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sunsetmountainland Sep 1, 2017 10:38 PM

Ocean Discovery Centre proposal for Nanaimo Waterfront

It’s not an aquarium. It’s not a museum.

So, what is the proposed Ocean Discovery Centre all about?

It’s an interactive experience designed to educate people about our oceans, understand our connection to them, and shine a light on some the most advanced, world class undersea technology in existence.

Should the project go ahead, the centre will strive to act as a catalyst to spark people’s interest in learning more about our oceans and the equipment we use to explore them.

Tim Tessier, one of the members of the Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association — the organization behind the Ocean Discovery Centre — explains what to expect from the facility.

“Our region is the hub for some of the most amazing world class, undersea technology. And that’s what we’re going to bring in to Nanaimo," Tessier said. "We have access to a world-renowned inventory of deep sea technologies that we’ll be putting on display. There will be interactive experiences, an Imax theatre and so forth, so you can actually experience the dive without ever getting wet."

Here in Nanaimo, we have a close connection with our oceans. British Columbia’s contributions to the sub-sea industry have helped to change and influence underwater exploration globally.

One of the goals of the Ocean Discovery Centre is to encourage that connection, by providing a facility to positively impact people’s perceptions of our oceans. Ultimately, it will serve to make Nanaimo an even more attractive place to live and to visit.

Lorne Hildebrant, another member of the NDDA, discussed the centre’s potential impact on attracting more tourists to Nanaimo.

“What we really want to do is create this wonderful, iconic building that people around the world look at and say, I know that place. That’s that very cool, unique place that talks about the ocean and technology…and that’s in Nanaimo…that’s where we want to go," he said.

While the Ocean Discovery Centre is still probably three- to-four years away from becoming a reality, if you’d like to learn more about the facility, fundraising efforts, or to pledge your support, there’s a wealth of information to be found at the association's website.

SpongeG Sep 9, 2017 7:17 PM

looks good

Phil McAvity Oct 26, 2017 1:29 PM

This looks like a bigger, nicer version of this in Sidney;

sunsetmountainland Jan 12, 2018 4:48 AM

It looks as though the city of Nanaimo has included the Ocean Discovery Centre in the City's draft of their waterfront master plan for 1 Port Dr.


Nanaimo city councillors voted unanimously in favour of endorsing the Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association’s proposed Ocean Discovery Centre as well as allocating roughly 8,000 square metres of land along Port Drive for the facility during a committee of the whole meeting on Monday. Councillors also agreed to provide a letter of support and gave the group an 18-month mandate to secure funding for the centre.

The Ocean Discovery Centre is a proposed $50-million interactive marine ecology display centre showcasing deep water marine technology and First Nations marine history through various virtual and underwater exhibits. It has been pitched as Canada’s first deep-water-technology marine display facility and proponents say it would generate tourism and boost Nanaimo’s economy. It would feature a virtual reality shark cage and a moving theatre.

I will include two articles about the downtown waterfront draft plan for those interested in reading.

sunsetmountainland Sep 21, 2018 2:29 AM

Nanaimo’s ocean centre proponents studying whether their ideas are feasible


The City of Nanaimo can look forward to progress reports, of sorts, on the Ocean Discovery Centre as the Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association continues work on the project.

City council, at its meeting Monday night, formally approved $65,000 in funding to help the association pay for two feasibility studies and help cover other current costs.

City councillors had recommended the expenditure at a finance and audit committee meeting last month.

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