Vancouver Aquarium staffer Jessica DeBenedetto feeds a sea lion in the main walkway of the aquarium Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Vancouver Aquarium has had to close its doors to the public due to the lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Vancouver Aquarium staffer Jessica DeBenedetto feeds a sea lion in the main walkway of the aquarium Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Vancouver Aquarium has had to close its doors to the public due to the lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Vancouver Aquarium to reopen Aug. 16 after being closed for nearly a year

Aquarium to reopen under new ownership

The Vancouver Aquarium will reopen on Monday (Aug. 16) after a COVID-related closure shuttered its doors for nearly a year.

In a Wednesday press release, the aquarium said that when it opens its doors, it will also launch a Marine Mammal Rescue Exhibit to showcase the facility’s work in rehabilitating marine mammals.

The 65-year-old aquarium was sold by Ocean Wise Conservation Association to Herschend Enterprises in a deal announced in April. At the time, the aquarium said the only way for it survive was to be taken over by Herschend, a U.S.-based theme park company that owns properties like Dollywood, multiple resorts and two aquariums.

READ MORE: U.S.-based theme park company buys Vancouver Aquarium

“We are very delighted to be reopening. The Vancouver Aquarium has been one of the top attractions in this region and a leader in marine mammal rescue for over 60 years,” said aquarium executive director Clint Wright. “Everyone at the Aquarium has been working hard to prepare for this reopening after 17 months of partial or complete closure.”

Along with the new exhibit, the aquarium will be showing Octopus from the BBC series Blue Planet II.

As a thank you to current members, they will get early access two days prior to the official opening, on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 14-15). Existing memberships will be extended to make up for the months when the aquarium was closed.

Due to COVID-19 safety measures, capacity will be limited and tickets and reservations can be made online at www.vanaqua.org. Masks are recommended for everyone ages 12 and up who have not yet been fully vaccinated.’


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