Rendering of new Teck Connections Gallery, which is expected to open in May 2014 as part of the new major entrance complex

The Vancouver Aquarium announced today that Teck has generously donated $12.5 million—the largest community gift ever received by the Aquarium. This donation will support the Aquarium’s expansion and revitalization, as well as its conservation, research and education programs.

In recognition of Teck’s donation and its role as a key private sector partner in the Aquarium’s expansion and revitalization, the new central Aquarium entrance gallery and visitor hub will be named the Teck Connections Gallery. The Teck Connections Gallery is expected to open in May 2014 as part of the new major entrance complex. This complex will expand the Aquarium by approximately 47,000 square feet.

From left to right: Don Lindsay, president and CEO of Teck; Dr. John Nightingale, President and CEO of Vancouver Aquarium; Colin Hansen, Vancouver-Quilchena MLA; Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and Senior Minister Responsible for British Columbia

Staff and volunteers are excited to welcome Teck as the lead community partner. The Aquarium has innovative plans to work together as a team to expand the facility and help advance aquatic research and conservation. Teck’s generous contribution of $12.5 million is the largest community gift the Aquarium has ever received. The funds not only support our expansion plans, but also enable us to expand our conservation, research and education efforts with a special focus on water.

Teck’s contribution to the Vancouver Aquarium’s $100-million expansion and revitalization plans includes $10 million for the development of a new entrance gallery as part of the new entry complex and $2.5 million for educational programming and research focused on conservation issues principally related to water and aquatic habitats.

Both organizations recognize water as an important resource and will be working together to create a new water education program at the Aquarium titled Water Drops. This program will explore the connection we all have to water, highlight the roles we play in using and conserving it, and share the impacts water has on our natural world. Teck and the Vancouver Aquarium will also identify opportunities to collaborate on research of mutual interest, such as aquatic environments near Teck’s operations.

Building on its accomplishments and planning for a robust, strong future, the Aquarium’s $100-million transformation, over the next six years, will result in new visitor experiences, including:

  • An amazing new entrance with the feeling of entering a whole new world upon arrival in the Teck Connections Gallery
  • Breathtaking new public spaces, including a new public entrance gateway and an outdoor plaza to bring the community together for events inside and outside the Aquarium
  • New captivating and engaging galleries to allow for changing exhibits and to provide visitors greater open areas for exploring and learning within expanded and inviting gallery spaces
  • A state-of-the-art backbone with new technical infrastructure, built to LEED Gold standards with increased durability and operational efficiency combined with reduced operating costs and energy savings over the long term

The new entry complex, opening in 2014, is the first of three major expansions that make up the overall project.

As a self-sustaining, non-profit organization, the Aquarium relies on revenue generated by its nearly one million visitors annually to operate its conservation, education and research programs. Each visitor to the Aquarium makes a direct contribution to its mission-based outreach programs.

Welcome to the team, Teck!

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2 Responses

  1. Jane

    I am really happy for you guys, but I also am worried that you will use the funds to keep more whales and dolphins in captivity. I would love to see the aquarium set a good example for other aquariums worldwide, by having breathtaking exhibits without any large, intelligent, globe-roaming mammals stuck in small spaces. I would be so proud to take my family to an aquarium like that.

    • Vancouver Aquarium

      Thanks for your comment. We’re very much looking forward to partnering with Teck on our expansion and water conservation program. The bulk of the funds will support our much-needed revitalization, and $2.5 million will be dedicated to our conservation, research and education programs, with a special emphasis on water.

      Aquatic ecosystems are challenging for humans to explore. Most of our observations of aquatic life are superficial, being made from the water’s edge or surface. Aquariums reveal the underwater world that is usually hidden from our view. By discovering and understanding aquatic life up close, aquarium visitors become aware of the value of aquatic life and the need to protect and preserve it. This also helps visitors make the connection to our conservation and research efforts, which are aimed at supporting and sustaining healthy aquatic wildlife.


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