August 22, 2022
VANCOUVER, August , 2022 –– This month, the Vancouver Aquarium is celebrating its first anniversary of reopening to the public after pandemic-related financial challenges forced the Aquarium to close its doors in September 2020.
The Aquarium’s future was secured when industry-leading attractions and tourism operator, Herschend Enterprises, acquired the Aquarium in April 2021, and reopened it to the public in August 2021. Herschend Enterprises is the parent company for a family of brands with more than 70 years of attraction operations expertise, including several Association of Zoos & Aquariums-accredited aquariums and world-renowned entertainment brands.
“The Aquarium is a Vancouver institution, and we are building on its legacy as a renowned animal care and rescue facility, educational venue, and one of BC’s most iconic tourist attractions,” said Eric Rose, Senior Vice of President Zoological Advancement of Herschend Enterprises. “This past year we have reinforced our commitments to the tireless care of animals, conservation, education, the community and our team, reflected in our capital improvement projects and staff bonuses. Reopening the facility was a significant undertaking, and we had a successful year, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected by the end of 2022, and enhancements across the facility. Our guest surveys have been overwhelmingly positive, thanks to the tireless work of our exceptional Aquarium staff.”
To thank employees for their hard work and dedication, the Aquarium awarded all employees a $500 bonus earlier this year.
The Aquarium is one of BC’s top tourist and event destinations, anticipating hundreds of thousands of visitors in 2022. As part of its mission over the past year, the Aquarium welcomed numerous local groups from throughout the Metro Vancouver region, providing immersive experiences that educated guests on marine life, particularly life found closer to home along the BC coast. The Aquarium is also working to create an inclusive community by hosting sensory events and partnering with Canucks Autism and their Skills Training Employment Program, through which the Aquarium has recruited three of the program’s students for work placement.
At the same time, the Aquarium has also continued its 60-year history of rescuing marine mammals along the BC coastline through the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Herschend Enterprise’s investment enabled the Rescue Centre to continue its mission of treating, rehabilitating and returning marine mammals to the wild.
“We are experiencing another successful rescue season, with 83 seals, 2 sea lions and 1 porpoise rescued so far this year,” said Clint Wright, Executive Director of the Vancouver Aquarium. “The number of patients at the Rescue Centre this year underscores the importance of having stable, long-term funding that allows the Aquarium to provide for the wellbeing of animals in its care and in the wild.”
The Rescue Centre is the only facility of its kind in Canada and one of the largest in the world. Patients at the Rescue Centre receive state of the art care, including close monitoring by the Rescue Centre’s veterinary team. The Rescue Centre is equipped to perform on-site rehabilitation of seals, sea lions, sea otters, sea turtles and small cetaceans, such as harbour porpoise. The Rescue Centre team also responds to off-site marine mammal emergencies, including disentangling sea lions in the wild. Each year the Centre rescues, rehabilitates and releases over 150 marine mammals.
Since opening in 1956, the Vancouver Aquarium has connected more than 40 million people
from around the world to our oceans and inspired them to take action to address key threats.
Located in Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is home to hundreds of incredible species.
The Vancouver Aquarium is a fully accredited member of Association of Zoos and Aquariums
(AZA), Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), Canada’s Accredited Zoos
and Aquariums (CAZA), and Humane Conservation Certified by American Humane.
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, presented by Port Metro Vancouver and supported by Teekay Shipping, is a hospital for sick, injured or orphaned marine mammals. The Rescue Centre rescues stranded marine mammals and rehabilitates them for release back into their natural habitat.
If you see a stranded marine mammal, do not approach it and keep pets away. Please call the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre at 604.258.SEAL (7325) for immediate assistance.
Todd Hauptman, Communications Manager