Ocean Discovery Centre to offer world-class educational experience on Nanaimo's waterfront

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August 25, 2017 - 6:09pm Updated: August 31, 2017 - 1:24pm

An architects rendering of the proposed facility.Nanaimo Ocean Discovery Centre/Facebook

Nanaimo Ocean Discovery Centre/Facebook

Nanaimo Ocean Discovery Centre/Facebook

NANAIMO — 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.