Vancouver Aquarium officially opened its doors on June 15, 1956 after a small group of local aquarium hobbyists shed blood, sweat and tears to successfully partner with all three levels of government who helped by contributing $100,000 each to establish Vancouver’s first aquarium.

The Aquarium was an instant hit, welcoming 10,000 visitors in its first weekend. It began on a shoestring budget with seven full-time workers and adult admission on opening day was 25 cents.

The Aquarium now employs more than 475 full-time, part-time and casual staff and since 1956 has welcomed more than 44 million visitors. For the last 60 years the Aquarium has been dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life, and the next 60 years will see new milestones in ocean conservation.

June 15, 1956 — Grand opening of the Aquarium.

June 15, 1956 — Grand opening of the Aquarium.

The reach of the Aquarium’s conservation efforts now extends coast to coast. From groundbreaking research to curriculum-based education programs, the Aquarium has a long history of conservation, research and education programming. We invite you to share in some our firsts:


On June 18-19, the Aquarium will celebrate its 60th year and members of the public are invited to join. Waterfall Café, which is open to all Stanley Park visitors, will host an Ocean Wise salmon BBQ, where sustainable seafood lovers can purchase salmon burgers and salads.

Visitors can journey back in time as they explore the galleries and the historic photos and stories that will be on display. The festivities will also include live aquatic-themed dance performances, face painting and crafts, and celebratory cake. For more information, visit



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