Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre became even more magical last night thanks to the inspiring guests that came through its doors. The occasion was Dreamnight, presented by Shaw Communications, a much-anticipated annual event celebrating brave children with chronic and life-threatening conditions. This year the Aquarium welcomed more than 600 children and their families for an engaging and memorable evening.
Vancouver Aquarium was the first aquarium in North America to host a Dreamnight, an initiative that began at the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands in 1996. This special evening now takes place at more than 250 zoos and aquariums globally, each dedicating an evening to courageous children and their families.
“Now in its 13th year at Vancouver Aquarium, Dreamnight is our most unforgettable event and one we hold dear to our hearts. It is the children and their families that make it such an inspiring experience because they show us what true bravery looks like,” said Dr. John Nightingale, president and CEO, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. “Our staff and volunteers jump at the chance to donate their time each year, as it is truly a night to remember. We also have our community partners to thank because the event would not be possible without their ongoing dedication and support.”
“Supporting the well-being of children and youth in our communities through exceptional events like Dreamnight is a cornerstone of our Shaw Kids Investment Program,” said Greg Pultz, Vice President, Operations, Shaw Communications. “The children and their families who attended this special event show incredible courage and bravery, and we are humbled to have played a part in bringing this event to these deserving guests.”
There were several organizations on-hand that contributed to making this night such a magical experience. These organizations include B.C. Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Children’s Heart Network, Children’s Organ Transplant Society, Children’s Wish Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation of B.C. & Yukon, Ronald McDonald House B.C., Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, and Variety – The Children’s Charity.
For an entire evening, the Aquarium was dedicated to Dreamnight guests, so they could explore the wonders of aquatic life in an inviting, safe and accessible environment. Guests had the full experience as staff and volunteers, including interpreters, trainers, curators, and scientists, were on hand to interact with families. A highlight for many was the opportunity to get hands-on at the new Discover Rays touch pool and exhibit. The newly built, 50,000-litre touch pool is home to graceful cownose rays and southern stingrays. Guests were invited to roll-up their sleeves and get immersed in a unique, up-close encounter with these exceptional creatures, which surprise and delight as they glide by.
Bee Bop, the beluga mascot, brought smiles to faces throughout the night and welcomed guests in the galleries. If not getting a hug from Bee Bop, guests could be found getting their faces painted or channeling their inner painter at the arts and craft station. The Magical Music show, performed by the Aquarium’s interpreters, had all ages in the crowd humming along.
A warm thank you is shared with our presenting sponsor Shaw Communications, and to our event partners White Spot, Limelight Foods of Canada Ltd, ARC Document Solutions, Coca-Cola Canada, Easy Park, Sysco Canada and Salt Spring Coffee.
Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a non-profit society dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life. www.vanaqua.org.