2018 in Review
Exhibition Lands planning: numerous meetings with the City of Edmonton and its planners have led to an aim for a particular piece of property: the old Northlands grounds. With Rogers Place firmly established, the City of Edmonton was looking for proposals for what to do with the Exhbition Lands. The Aquatic Biosphere Project stepped forward and put forward a plan for the Project as one of the anchors for the development to compliment and support the Expo Trade Centre and other surrounding facilities. This idea has been further fleshed out at community forums and was a key focus of the Aquarium Society of Alberta for 2018.
EPCOR Riverfest saw a record 3000+ people turnout. The Aquarium Society once again planted our booth where young fry could “Wish upon a Fish,” netting over 80 fish wishes! Bruce the Giant Waterbug was our star attraction, as were numerous snails, leeches and other pond critters from around the city.
Blue Sky Award
An Award Winning Project: The Aquarium Society was thrilled to win the Manasc Issac Blue Sky Award! This award, presented by the Manasc Isaac Architecture firm is presented to outstanding out-of-the-box ideas. The award includes architecture concept design services, which allowed our project to be outlined and realized on paper for the first time. The breathtaking and creative designs the Manasc Isaac team developed tell the Story of Water were interactive, functional and multi-layered. We can’t wait to dig deeper into these ideas (psst did we mention shark tunnel?).
Water on Wheels – The W.O.W. Factor
Project planning got underway with our Water On Wheels project, or WOW Outreach. Water On Wheels is the educational outreach trailer that can be transported to different events. The trailer is designed to carry live stocked fish tanks that can display different biomes. Like a food truck, it incorporates a menu board that flips up to show the tanks, while inside it carries a battery and solar system to provide sustainable energy without impacting the surrounding environment (which means we can use it indoors and outside – no fumes or pollution). This project was made possible by the generous support of Project Management students at MacEwan University. Look for our first edition next summer as it rolls out to our 2019 events!
We dropped a puck out of a what? Quiltafish made his public debut at an early Edmonton Oil Kings home game, being the first Fish on hockey ice at Rogers Place! This was also the first 50/50 fundraiser for the Aquarium Society that saw nearly 3000 attendees to the game, some amazing volunteers to help out, and a lot of positive feedback about the project. And yes, Quiltafish made some new fans and graciously stopped for selfies with adoring fans
Divers get inspired by aquariums! The Aquatic Biosphere Project paid a visit to Calgary for Divescapes 2018. This tradeshow and conference, put on by the Alberta Underwater Council, attracted over 300 people to see world class speakers talk about their craft and their passions. At this show we collected ideas for what divers would like to see in a non-profit conservation aquarium and gave an opportunity to tell their “Story of Water.” The divers included ideas on conservation and education, microplastics, interactive exhibits and many others.
MacEwan Marketing Teams
MacEwan University is at it again: The Aquatic Biosphere Project was delighted to be among the lucky participants selected as MacEwan University Marketing 312 Community Partners. In this, we worked closely with three different marketing teams who provided demographic research on Edmonton and the surrounding area. These teams polled close to 300 people with the following highlights: 83% of the population, age 18-85 support the idea of a public aquarium, and the majority would visit several times a year. Affordability was a concern as was ensuring there was something for everyone, no matter the age or ability. The idea of another attraction in the City of Edmonton is very popular, especially with an education focus that is not presently addressed within other attractions.
Looking forward to 2019, the Aquatic Biosphere Project will be attending:
Dark Matters: The Science of Sex on Jan 24th (link: https://telusworldofscienceedmonton.ca/explore/experiences/darkmatters/),
North Central Alberta Teachers Conference, February 7th to 8th (link: https://www.mynctca.com/);
Edmonton Boat and Sportsman Show March 14-17, 2019 (Link: https://edmontonboatandsportshow.ca/).
EPCOR Riverfest, date TBA. (link: https://epcorriverfest.ca/)