review: new summer exhibits at the vancouver aquarium

With the summer season in full swing, we know that yoyomamas (and dadas) everywhere are looking to for a few fun and educational activities to keep the grey matter active during the two-month break. Well lucky for us, the Vancouver Aquarium is excited to announce the launch of two new exhibits this summer: Research Outpost and Vortex. We were fortunate enough to get a sneak-peek at the new exhibits and they will definitely grab your kidlets’ attention and make them think (without thinking that they actually are thinking)!

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While we know that research is a large part of the Vancouver Aquarium, their new exhibit, Research Outpost, is the first time that the aquarium has actually opened up their longstanding research centre for visitors. We got an up-close look at their mammal research and were introduced to Lakina and Balzak, a couple of two-year-old walruses; don’t let their ages fool you – these arctic babies can weigh up to 2,000 lbs! This exhibit allows visitors to get a look at these mammals, and watch them interact with their trainers through feeding, playing and vocalizations; all important behaviours that help determine growth, overall health and contribute to overall research about the impact of climate change.

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This is definitely the Vancouver Aquarium’s summer of firsts; while they are known for their interesting educational programs about local and not-so-local marine life, they have launched their first-ever art exhibit with Canadian artist Douglas Copeland, called Vortex.

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A natural fit for the aquarium, this exhibit focuses on the plastic pollution crisis and its impact on the world. There are clearly some notable displays in Vortex, including plastic bottles and jellyfish mimicking the same movements in the same tank and tropical fish swimming around a Lego “reef”. But the one that takes the cake is the “We’re All in the Same Boat,” installation. It takes you right into feeling like you’re in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is the largest accumulation of plastic garbage in the world (located between Hawaii and California). Surprisingly (and sadly), all the plastic found in the exhibit was found by Douglas Coupland during a trip to Haida Gwaii. There is a gallery wall that the kids were drawn to, showing the most common debris that washes up on the shores. Some of the items included hairbrushes, bottle caps, toothbrushes and more.

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While we do make it a point to recycle and compost as much as we can, this exhibit was definitely an eye-opener. We joined the Vancouver Aquarium’s #BePlasticWise pledge to consciously reduce our single-use plastic consumption. Each month, those that decide to pledge will receive a new challenge from the Ocean Wise team to try to reduce your plastic use.

If you’ve got some extra space in your summer bucket list, make sure to add these new exhibits at the Vancouver Aquarium! You don’t want to miss out on these!

The Vancouver Aquarium
845 Avison Way, Vancouver

Adults $38
Seniors (65+) $30
Youth (13-18) $30
Child (4-12) $21
Children 3 and under are free

By: Marjolyn “MJ” Dimapilis

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