The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre received $25 million in federal and provincial funding towards its much-anticipated revitalization plans. The Vancouver Aquarium will use the funds to revitalize some of the Aquarium’s aging physical infrastructure in need of repair or replacement, and to expand facilities to provide enhanced expanded spaces and experiences for Aquarium visitors.
Building on the federal and provincial grants, the Aquarium will embark on fundraising to secure the required additional funds. “The Vancouver Aquarium’s 350 staff and 1, 200 volunteers are excited to continue our revitalization. This package of projects will rejuvenate and expand our facilities enabling our team to deliver an even better engagement and learning experience to visitors from near and far, ” said Vancouver Aquarium president Dr. John Nightingale. “We are extremely grateful for the funding we received today which allows us to start the next phase of our revitalization plans.”
The revitalization plans comprise eight projects that range in size from $1.5 million to $18 million. Plans include replacing some of the Aquarium’s vital aging infrastructure and mechanical systems with improved mechanical water treatment systems, expanded electrical capacity with new emergency power back-up, new energy efficient heating and cooling systems and new viewing windows.
Three major visible portions of the project include: the structural rebuilding of the B.C. Wild Coast pool and gallery—resulting in new, significant viewing opportunities—along with an expanded interpretive gallery and new public circulation spaces.
A new entrance will be connected to the expanded B.C. Wild Coast exhibit and will result in a significantly enhanced entrance to the Aquarium. The changes will also include new washrooms and other public facilities for Stanley Park visitors. The project will include the addition of a gallery featuring changing exhibits, as well as a flexible holding and display pool between the current B.C. Wild Coast and Canada’s Arctic habitats. This new pool will expand the animal habitat and provide even more space for the Pacific white-sided dolphins and Beluga whales.
“Our revitalization plans will incorporate best practices in sustainable design from aquatic exhibits to engineering systems. In fact, some of our older systems will be replaced with modern technology enabling the Aquarium to save energy, reduce water consumption and minimize our environmental impact—practices that align with our mission as a conservation, research and education centre, and our national leadership as a sustainable cultural institution, ” added Nightingale.
As a result of the revitalization and expansion project, the Vancouver Aquarium will be able to further enhance its exceptional animal care and unparalleled experience to its almost one million annual visitors who delight in exploring the aquatic and natural world. The Aquarium will be open and continue to deliver our amazing visitor engagement throughout its revitalization period.
A recognized global leader in public engagement, the Aquarium will build on its efforts already underway in Canada’s Arctic and along the B.C. Coast to connect people directly with the issues, stories and science of these important parts of our province and country. New displays and interpretive spaces ensure that Canada’s 54-year-old national aquarium will continue to serve Vancouver, British Columbia and all of Canada for decades to come.
About Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is a global leader in connecting people to our natural world, and a self-supporting, non-profit association dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display and interpretation, conservation, education, research, and direct action. Learn more at www.vanaqua.org.