Perimeter Institute is a basic research centre dedicated to exploring the world around us at its most fundamental level. Founded in 1999, the Institute is a progressive example of an innovative private-public partnership between dynamic philanthropists and the Governments of Ontario and Canada. Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics was formally announced on October 23, 2000, and began research operations in a temporary facility. In October 2004, the Institute moved into its permanent facility, designed by Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, on a premier site in Uptown Waterloo. The award-winning research complex sustains resident scientists and hundreds of international visitors each year with a variety of creative blackboard-lined spaces in which to contemplate and calculate new mind-bending ideas about the ultimate nature of space, time and matter. Driven by curiosity, these leading researchers use imagination and mathematics to push the limits of our current understanding of physical laws. In establishing Perimeter Institute, the founders were not only motivated to create a research centre of the highest international standing, but they were also determined to affect the prevailing culture, demonstrably sending a powerful message to the general public of the overwhelming importance of scientific inquiry. As a result, a comprehensive program of educational outreach activities stretches across Canada by way of a popular public events series, special workshops for teachers, in-class presentations delivered coast to coast, the International Summer Institute for high school students and a good deal more. Complementing the twin mandates of top quality research and educational outreach is an integral mix of musical programs and cultural events. Perimeter Institute aims to be an attractive and dynamic facility in the broadest possible sense –– a stimulating setting for leading-edge scientists to think as well as an accessible and engaging environment for the community at large.