of Canada and The United Church Observer magazine have offered their monetary support of the exhibition.

“At Darwin’s recent media preview, I mentioned the interesting fact that in Canada in 2008, as also happened in the United States with sponsorship, there is resistance to getting too close to Darwin, the exhibition, because of the excitation that Darwin, the scientist is still able to create,” said William Thorsell, ROM Director & CEO. “We are encouraged that these two organizations agree that it is a worthwhile endeavour to present the story of Darwin and his scientific work.”

Says Pat O’Brien, President of the Humanist Association of Canada, a national charitable organization, “We heard Mr. Thorsell state that the ROM had been unable to attract a major sponsor for Darwin, explaining that Darwinism is still controversial enough to dissuade corporations from associating with it. As the use of the scientific method, as proposed by Darwin, is one of the principles of Humanism, the Association feels strongly that this wonderful exhibition deserves our strongest support. We are further proud to announce that this donation is the largest to date in our Association’s 40 years of existence.”

David Wilson, Editor and Publisher of The United Church Observer, a national independent publication affiliated with the The United Church of Canada and the oldest continuously published magazine in North America, states, “Our magazine has a long history, dating back to Darwin’s own time, of advocating a respectful relationship between religion and secular education. Darwin is a very good installation deserving of support and there is nothing in it that threatens or diminishes religion or people of faith in any way. The public needs to know that.”

On display at the ROM until Monday, August 4, 2008, Darwin: The Evolution Revolution is the most in-depth exhibition ever assembled on this highly original thinker and his revolutionary theory of evolution by natural selection. The exhibition features the most complete collection of specimens, artifacts, manuscripts and memorabilia related to Charles Darwin (1809-1882), offering visitors an engaging insight into his extraordinary life and mind. The exhibition is organized by The American Museum of Natural History, New York, in collaboration with the ROM and the Museum of Science, Boston, The Field Museum, Chicago, and the Natural History Museum, London. The ROM is the first Canadian venue to host Darwin during its international tour. To date, no hosting venue has opened the exhibition with presenting sponsors in place.

Since welcoming the Humanist Association of Canada and The United Church Observer as exhibition sponsors, the ROM has heard from other interested corporations and organizations. Further announcements of sponsorship will be made should these partnerships be confirmed.

For information on opportunities to support Darwin: The Evolution Revolution during its ROM engagement, please call the ROM Governors at 416.586.5546.

For information on the Humanist Association of Canada: Pat O’Brien, President; penguin@novuscom.net; 604.328.1271

For information on The United Church Observer magazine: David Wilson, Editor & Publisher; dnwilson@ucobserver.org; 416.960.8500 ext. 234