A new public aquarium is expected to open in Campbell River on Ocean’s Day.
The building, which Campbell River’s Discovery Passage SeaLife Society took off Ucluelet’s hands, will be set up at the fishing pier to complement the Maritime Heritage Centre and Discovery Pier.
Mark Wunsch, president of the SeaLife Society, announced at Tuesday’s council meeting that the aquarium will be open in time for summer.
“Our scheduled season opening is on Ocean’s Day, June 8,” Wunsch said. “We’re hoping to achieve that if all permitting goes smoothly.”
To help the non-profit society with development permit and building permit fees, council approved a grant-in-aid to cover $1,213.60 in fees which will be covered by the city’s Community Partnership Reserve.
Council also voted to contribute $5,000 to be a founding sponsor.
The 16 x 48 foot aquarium was purchased from Ucluelet last year by the Discovery SeaLife Society, with help from the Campbell River Rotary Club.
The facility is expected to have 30 different tanks full of sea life native to the area.
“It’s about education and hands-on experience,” Wunsch said. “Aquaculture ties into the community. With education and training opportunities, this is totally community-driven.”
The aquarium will mostly rely on the community to keep it going.
Wunsch said the society has started fundraising and looking for grant opportunities but it’s also “trying to reach out to the community for funds.”
The society has created a donor scale and is looking for corporate donations.
The program is as follows: founding sponsor ($5,000), gold ($2,500-$4,999), silver ($1,000-$2,499), bronze ($500-$999), and tank ($250-$500).
The 30 tanks are expected to be a part of the sponsorship program, with businesses able to have their name on a plaque on the tank for one year.
The society is also looking for volunteers. Anyone who is interested can contact the society at, firstname.lastname@example.org