I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’ garden in the shade
He’d let us in, knows where we’ve been
In his octopus’ garden in the shade
— The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969
Vancouver, B.C. — Music, art and magic come together on Thursday, June 21, for Night at the Aquarium, presented by PCL Construction Group. This award-winning gala fundraiser transforms the galleries of Vancouver Aquarium®, an Ocean Wise® initiative, into a whimsical aquatic wonderland that plays host to a multi-course dinner, live entertainment and a not-to-be missed live auction, all in support of Ocean Wise’s conservation, research, and education programs.
This year, gala guests will have exclusive access to the Aquarium’s compelling new art installation – Vortex — by internationally renowned writer and visual artist Douglas Coupland. Vortex is Coupland’s imaginative interpretation of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and an exploration of the artist’s evolving relationship with plastic.
Vivreau Water Systems is the presenting sponsor for the welcome reception, where guests will enjoy cocktails and canapés crafted by Ocean Wise seafood partner restaurants including Boulevard Kitchen and Oyster Bar, Market by Jean-Georges at the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver, The Lobby Lounge at Fairmont Pacific Rim, The Tea House, and the Vancouver Aquarium. These will be complemented by libations from Whistler Brewing, Walter Caesar, Sea Star Vineyard, and Summerhill Winery. Those opting for non-alcoholic beverages will be treated to Salt Spring Coffee and the Vancouver Aquarium’s own mocktail specially designed for this evening, the Yellow Submarine.
A true epicurean delight, the evening continues with an exquisite five-course seated dinner with dishes presented by some of British Columbia’s premier chefs: Ocean Wise® Executive Chef Ned Bell who will be joined by Araxi Restaurant’s James Walt, Blue Water Cafe’s Frank Pabst, Andrew Richardson from CinCin, Hector Laguna from Botanist, and Executive Chef Edgar Kano from YEW seafood + bar. Perfect pairings will come courtesy of Meyer Family Vineyard, Pentage Winery, Kung-Fu Girl and Meiomi, and Whistler Brewing. Dessert and late-night bites will be provided by Soirette, Earnest Ice Cream, The Pointe at Wickaninnish Inn and Water Street Café.
Once dinner is done, guests will “Come Together” as Beatles tribute band, the Daytrippers, serenades them with the iconic music of the 1960s. Adding to the entertainment, an impressive silent auction and raffle for two round-trip Business Class tickets to anywhere in the world that Air Canada flies will be held throughout the evening. The evening culminates with a much-anticipated and exhilarating live auction keeping guests on the edge of their seats as fantastic prizes are available to the highest bidder — including an art piece by Douglas Coupland, a trip for two on an Aquatica submersible to explore the glass sponge reefs of Howe Sound, and an incredible 11-night expedition to explore Scotland, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland on One Ocean Expedition’s newest vessel, the RCGS Resolute.
All proceeds from Night at the Aquarium directly support Ocean Wise’s ocean conservation, education and research initiatives.
“This is going to be a special night,” said Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO of Ocean Wise. “Over the past year Ocean Wise has gone global in our efforts to protect the world’s oceans, and we’re reaching new audiences in new ways. Night at the Aquarium will be an incredible celebration of our evolution, and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Night at the Aquarium would not be possible without our sponsors, donors, event committee and event partners. We would like to thank our sponsors PCL Construction Group, Vivreau, Leith Wheeler, Alpha Mechanical, Nathanson Schachter Thompson, One Ocean, Parkland Fuel, Pedersens Rentals, Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, Odlum Brown, Beedie, Robert Fleming Lawyers, Waste Control Services, and Rennie.
In 2017, the gala raised more than $370,000, which directly supported Ocean Wise’s many conservation programs, including Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Coastal Ocean Research Institute, and the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, the only one of its kind in Canada.
VIP tables for Night at the Aquarium are already sold out. A limited number of individual tickets are still available for $350, and can be purchased at www.vanaqua.org/nata.
Ocean Wise is a not-for-profit organization whose vision is a world in which oceans are healthy and flourishing. www.ocean.org
Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative, is one of the world’s leading accredited aquariums, dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. www.vanaqua.org