Lorne Hildebrand

Lorne Hildebrand

Group pitches ocean centre for Nanaimo

NANAIMO – Vision for place for residents and visitors to learn about oceans.

A legal entity has formed with the goal of establishing a world-class ocean centre in Nanaimo.

The newly formed Ocean Discovery Centre board is envisioning a centre where people can go to learn about oceans and the history of First Nations usage and respect of the oceans. Visitors will experience and participate in the impact they have on the ocean environment and what they can do to preserve it, said Tim Tessier, board vice-president.

Tessier said it would be similar to Science World in Vancouver.

“It’s far more than a museum,” said Tessier of the board’s vision. “It really is a centre, it’s a destination point. Museums, with all due respect, have the opportunity to capture a tourist once … This will be a world-class facility that there’s nothing like it in all of B.C.”

Tessier said it will be educational, environmental, but just as important, it will be an experience.

“While we live on the ocean, very few people have the opportunity to experience the adventure of undersea diving, so we’ll bring that in. There will be training and education facilities, that we’re looking at various partners to come into the facility for school groups etc., so it’s all encompassing,” Tessier said.

The organization is three weeks old, said Lorne Hildebrand, board president. It has hired Checkwitch Poiron Architects, an architectural firm, on retainer to aid with developing a plan and costing.

The organization has had informal discussions with other groups prior to formation, but with the plan, it will have something concrete to present to potential stakeholders.

“We’ve begun a process of really looking at what should it be. How big, how much, all of those things that we’ll be able to go back to folks and say, ‘Listen, we do have some answers now,’ or at least some answers to begin with and to start the discussion,” said Hildebrand.

He said there is currently no timeline for when Checkwitch Poiron’s plan will be complete, but he is hopeful it will be by the fall.

“I would hope that in two months, we would have a real clear understanding of what it was and the cost [that is] involved and that’s just a hope of mine,” said Hildebrand.

Just Posted

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read