Do you hear what we hear? It’s the sound of everyone’s favourite holiday guest, Scuba Claus, as he makes a splash at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre to celebrate the holiday season. When he’s not doing his daily dive, jolly old St. Nick might be spotted roaming the galleries spreading joy to all those who believe.
The holiday cheer will be spread far and wide at the Aquarium, with winter wonderland décor adorning the entrances to the galleries. Stop by the holiday tree in the Canaccord Gallery and you’ll notice it’s a little different than most, with its branches lighting up with help from the resident electric eel. The lightshow continues in the Pacific Canada gallery. Dozens of origami jellyfish dangle from the ceiling, lit by colourful LED-lights that project a mesmerizing display on the floor below. Using a touchpad, visitors can create their own dazzling show of rainbow colours.
Back again this year is the incredible and unique holiday tree created by Tofino-based artist Pete Clarkson. Rising from the floor of the Lower Teck Gallery, the marine debris tree is made entirely of items collected from shorelines on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It serves as a reminder to us all that we need to keep our shorelines clean. Though debris has been transformed into a beautiful work of art, the tree also represents the variety of litter that is out there and can potentially harm marine mammals and damage our ocean ecosystems.
Then it’s time for a journey to the North Pole in the 4-D theatre. The Polar Express is leaving the station and will take you on a trip to remember through the snowy mountains and hilltops en route to see Father Christmas himself. It’s a ride that will ignite the senses as the 4-D experience and get visitors of all ages in the holiday spirit.
Scuba Claus dives daily until December 24, with all other holiday displays at the Vancouver Aquarium continuing until January 2, 2017. Vancouver Aquarium is open 365 days a year, including statutory holidays. For more information, and dive schedules, please visit vanaqua.org.