Last night, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre celebrated its ninth annual Night at the Aquarium, presented by PCL Construction Group, raising more than $360,000 at its signature fundraising gala. Nearly 500 guests attended the annual philanthropic event, set against a backdrop of its stunning galleries, which were transformed into a memorable experience for guests. Proceeds from the enchanting evening will go towards the Aquarium’s conservation, research and education programs, ranging from its Marine Mammal Rescue Centre to a groundbreaking project to disentangle sea lions along the B.C. coast who have been ensnared by marine debris.

Night at the Aquarium gala

500 guests came together for ocean conservation at Night at the Aquarium. Photo Credit: Dan Poh.

“Night at the Aquarium is a truly magical night for everyone involved. It brings together members of the community, chef ambassadors of our Ocean Wise program and conservationists all united by their love for oceans and the conservation of aquatic life,” said Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO at Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. “Their support is what allows us to conduct world-class research, to rescue marine mammals in distress, and to effect change by educating the next generation of ocean ambassadors.”

Guests started off their evening with a glass of sparkling wine, courtesy of Segura Viudas, and then took their pick from a selection of premium wine and spirits from 15 local and international producers. New to the gala this year was the team from Walter Caesar who delighted guests with their Ocean Wise™ recommended Caesar mix accompanied by a candied salmon garnish from the Hardy Buoys.

Night at the Aquarium Ocean Wise Partners

Miku sushi chefs flame sear the final touches on these canapés. Photo Credit: Dan Poh.

Taste buds were tantalized by an array of delicious Ocean Wise™ dishes, from sake-cured white sturgeon and Northern Divine caviar buckwheat noodle salad from executive chef Frank Pabst at Blue Water Café, to pomegranate marinated Albacore tuna kissed with coconut jalapeno remoulade by executive chef Nico Schuermans at Chambar Restaurant. Guests at the VIP reception dined on mouthwatering canapés and late-night snacks crafted by Vancouver Aquarium executive chef Tim Bedford.

Ocean Wise bites at Night at the Aquarium

Ocean Wise partners including Forage featured prepared tasty Ocean Wise bites for guests. Photo Credit: Dan Poh.

The live auction portion of the evening was emceed by local man-about-town Fred Lee, and live music featuring Vancouver’s premier event band, Side One, had guests dancing the night away. The room was abuzz as guests indulged in friendly competition as bids were placed at the live and silent auctions. Highlights included:

  • A luxurious five-night stay at the Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay, Hawaii.
  • A four-day, all-inclusive experience at Langara Island Lodge in Haida Gwaii.
  • Vancouver Aquarium Board of Directors’ Wine Cellar, complete with a full-sized wine fridge and 20+ bottles of premium wines.
  • A private dinner for eight with Boulevard Kitchen & Bar chef Alex Chen, hosted in the Aquarium’s beautiful Tropics Gallery.
Side One Band at Vancouver Aquarium Gala

Guests danced the evening away to Side One Band. Photo Credit: Dan Poh.

Night at the Aquarium would not be possible without presenting sponsor PCL Construction Group, gold-level sponsors Deloitte, LNG Canada, Pedersens, RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, Xerox and silver-level sponsors BDO, Beedie Development Group, CN, Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership and Odlum Brown. Our thanks are also shared with the amazing Ocean Wise partners who donate their time in support of our conservation efforts. Through their time and generous support, the event partners, volunteers, guests and supporters make this night an unforgettable success.

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