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Archived - Governments Celebrate Renovated Vancouver Aquarium

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June 13, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Infrastructure Canada

Today, in the heart of Stanley Park, federal and provincial officials joined local residents to celebrate the completion of extensive renovations to the Vancouver Aquarium. This important infrastructure project, which has added 55,000 square feet of high-tech exploratory space, is the most ambitious ever undertaken by the Aquarium during its 58-year history. It vastly improves the habitats of more than 50,000 fish and animals currently housed in the facility.

The first two phases of the project included the creation of a new main entrance that features an outdoor plaza and central gallery space, as well as new admissions and food service facilities, and a larger, newly renovated gift shop. The Aquarium's transformation also includes the revitalization of sustainable mechanical, water filtration and electrical systems, new state-of-the-art energy-conserving heating and cooling, and new recycling centres. These enhancements have been built with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards in mind.

As a flagship tourist destination, the Vancouver Aquarium hosts over a million visitors per year. These renovations will help the Aquarium maintain its place as a world leader in aquatic research, conservation and public education, employment and global tourism, while also generating $103 million annually for the local economy. Included in this project is the revitalization of Canada's Arctic exhibit, which allows visitors to see changes experienced by the animals, land and people of this important region. This next phase is set to be completed in 2017.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has committed up to $15 million through the Building Canada Fund–Major Infrastructure Component for this project.
  • The Province of British Columbia has allocated $10 million for this project.
  • The remaining funds are being provided by presenting sponsor Teck Resources, as well as other sponsors and donors. Fundraising will also contribute to future phases.


"Our Government is proud to support the expansion of the Vancouver Aquarium, an award-winning facility that is not only a leader in marine research, aquatic conservation, and public education, but also plays an important role in the economy of Vancouver by creating local jobs and attracting tourists from all over the globe. We have made unprecedented investments in Canada's infrastructure since 2006, and through the New Building Canada Fund, we will continue to focus on creating jobs, promoting growth, and building strong, prosperous communities across Canada."

- James Moore, Minister of Industry and Minister Responsible for British Columbia

"The Government of British Columbia is proud to participate in the partnership to support the Vancouver Aquarium's successful expansion project. As Canada's first official aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium has built on its unique history to become an internationally-renowned champion of marine research, conservation and education."

- Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

"The revitalized Vancouver Aquarium represents the most significant expansion in our 58-year history, creating even more opportunities for the public to engage with aquatic life. This engagement is critical to our mission as a conservation organization. Through our enhanced exploratory and water-themed touch points, our aim is to reach and inspire more visitors to engage with issues affecting our waterways, and to take action that will help save our oceans and the wildlife that depend on them."

- Dr. John Nightingale, President and CEO, Vancouver Aquarium

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Vincent Rabault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and
Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Government of British Columbia

Linda Nishida
Communications Advisor
Vancouver Aquarium

Infrastructure Canada
Toll-free 1-877-250-7154
Twitter: @INFC_eng
Website: Infrastructure Canada

Vancouver Aquarium officials and supporters officially cut the ribbon in front of the Aquarium¿s new entrance on June 13, 2014 to unveil the most significant expansion in the organization¿s 58-year history.  From L-R: Mr. Don Lindsay, President and CEO of Teck; Minister Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and MLA for Cariboo North; Mr. Brian Hanna, Chair of the Vancouver Aquarium¿s Board of Directors; Mr. John Nightingale, Vancouver Aquarium¿s President and CEO; and Minister James Moore, Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, along with school children, First Nations representations, staff and volunteers.

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