Last Tuesday evening, Vancouver Aquarium’s most cherished event, Dreamnight, welcomed 550 brave children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families, immersing them in an unforgettable aquatic experience. Eleven years ago, Vancouver Aquarium was the very first aquarium in North America to host this special evening dedicated to sick children and their families.

As an annual event close to our hearts, Aquarium staff and volunteers, as well as our community partners, came out in droves to volunteer their time to host this special evening to lift the spirits of courageous children fighting life-threatening illnesses and their families in the Aquarium’s magical, aquatic setting.

Guests were invited to the one-of-a-kind evening through the many organizations that serve them year-round, including B.C. Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Children’s Heart Network, Children’s Organ Transplant Society, Children’s Wish Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation of B.C. & Yukon, Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, Sunshine Foundation Dreams for Kids, and Variety – The Children’s Charity. Vancouver Aquarium dedicates this special evening to these guests, enabling them to experience the aquatic galleries and activities in a safe and welcoming environment.

In addition to the excitement generated by Aquarium interpreters, curators, scientists and trainers, guests interacted with hands-on touch pools in the Wet Lab, an immersive 4-D Experience movie, and educational animal programs. Other kid-friendly activities enhanced the festive atmosphere, including huggable mascots like the Aquarium’s beluga whale Bee Bop, music by award-winning musicians Bobs & LoLo, face-painting, and arts and crafts.

A young girl gets hands-on with sea anemones in the Wet Lab. Photo credit: Brett Vo Photography.

A young girl gets hands-on with sea anemones in the Wet Lab. Photo credit: Brett Vo Photography.

This year, Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck provided family-friendly fare, along with Tim Hortons’ Timbits and coffee among the other tasty treats. Dreamnight supporters also provided take-away goodies to the guests of honour – a perfect way to end a wondrous night, perhaps with even undersea creatures gently swimming in their dreams.

Vancouver Aquarium is deeply grateful to Dreamnight’s presenting sponsor Shaw Communications, and event partners including Bobs & Lolo; ImageWear, a Division of Mark’s; Fruit of the Loom; Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck; Showtime Pictures; Sysco Canada; and Tim Hortons Corporation.

To learn more about Dreamnight, visit our event website.

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