Vancouver Island has lost one of its very few aquariums.
On March 27th, the Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre closed its doors for the final time, after a struggle to keep afloat during the pandemic.
The aquarium was forced to close for almost a year due to the pandemic, and had some problems with the days it could be open during its final month of operations.
Back in 2020, they had expected to close at the end of March due to a lack of revenue, as expenditures were around $8,500 while revenue was around $1,500.
The aquarium had applied to the federal government for COVID-19 rental relief, and held multiple fundraisers in order to try and recover. Raffles, online auctions, sponsorship through salmon ‘adoptions,’ and the work of volunteers were among some of the methods.
The final day saw people drive from across the island to visit, and the aquarium accepted admission only by cash.
According to Google Maps, there are now only three aquariums left on the island. The Port Alberni one was smaller than the other three, but provided a educational outreach program to the area.
It’s yet to be seen if there will be a replacement for the aquarium in the future.